Prince of Asturias awards: a cultural programme open to all

On Thursday 24 October, CERN’s Director for Research and Computing Sergio Bertolucci joined Nobel Laureates Peter Higgs and François Englert in meeting with hundreds of students at Oviedo University. A series of exhibitions and events is being organised for the Spanish public through the cultural programme set up by the Prince of Asturias Foundation in the framework of the Prince of Asturias Awards Ceremony.


(From left to right) François Englert, Peter Higgs, Sergio Bertolucci and Rolf Heuer celebrate their prize with students at Oviedo University.

The programme for the Awards Week designed by the Prince of Asturias Foundation includes about 20 different cultural activities, including talks, exhibitions, film screening, working meetings and public events held in the capital of Asturias, Oviedo.

This year, since CERN is among the laureates of the prestigious award bestowed by the Foundation, the cultural events also featured members of the CERN Directorate. On Thursday 24 October, CERN’s Director for Research and Computing Sergio Bertolucci met with students at Oviedo University and, together with the other speakers including Peter Higgs, François Englert and members of the Science Faculty, encouraged them to continue their research careers. “I was delighted to talk to the students in Oviedo and to share with them the enthusiasm to be involved in the scientific adventure,” said Sergio Bertolucci. “Knowledge and science are the best antidotes to the economic downturn and students have – and should keep – the optimism of their natural curiosity. This is the successful recipe for a sustainable future.”

The meeting was broadcast live on screens throughout the University campus and was followed by hundreds of students. Speakers and participants were also entertained by stand-up comedians after the meeting. The eventful day drew to a close with a concert by the Symphony Orchestra of the Principality of Asturias and the Choir of the Prince of Asturias Foundation.

The physicists giving a public lecture, at Oviedo University.

CERN scientists were also featured on the day of the awards ceremony, with a scientific talk given at the Faculty of Science of Oviedo University by CERN theorist Luis Alvarez-Gaume. “The lecture was followed by students and other members of the Physics Faculty,” said Luis Alvarez-Gaume. “We enjoyed their enthusiasm, their interest and, of course, their many questions!”

The lectures were followed by a buffet-lunch where the award winners and their friends could exchange experiences and views in an informal and friendly atmosphere. “It was an opportunity for us to meet with top-level artists, writers, and people coming from other disciplines and fields,” said Luis Alvarez-Gaume. “It was a very enriching experience! Many of them expressed their interest in visiting CERN and I really hope to have the opportunity to meet them again.”

One of the aims of the cultural programme organised during the Prince of Asturias Awards Week is to enable the general public to meet with the laureates and get a better understanding of their work and achievements. This aim is also fulfilled through the wide coverage of the whole series of events – including, of course, the awards ceremony – in the Spanish and Latin-American press. If you missed the live events, videos from selected events will shortly be made available on the Foundation website

by Antonella Del Rosso