Science and peace: taste the magic in the blend

1954: CERN was born. The Laboratory was the first scientific pan-European endeavour. Just a few years after the Second World War, twelve European countries joined forces and built what has become the world’s largest particle physics laboratory. In 2014, CERN will celebrate 60 years of cutting-edge science for peace.


It all started in 1949, when French Nobel-Prize-winning physicist Louis de Broglie called for the creation of a European laboratory. The idea was quickly adopted and, in 1953, twelve countries signed the Convention for the establishment of a European Organization for Nuclear Research under the auspices of UNESCO. “Next year we will celebrate the event with UNESCO in Paris at the beginning of July,” says Sascha Schmeling, general co-ordinator of the 60th anniversary celebrations. “We have invited one of the founding fathers of CERN, the French diplomat François de Rose, to take part, and he has accepted the invitation with enthusiasm.”

The events in Paris will be followed by celebrations on 29 September for CERN’s actual birthday. “We are planning events for the personnel, the scientific community and the local and international public,” says Schmeling, adding: “All the CERN Member States are invited to hold their own celebrations and some of them have already shared with us their ideas.”

All the events will be coordinated by the CERN team in charge of the celebrations, who will offer help and support to all the participating stakeholders. “Regardless of where the events take place, our common goal is to highlight the role of science as a motor for peace and progress and to stress the importance of sharing science as widely as possible through education and training,” Schmeling remarks.

The countdown to CERN’s 60th anniversary has started. The official logo has already been launched and the effervesc(i)ence is spreading. If you have already planned an event and think it should be included in the official programme of anniversary-related celebrations, please email

Calendar of events and celebrations

Autumn 2013: launch of the “Beamline for schools” competition – a call for submissions of actual experiments to be conducted by school students on a dedicated beamline at the PS.

Spring 2014: inauguration of the “S’cool Lab” – a space where teachers and students will be able to perform small experiments; inauguration of the Synchrocyclotron exhibition.

Beginning of July: Joint CERN-UNESCO event in Paris.

29 September: Celebration of CERN's anniversary with highest-level representatives from Member States.

7 October: Celebration of the anniversary of the first Council session.

Throughout the year 2014: A series of historical, scientific, and technological colloquia to be held at CERN; special initiatives for the local community; arts events.

Please note that the list of events might change. Some of the events listed above will be by invitation only.


by Antonella Del Rosso