Harrison B. Prosper and Albert De Roeck

Early one morning, residents of the Pathum Wan District of Bangkok were greeted to the rare spectacle of dozens of physicists in formal attire walking the streets of Bangkok on their way to meet Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn of Thailand. Our host delivered a crash course in Palace etiquette, which happily prevented any faux pas, thereby confirming the widely reported observation that physicists can be taught. But some rehearsals of the Royal protocol and parts of the ceremony were indispensable to ensure a flawless outcome. Our host also explained how to avoid being accidentally struck by two-wheeled vehicles: we should not assume that where people walk is only for people. Then, at 8:30 am local time, Her Royal Highness made her majestic entrance and heads dutifully turned and bowed as required. Her Royal Highness, a gracious woman with a passion for science and education, formally opened the last CMS collaboration meeting of 2019; allowed a few of us to be photographed with her; mingled briefly in a disarmingly relaxed way with those sitting in the front row;   bid us farewell, and took her leave. Within half an hour we were back in the meeting venue, the Mandarin Hotel, looking our usual comfortable disheveled selves except for the few who prefer not to dress in sacks.

Almost two hundred CMS physicists, of all ages, gathered for the CMS Week in Bangkok, a six-century old city, which today is a vibrant cosmopolitan metropolis of more than eight million people. The CMS Week, hosted by Chulalongkorn University, began with a “state of the collaboration” report by the CMS Spokesperson, Roberto Carlin, who gave a characteristically masterful overview of where we are and where we are going. Then followed reports from the Collaboration Board (CB), the Upgrade Project, Physics Coordination, and Technical  Coordination. The afternoon was devoted to parallel sessions. The first day ended with a pleasant reception at the Mandarin.

The following morning there were plenary talks on the CMS detector upgrade, followed in the afternoon with parallel sessions including a meeting of the CB. This three-hour meeting ended just in time for its chair, Harrison Prosper, to give a public lecture entitled Frontiers in high energy physics: In search of a smoother pebble. A second public lecture, The Mysterious Neutrino: what do we know today, was given by Albert De Roeck, CMS pioneer and energetic global ambassador. Day three was mostly devoted to lessons learned from the Phase-1 upgrade and to a discussion of the Run 3 schedule, as announced by CERN the Friday before the meeting. Thursday was devoted to preparations for Run 3 and beyond, diversity in CMS and a special Young Scientist session. The meeting concluded with half a day of reports on recent physics highlights, followed by a wonderful banquet on the Chao Phraya River. Throughout the week the participants got spoiled with lunches and breaks featuring local delicacies. One thing for sure, we each gained a little mass during the week, and this was not the fault of slightly different Higgs boson couplings in Bangkok.

Years from now, this remote CMS Week will be fondly remembered and for that we warmly thank our colleagues Burin Asavapibhop, Chayanit Asawatangtrakuldee, Narumon Suwonjandee, and Phat Srimanobhas.

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