The coronavirus has upended our lives: schools, colleges, offices, businesses, and research facilities like CHESS are closed. Minimizing the number of person-to-person interactions has reduced the spread of the virus but we do not know yet for how long social distancing will have to continue to reduce the spread to near zero.
Moreover, CHESS is already preparing to restart user operations, anticipating that, at least initially but potentially for an extended period of time, users will not be able to travel to CHESS. That means
experiments will be conducted remotely
(users operating CHESS beamlines and stations remotely from their home institutions) or in a mail-in mode where CHESS scientists conduct experiments on samples shipped to the facility in close collaboration with users. To enable safe and efficient remote and mail in operation of CHESS beamlines, scientists and technical staff are designing or procuring the necessary components for automation and addressing the new support needs for remote and mail-in operations.
Moreover, we are planning the
2020 CHESS Users meeting on June 9/10
to be fully virtual, i.e. all CHESS users will be able to participate in plenary sessions, poster sessions, and workshops remotely.
As CHESS Director Joel Brock says about the priorities for CHESS: “Nobody gets hurt, no equipment gets broken, and then we do science.” With that in mind, we will continue to work from home to help our community in this crisis, prepare CHESS for the safe return to (remote) user operation, and then we will be able to do exceptional science here at CHESS soon again.
Associate Director, CHESS