FBK-ECT* 2020 Annual Report
Review of the activities carried out by the FBK ECT * (European Center for Theoretical Studies in Nuclear Physics and Related Areas) in the year of the outbreak of the SarsCov2 pandemic
Due to the pandemic, 2020 was a difficult year for everyone, including ECT*.
It resulted in an almost complete shutdown of the scheduled on-site activities for external visitors, including workshops, the Doctoral Training Program and the in-person TALENT School.
Out of the 19 workshops selected by the ECT* Scientific Board, only the first one could be run as an in-person event.
As we got to grips with the pandemic, ECT* developed its online delivery in a number of ways:
- the 3-week TALENT School “Machine learning applied to nuclear physics, experiment and theory” took place online and was attended by 157 students from 38 countries worldwide.
- to ensure the scientific visibility of ECT*, a series of online “introductory colloquia” publicising the pertinent topics of the workshops to a wider audience are available on the ECT* YouTube channel.
Before the pandemic prevented face-to-face meetings, ECT* organized a one-day in-person meeting on February 18, 2020, to commemorate the important role of Professor Renzo Leonardi, who passed away unexpectedly on July 6, 2019, in creating the Center in Trento. On this occasion, the ECT* meeting room in the Rustico was renamed as ‘Aula Renzo Leonardi’ and the ground and second floor ‘Fresco rooms’ of Villa Tambosi were dedicated to him with a commemorative plaque. Presentations by distinguished guests highlighted the achievements of Renzo in shaping the scientific and cultural landscape of Trento, the Trentino region and beyond.
Research by the in-house group of Junior Postdoctoral Fellows and Senior Research Associates continued as usual, albeit from home, and resulted in 23 publications in refereed journals, written in collaboration with each other, the Director of the Centre, and scientific visitors and collaborating physicists elsewhere.
Finally, in December 2020 Prof Jochen Wambach completed his term as Director of ECT* and he has been succeeded by Prof Gert Aarts (Swansea University, United Kingdom) from the first of January 2021, who comments: “In 2021 ECT* will continue to thrive, with an increase of activities compared to last year. As before, the research community is fully supportive of ECT*, as the only European transnational access facility in theoretical nuclear physics in the broadest sense.”