Our world is everyone’s!

At the end of this month, CERN will embark on its most ambitious open day weekend to date, stretching the definition of the weekend to embrace four days from Friday to Monday.

The first to benefit will be our industrial partners, who have a dedicated day to themselves on Friday to discover CERN’s amazing world of technology, and the opportunities that await companies joining us on our adventure to explore the Universe. This transitions nicely into the European Researchers Night, an EU initiative that CERN has participated in for several years. This year, we’re partnering with the Italian National Institute for Astrophysics (INAF), and teaming up with ESA, ESO, UNESCO and the Italian National Institute for Nuclear Physics (INFN) to present a multi-centred night of our Origins to celebrate the sciences of the infinitesimally small and the infinitely large. There will be webcast talks from a celestial range of speakers and opportunities for participants to speed-date a scientist for a discussion about science and technology.

The core of the weekend is, of course, our two public days during which visitors will be treated to a smorgasbord of activities spread between our Meyrin and Prévessin campuses, as well as at six points around the LHC ring. All in all, there will be some 41 visit points at which we’ll be showcasing our prowess in science and technology. At Meyrin, people will get their first chance to see our new SynchroCyclotron visitor point, showcasing CERN’s original particle accelerator. There will also be visits of other accelerators - and a decelerator - and an international village where we’ll be joined by our friends from other international organisations. At Prévessin, the AMS centre will be open, as will the CCC and experimental halls, and it’s at Prévessin that one of our perennial favourites will be – the metrologists’ stand. There will also be plenty to do at the sites around the LHC ring, including visits underground for those with tickets. At CMS, for example, visitors will have the chance to see a world première performance of Quantum, the new work by the award-winning Gilles Jobin, which brings together CERN’s first two artists in residence as Jobin teams up with Julius von Bismarck.

If you’re planning to come, please take a close look at the Open Days web pages to find your most convenient car park, since access to the CERN site by car will only be possible for people volunteering or working. Note also that some of the roads around CERN will be closed for safety reasons.

When it’s all over, the final act will be a party for you, the CERN personnel, on Monday night at Prévessin with exceptional performances by the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande and the Alan Parsons Live Project. It promises to be a memorable weekend, and should be a lot of fun.

Open Days are vital for our engagement with our neighbours, and those who come from further afield, but they are a lot of work for many of us. To all those who have volunteered over the weekend, I’d like to say thanks! Let’s make this a great event!

More information:
Open Days: www.cern.ch/opendays
Origins: www.origins2013.eu

Rolf Heuer