Celebrating with our neighbours

CERN’s 60th anniversary is all about celebrating 60 years of science for peace with people who matter to us. High on that list are our neighbours, and that’s why we’ve devoted two days just for them on 24 and 25 May. There will also be a special day of visits to CMS for local schools, and we’ll be taking part in the celebrations for the 200th anniversary of Geneva’s entry to the Swiss Confederation.


It is without doubt that over our 60 years, CERN has had a significant impact on the region. We are a vital part of international Geneva, our economic impact on the region is significant, and our people are involved in all walks of life in the French and Swiss communities where they live.

Over recent years, we have stepped up our efforts to engage more strongly with our neighbours, and share with them the passion and excitement of our research. Our Open Days were originally conceived for the local community. Since 2009, we have invited representatives of the communities around us, and of international Geneva, for a now traditional New Year’s ceremony in order to inform them of what is scheduled for the coming year. And after asking our neighbours how they’d like us to engage with them more, we’ve helped in the development of scientific tourism, and we’ve launched a very successful programme for primary schools, which has made appearances in classrooms as far away as Mexico and Argentina.

Over the weekend of 24 and 25 May, people living around the LHC ring who have signed up for tickets at the CERN reception, town halls or tourist information offices listed on our website for neighbours will have the opportunity to visit the CMS detector at point 5 in Cessy, LHCb at point 8 in Ferney-Voltaire, or the LHC at point 4 in Echenevex. Although underground visits are by reservation, anyone coming to point 5 will have a range of activities to entertain them on the surface. The following Monday at CMS is dedicated to local schools, while at the end of the month, we’ll be present throughout the Ascension Day weekend of celebrations marking Geneva’s entry to the Swiss confederation.

I’d like to thank all of you who have volunteered to help over the weekend of 24-25 May, and encourage you all to spread the word among your friends and neighbours. For anyone still wishing to volunteer, you can do so here. CERN’s relationship with our local communities is an important one, and this is an opportunity for us to show them what an amazing neighbour they have.

Rolf Heuer