A good week for global collaboration in particle physics

This has been a good week for global collaboration in particle physics. On Wednesday, the CERN family grew by one Associate Member when we received official confirmation that the accession agreement signed last year had been ratified by the Turkish parliament, and on Thursday, we signed a new cooperation agreement with the US.


The signature of a new cooperation agreement between CERN and the US at the White House on Thursday, 7 May marks both a renewal of a long-standing friendship and a commitment to take the partnership further. Signed between CERN, the US Department of Energy and the US National Science Foundation, it is a framework agreement that paves the way for detailed accords on continued US participation in CERN’s scientific programme, and on European collaboration in projects hosted in the US, including prospective neutrino facilities. It is an agreement that is tacitly renewed every five years, unless one of the signatories signals a need to end or amend it.

I am particularly pleased that this agreement is in place. Not only does it continue a partnership that goes back to the very origins of CERN, but it also recognises the current status of the field, being perfectly aligned with the European Strategy for Particle Physics and the US Particle Physics Project Prioritization Panel (P5) recommendations for the global development of the field.

The accession of Turkey as an Associate Member also cements a long-standing partnership. Turkey became an Observer as far back as 1961, and Turkish scientists have been valued members of the CERN community ever since. Today, Turkey is involved in several CERN experiments along with the Worldwide LHC Computing Grid. Turkish scientists are also involved in CLIC and the Future Circular Collider study.

Science, and indeed society, thrives on collaboration. It is therefore with great pleasure that I welcome these developments.

Rolf Heuer