Visiting CERN… like “common people”

Paul Young, the British pop star who made his name in the 80s, came to visit CERN on 17 December. His son brought him here because of his passion for science in general and physics in particular. Father and son found the visit exciting and CERN’s activities really thrilling. We could even expect a surprise for Paul's next visit…


The visiting group in the CMS Control Room (Photo credit: P. Geeraert, ESO).

Paul Young, famous for his interpretation of “Love of the Common People”, came to CERN because his teenage son is going to be studying A-level physics at school next year and wanted to visit the Laboratory. “I was fascinated by the visit. CERN is a place I didn’t know much about, but my son knows a lot more about science than I do. The explanations we got were great. We enjoyed the visit very much,” he said enthusiastically.

Paul Young and his son visited the CMS underground cavern with Michael Hoch. “The most interesting thing for me was when Michael said that physicists always remain sceptical. So, even when you discover something, you try to disprove it,” he commented. During their visit, Paul and his son were accompanied by CERN’s Rolf Landua, and Patrick Geeraert and Simon Lowery from ESO, who brought the artist to CERN. Martyn Ware (Human League, Heaven 17) used the opportunity to visit CERN for the second time, this time with his family.

“The visit made me feel rather humble. There are such big and great things going on… I now have a different underlying understanding of what I am doing myself,” concluded Paul. At the end of the short interview, we dared to ask if he could sing a couple of his songs for us next time he comes to CERN and he said, “I have just performed at the ESO Christmas party. I would be happy to do the same at CERN.” Seeing the enthusiasm in his eyes, we are not sceptical this time!



by Antonella del Rosso