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I finished writing this article while the 23rd International Conference on High‐Energy Physics was taking place in Berkeley. California. It was a wellorganized conference with a variety of theoretical talks, comprehensive plenary lectures and many reports on new experiments. Yet the atmosphere of the conference could be summed up in one word: waiting. The participants knew that no major experimental or theoretical advance in particle physics was to be announced at this conference. They listened to the experimental and theoretical results, but they were prepared to wait until the next conference for a breakthrough.
As particle physics becomes a deeper but more difficult field, there is too much emphasis on fashionable ideas and the search for anomalies, and too little reward for improving accelerators and detectors.