CERN pays tribute to Herwig and Ingeborg Schopper

On 15 September CERN hosted a tribute to commemorate Herwig Schopper’s 85th birthday. The symposium was also dedicated to Schopper’s wife Ingeborg, who passed away on 14 September, and CERN’s Director-General Rolf Heuer led the audience in observing a minute of silence in her honour.

Herwig Schopper with his colleagues and friends at the symposium organised for his 85th birthday in the Main Auditorium.

Schopper’s role in world science has been enormous in such frontier fields as nuclear and particle physics as well as other areas of advanced scientific research; in the promotion of international scientific co-operation; and in the advancement of peace through scientific endeavour, to give only a few examples. He has served as Director of DESY, Director-General of CERN and President of the SESAME Council. His leadership has resulted in remarkable contributions towards the triumphs of these laboratories, characterised particularly by the successful construction of the LEP Collider.

During the symposium colleagues recalled his long scientific career in nuclear and particle physics and looked back at other areas of science to which Schopper has made decisive contributions and in which he retains an ardent interest.

Samuel Ting, recipient of the 1976 Nobel Prize in Physics and spokesperson of the AMS experiment, began with an overview of Schopper’s contributions to nuclear and particle physics.

Cecilia Jarlskog of Lund University took a trip back in time recalling Schopper’s pioneering work in the 1950s and 1960s on parity violation.

Moving beyond CERN, Albrecht Wagner, former Director of DESY, recalled Schopper’s support to the construction of the electron-positron collider PETRA in the period 1976-1978, the accelerator which turned DESY into a truly international high-energy physics laboratory.

Mariano Gago, Minister for Science, Technology and Higher Education of Portugal (and particle physicist), and Juan Antonio Rubio, Director-General of CIEMAT, evoked memories of Schopper’s essential part in the development of particle physics on the Iberian Peninsula and elsewhere in Europe.

Finally, Costas Papanicolas of the Cyprus Institute and Khalid Toukan of SESAME explained why the success of these research centres would not have been possible without the dedication of Schopper. His efforts have been a guiding force in bringing nations together through science in the eastern Mediterranean and in the Middle East regions.

Emmanuel Tsesmelis

The presentations and a recording of the symposium are available at: