Every two years particle physicists meet at a conference which is just a bit more important, more well-attended, and more prestigious than all the others that pester our agendas every other week. This conference is called ICHEP - the International Conference on High-Energy Physics - and it is usually the favourite and most favourable place where to present or to listen to groundbreaking results, important advancements, thorough review talks.

This year ICHEP 2010 will be in Paris. This is an attractive venue, and I expect a very large attendance. But this year there is a novelty that might sound irrelevant to many, but it is actually a quite startling one: ICHEP will have its own blog. Yes, an approved, institutionalized, and yet free blog, where some of the best particle and astroparticle physics bloggers will contribute with a live commentary of the proceedings.

If you have followed the discussion started by a remark I made at a conference on physics outreach a month ago, you immediately realize why the above news is welcome, and relevant. At comunicare fisica 2010 I stood up and advocated a more positive attitude of institutions toward the independent, single-handed activity of those researchers and teachers who take their time to try and do some physics outreach through a blog. In my usual flippant style I went as far as to say that research institute and universities should consider running blog aggregators on their web sites, where in some way they "acknowledge" the utility of those efforts.

A lively debate ensued. But as is often the case with lively debates, this one did not lead anywhere, but rather underlined the fact that even some of the bloggers themselves, in their responsible, even a bit too conservative views, considered unfeasible a sponsorship of their endeavour by institutions.

Well, take that: ICHEP has a blog, and it is FREE.

Sure, they picked the contributors, and they picked well - along with me, the blog will feature Adam Falkowsky, John Conway, Michael Schmitt, Georg Von Hippel, Gordon Watts, just to mention a few: distinguished, respected physicists who have their own blog but whose opinion is highly regarded when they express it inside their collaborations or elsewhere.

But ICHEP will have little control on what we write. There will be no moderation on the posts, and only some loose filtering on obnoxious comments. So this, in earnest, is a true institutionalized attempt at recognizing free blogging activities of physicists.

I will be writing posts for ICHEP with a one-per-week cadence in the next three months, and then maybe once a day just during the conference, at the end of July. The posts will be available on this site as well, with some possible reduction or increase, as I see fit. But I would advise to follow that blog from the very start, that is now, here. Have fun, and let us hope this turns out to be a successful venture, hopefully the first in a series!