Welcome to Acqua alle Funi!
Chris Quigg

It is traditional for a revolutionary publication to greet the world with a radical manifesto. The fact that Acqua alle Funi has solicited a welcome from what may be mistaken for the establishment is perhaps a sign of just how subversive this new journal intends to be.

One of the great human pleasures of particle physics is the opportunity to meet people from many different backgrounds and cultures who share a passionate curiosity about nature and a sturdy confidence in the power of experimentation. The graduate students who come to Fermilab are a diverse, interesting, and impatient group who know that living a balanced life means “Work hard, play hard!” It is a pleasure to salute the appearance of Acqua alle Funi, a new forum for collective self-expression for Fermilab's students, and a window on their thoughts to be savored by the formerly young.

I am especially pleased that this new graduate-student zine has adopted a title, Acqua alle Funi, that invokes the singular spirit of Bob Wilson. Robert Rathbun Wilson (as he is known on buildings) was the Founding Director of Fermilab and creator of much of our physical environment and scientific style. Part of Wilson’s genius was that he exuded a healthy disrepect for authority while being the ultimate authority figure. Out of such contradictions is greatness born. One of my earliest Fermilab memories is of an all experimenters meeting at which a distinguished professor from a famous institution tried to excuse the slow progress of his experiment with the complaint that the stockroom was padlocked over the weekend. Wilson, who had no patience for whiners, shouted back, “Carry a hacksaw!” And that is my advice to the authors and readers of Acqua alle Funi.

Welcoming remarks for the first issue of Fermilab’s graduate-student ’zine, Acqua alle Funi · March 17, 1999 · © Chris Quigg.