CERN celebrates 60 years of science for peace

Geneva, 18 March 2014. CERN is celebrating 60 years of science for peace in 2014, with events at the Organization’s Geneva laboratory and in its Member States. Festivities will focus on two key events. The first is on 1 July at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, where the Organization’s 12 founding members established the CERN Convention on 1 July 1953. The second marks CERN’s 60th birthday, 29 September, the date on which the Convention was ratified 60 years ago and the Organization formally came into existence. It will be celebrated in Geneva. CERN’s membership has now grown to 21 states, with many countries from beyond Europe also taking part.

CERN’s origins can be traced back to the late 1940s, when a divided Europe was emerging from the ashes of war. A small group of visionary scientists and public administrators, on both sides of the Atlantic, identified fundamental research as a potential vehicle to rebuild the continent and foster peace in a troubled region. It was from these ideas that CERN was born on 29 September 1954, with a dual mandate to provide excellent science, and to bring nations together.

Representatives of the CERN Member States and other countries participating in the Organization’s scientific programme have been invited to take part in the Paris and Geneva events, which will look back at CERN’s accomplishments with a focus on the role that the Organization has played in fostering peaceful cross border collaboration in Europe and beyond. Events planned by the Member States to mark the anniversary include exhibitions and public lectures, details of which can be found on the 60th Anniversary website.

CERN is a shining example of what can be achieved when people of different nationalities and cultures come together to pursue common goals said CERN Director General Rolf Heuer. In drawing up the CERN Convention back in 1953, the Organization’s founding fathers established a European blueprint for global collaboration that remains a unique model for scientific and technological excellence. By bringing together scientists from all parts of the world, CERN demonstrates how science unites nations and contributes to a better world.

CERN’s excellence in science and technology are well established, as the Large Hadron Collider and the discovery of the Higgs boson have recently shown, so for our 60th anniversary, we’ve chosen to put the spotlight on the less tangible, but equally important, aspect of the Organization’s role in fostering peace said President of the CERN Council, Agnieszka Zalewska. In the spirit of the CERN convention, CERN has always been inclusive, hosting scientists from all parts of the world. As a result, CERN today hosts scientists of over 100 nationalities, all working harmoniously together.

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