27 September 2013: Fast forward and rewind to our Origins

Origins is the EU co-funded project that will celebrate the 2013 Researchers Night on 27 September. For the first time, a webcast produced at CERN, UNESCO in Paris and the National Institute for Astrophysics (INAF) in Bologna, Italy will bring cosmologists and particle physicists to the stage. They will take us on a journey both back to the origins of our Universe and forward to the future scientific achievements that we expect to unveil its mysteries.


“The two infinities have never been so close” reads the motto of Origins, the international project led by the CERN Communication Group and selected by the European Union to receive funds under the seventh Framework Programme. “With the discovery of the Higgs boson at CERN in 2012 and the results on the Cosmic Microwave Background radiation recently published by the Planck collaboration, researchers have made progress towards solving some of the most profound mysteries of the Universe we live in. With Origins we want to celebrate the thousands of scientists who are finally harvesting the fruit of their research with such amazing achievements,” says the Origins project leader Paola Catapano, a member of the CERN Communication Group.

The project will feature “speed-dating” meetings between scientists and the public, and a show broadcast live on the web in English from Geneva, in French from Paris and in Italian from Bologna. “The three locations will be virtually connected throughout the show but each venue will have different guests and will organise satellite events for the local public,” says Paola.

The Origins show will see the participation of Nobel laureates as well as young researchers involved in projects carried out at CERN, ESA and  ESO and at national institutes such as INAF, which is co-ordinating the events in Italy. “Origins will be the main event organised for the Researchers Night in Bologna,” explains Luca Valenziano, a cosmologist at INAF and the 2013 event coordinator for Italy. “We will welcome renowned scientists from different fields to the stage to talk about their present and future research projects. Several artistic interludes, including a performance by a youth orchestra from Leipzig, will make the webcast even more enjoyable. The public will be involved throughout the programme and will take part in discussions with a scientific panel in person and also through the social media that we have set up for the event.”

The Paris event promises to be no less exciting, with the whole show to be held at UNESCO's headquarters. “We will involve our permanent delegations as well as scientists and artists to make a great event, which will feature international scientific cooperation amongst researchers and the importance of science education and its cultural and emotional dimensions,” says Sonia Bahri, Chief of Science Policy and Reform Section, Natural Sciences Sector at UNESCO.

Origins’s rich programme of events at three venues and in three languages is available on the website. To find out more about Origins, send an e-mail to origins.2013@cern.ch.

To make sure you stay up to date with Origins’s latest news and updates, follow it on the social networking channels: Facebook, Google Plus and Twitter.

by Antonella Del Rosso