Physics and Improv Collide

Scientists on particle accelerator project learn communication from comedy
By Jim O'Neill,  Newser User
Posted Sep 4, 2008 2:43 PM CDT

(Newser) – Physicists trying to explain the nature of the universe using the largest particle accelerator ever built are also trying to learn something else: communication skills to help them explain what they’ve learned to the rest of world. And they’re going about it in a unique way, the Wall Street Journal reports—through improv comedy.

The European Organization for Nuclear Research hired improvisational comedy coaches to teach scientists working on the Large Hadron Collider—built in a 17-mile-long tunnel, 330 feet underground along the Franco-Swiss border—to think on their feet. "Improv has got to be more difficult than doing physics. You have to think in milliseconds," one particle physicist says.