International Year of Light

On 20 December 2013, The United Nations (UN) General Assembly 68th Session proclaimed 2015 as the International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies (IYL 2015).
This International Year has been the initiative of a large consortium of scientific bodies together with UNESCO, and will bring together many different stakeholders including scientific societies and unions, educational institutions, technology platforms, non-profit organizations and private sector partners.

In the Netherlands the kick-off of IYL 2015 was celebrated on Thursday 15 January with a colourful programme of lectures, performances and demonstrations in Science Center Nemo. I contributed with reading an excerpt from my ZOOM performance.


CERN-lab bijna op de Hoge Veluwe

© foto Hanne Nijhuis

© foto Hanne Nijhuis

Uit: de Volkskrant van 28 juni 2014 | CERN-lab bijna op Hoge Veluwe
Door: © Martijn van Calmthout

Het vermaarde Europese centrum voor deeltjesonderzoek CERN had bijna op de Hoge Veluwe in Nederland gelegen. Die opmerkelijke onthulling deed film- en theatermaker Jan van den Berg donderdag bij de viering in Amsterdam van het 60-jarig bestaan van het lab. Gedurende die periode is naar schatting 20 miljard euro geïnvesteerd in de ondergrondse reuzenversnellers op de grens van Zwitserland en Frankrijk, waar ruim 2.500 mensen werken. Lees verder

Jan en Dolf over NIETS

Vanmiddag was ik te gast bij het VARA radioprogramma Spijkers met Koppen en mocht ik ‘het‘ aan Dolf Jansen uitleggen. Ons gesprek ‘over NIETS’ is terug te luisteren via

En een foto van mijn interview met Frank Linde (directeur Nikhef) aansluitend aan de première voorstelling van gisteravond 22 november 2013 in een uitverkocht Theater Frascati, Amsterdam.

Interview met Frank Linde. Foto: Martijn van Calmthout

Interview met Frank Linde. Foto: Martijn van Calmthout

“A storytelling session of genius”

Particle-ary Good

Broadway Baby Rating: ****

In the beginning, there was Jan van den Berg. Or, to be more accurate, Jan van den Berg, a scene from the Wicker Man, Papua New Guinea style, some cigars and a man called Higgs. Confusing? Not half as confusing as particle physics, but when you have a Dutchman, a theologian, a documentary filmmaker and a lay physicist explaining it to you, somehow the mists clear. When these four become one and the same person, you have the optimum conditions for enlightenment. …

From this lecture theatre, van den Berg takes us on a journey from the Netherlands to Papua New Guinea, the Japanese Alps, Switzerland, Sicily and Edinburgh. On our way, he treats us to his understanding of all things atomic; atoms, electrons, bosons, quarks, dark matter and even some proton porn. He reveals to us, with words and video, the Large Hadron Collider and the experiment which took place there last year. The subatomic size of all the particles contrasting vividly with the sheer enormity of the depths and distances he describes. Lees verder

“an extremely adept communicator”

© Foto DigiDaan, Text & performance Jan van den Berg, Director Dirk Groeneveld, Design Hannie van den Bergh”

© Foto DigiDaan, Text & performance Jan van den Berg, Director Dirk Groeneveld, Design Hannie van den Bergh”

“Van den Berg is an extremely adept communicator who makes his correspondences with smart precision …” is just one of the various compliments given by Daniel B. Yates in his review on my staged lecture performance HIGGS in The Exeunt Magazine.

“We are given the grand tour from Democritus’s atom to these little neutrinos and the undoing of plenty we’ve hitherto known, through a performed dialogue with a Papuan chief, where Van den Berg found himself opening a cultural centre in his relative’s name. And as problematic a heuristic as that might be, it’s a sharp way to simplify at the same time as setting up a cross-cultural platform as the Chief is rendered curious and concurring (“ancestors, fate: everything is energy and convertible”).”