Saša Novak, a member of Fusion Expo Team in the Slovenian Fusion Association and a materials scientist at the Jožef Stefan Institute, recounts her personal excitement at being involved in management and hosting Fusion Expo.

Every time Fusion Expo is on the road, one of my favorite tasks is clicking on the yellow star in the morning. That takes me to a site which is regularly updated by Melita Lenošek, the project leader and the main driving force of the Fusion Expo team. On the fi rst day I usually see that the truck has just arrived safely on site or I fi nd pictures of the team unloading the boxes. A day or two later, I am looking at pictures of bright faces and happy smiles, people wearing ties and skirts, and I am wondering who might be in the fi rst row: A minister for science or perhaps a city major or a dean? Is this lady a journalist? No, that’s probably the one who holds a microphone. I can easily recognise the organizer by his or her most enthusiastic smile. Oh, yes, and here are Melita and the boys who just fi ni shed another great job. They have changed out of their “Fusion Expo Team” t-shirts into smart jackets and they seem happy, too. Over the next days, I frequently click on the yellow star for news. Sometimes I fi nd reports in journals, a link to a TV broadcast of the event or a new set of pictures. These I like the most. I enjoy looking at the photos of young children working hard to produce more energy on the bicycle than their schoolmates. I like seeing the blue refl ections of the plasma tongues in the visitor’s admiring faces and a crowd of hands reaching out to touch the plasma ball. And I relish looking at a group of people of all different ages deep in thought standing listening to a guide who cannot and doesn’t even try to hide that he enjoys his role guiding people through the exhibition.

What can be better than sitting at the computer, seeing that everything goes well? Being aware that as I watch, more and more European citizens understand the concept of using fusion as an energy source for the future and more and more people are telling their friends about the construction of ITER? What can be better than knowing that more and more journalists understand our quest and may be in a position to write about fusion? That more and more politicians are considering fusion a viable option and might one day join in with a supportive statement at the right occasion?

Oh yes! For me, even better than just observing the “reports” from the exhibitions around Europe, is playing an active role by hosting such an event. I can tell you: it is a fantastic feeling, taking one last look around the hall on the evening of the opening ceremony: is everything ok, who is in the audience, is the director here, how many journalists have come? And fi nally to signal: Let’s start! It’s nice secretly observing the effect that the work we have put in has on the faces of our guests during the ceremony. And after all, it’s a pleasure taking pictures during the event and uploading them to the web page, knowing that somewhere else someone might click on the yellow star to follow the Fusion exhibition from their computer.

There are a number of people who know exactly what I am writing about. Last year’s hosts will probably have very fresh memories of the excitement of hosting the Fusion Expo: Prof. Gulbinski in Koszalin, Prof. Dabrowski in Szczecin, Prof. Broda in Lodz, Dr. Jarozs in Katowice, Dr. Boilson in Dublin and Ms. Whelan in Cork.