I'm sitting in the lobby of our little hotel. Today we interviewed John Marburger, the president's science advisor. He was sincere and honest, although, understandably, at times a mouthpiece for the administration. It was interesting to hear particle physics put in a large context, though --- he said "when you're working on a project, of course it's the most important project in the world. When it gets canceled, of course you think it's the worst thing that could have happened. But there are other things more relevant to human progress than particle physics." Yesterday we heard from our physicists from Fermilab as they argued for continued funding for Fermilab at a High Energy Physics Advisory Panel meeting --- I don't think they would have appreciated the kind of marginalizing rhetoric that Marburger employed, but it will be an interesting spot for the viewer of our movie in which to find him/herself: so, what is the importance of particle physics? Why should I care?
And, of course, that's one of the main questions we will be asking.
Also got some B-roll of the white house, to locate us here. Tomorrow we meet with Judy Biggert, a senator from Illinois, and the chairwoman of the science subcommittee, followed by Chris Mooney, a journalist specializing in the intersection between science and politics. Alas, Natalie Angier had to cancel due to a family emergency, and House Speaker Hastert had to cancel due to his schedule.
Must get to bed now --- more later.