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Documentary sheds new light on Fermilab scientists

Published: Friday, Feb. 8, 2013 5:07 p.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, Feb. 8, 2013 10:32 p.m. CDT

BATAVIA – A new documentary sheds a new light on Fermilab scientists and the work they do.

“Fermilab: Science at Work” will be released on Tuesday. The documentary will be shown on Fermilab’s YouTube channel and will be given away in DVD form to Fermilab visitors.

Fermilab contracted with Clayton Brown and Monica Long Ross of 137 Films to create a short film documenting life at Fermilab.

“We tried to show scientists as real people, just like the rest of us,” Ross said.

Ross and Brown are part of the team that made the 2008 film “The Atom Smashers,” which spotlighted Fermilab and the search for the elusive Higgs boson, believed to give mass to matter that makes up the universe.

In the opening moments of “Fermilab: Science at Work,” Fermilab particle physicist Brendan Casey is shown in his Batavia home with his wife, Melissa, and their children. Casey hopes that people who watch the movie have a better understanding of the people who work at Fermilab.

“The scientists and all the employees at Fermilab are just part of the community,” he said.

Casey hopes the documentary will generate enough interest in the general public that people will want to visit Fermilab.

“It’s surprising how often I talk to people in the community and find out they have never been to Fermilab,” he said. “This is a laboratory of their neighbors, and the public is welcome.”

Casey said he is pleased with how the documentary turned out.

“I think it is a pretty good representation of life at the lab,” he said.

Casey is one of several Fermilab scientists who are interviewed as part of the documentary.

“We did try to communicate their passion about their work and why they think it is important to the general public,” Brown said. “That is a way to bring people closer to the science. We didn’t want to make an industrial type of video.”

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