The French Research Minister visits CERN

On Friday, 6 June, the French Minister for Higher Education and Research, Valérie Pécresse, was welcomed by CERN Director-General, Robert Aymar.

Robert Aymar accompanies Valérie Pécresse and Bernard Accoyer on a visit to CMS.

At first, the Minister was given a tour of the CMS experiment and the LHC tunnel, accompanied by the President of the French National Assembly, Bernard Accoyer.

The delegation then took part in a round-table discussion. The main objective of the Minister’s visit was to obtain input on the organisation of large research infrastructures, based on information concerning CERN’s administrative and scientific configuration and the experiment collaborations. As J.-J. Blaising, Head of the PH Department, said, "CERN not only provides a material infrastructure but, through its capacity to bring a scientific community together around a common goal, ensures optimum use of the resources allocated to its field of research".

A dozen physicists took part in the round-table discussion, including the Director-General, project leaders, deputy spokesmen, members of the experiments, CERN personnel and users.

In the same context, the Minister mentioned that fields of biomedical research, such as Alzheimer’s disease and cancer, could benefit from pooling resources at the European level following the CERN example. With France set to take up the presidency of the European Union in a month’s time, the Minister promised to raise the issue of the future of the European computing grid as the current EGEE (Enabling Grids for E-sciencE) project nears completion.