Three ingredients for a healthy future

In my messages, I usually focus on one subject at a time. This week, however, there are three points I wish to draw to your attention: safety, the Laboratory’s urban plan and the opening up of CERN to potential new  Member States.

The first two are featured in this issue of the Bulletin, while the opening of CERN will be covered in a future issue. So on that subject, all I wish to say for now is that I believe it’s a very important step not only for CERN, but also for particle physics in general. Over recent meetings, resolutions adopted by the Council offer countries all over the world the opportunity to participate in our programmes in a fair and equitable way, while at the same time ensuring that CERN is ready to play its part in a future large project wherever in the world it may be.

Let me now move on to safety. Always at the top of this Laboratory’s agenda, we have decided to reinforce CERN’s safety culture by putting the emphasis on occupational health & safety, and environmental protection (HSE). The HSE Unit reports directly to me, and responds to a need to provide active support to the Departments, which will continue to be responsible for safety at the Departmental level. I encourage you to explore the HSE Unit’s website, and to give this Unit your full support.

At a first glance, a casual observer might be forgiven for thinking that urban planning is not top of CERN’s agenda. In reality, the Laboratory’s infrastructures have grown organically over the years to reflect contemporary needs. In the past, this has suited us well, but today it’s clear that some parts of our sites are over populated while others are empty, and we are not using our sites in an optimum way. We’ve therefore taken the opportunity to include a look at CERN’s land use in the context of the ongoing project that brings together the Cantons of Geneva and Vaud with the Departments of Ain and Haute-Savoie to plan the future of the Franco-Valdo-Genevois agglomeration. CERN’s urban plan fits well into this overall picture and covers all aspects of our buildings, mobility and landscapes. It is due to be ready for implementation by 2013.

Safety, urban planning and opening our doors to potential new members are three very diverse subjects that may not seem to have much in common. Taken together, however, they add up to a healthy future for CERN.

Rolf Heuer