For a long time, scientists at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia have heard the same question: Why does particle physics matter? Together with our partners at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, 29 physicists from 22 institutions were brave enough to provide a short answer to that question on video.
Fermilab posted all videos (each one about a minute long) on YouTube, and through its online magazine, symmetry, it has started a contest to choose the best of the top five.
If you want a taste of the videos, here is a compilation trailer.
The contest will run for two weeks. If you'd like to vote in the contest, you can do so here.
The answers the physicists gave were both grand-scale and personal, ranging from the importance of science education to the technological benefits of pure research, and from the stirring desire to understand the universe to the simple human need to answer the questions our children have.
You can see a full playlist of all the videos here:http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLVuf4hejm7rWnVsRcULB6wlrW3k6klOes.