The European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) sits astride the Franco-Swiss border near Geneva. On 1 July 2014, CERN and UNESCO are organizing a ceremony at UNESCO’s headquarters in Paris to commemorate the birth of CERN sixty years ago.
The convention that formed the basis for the establishment of the European Organization for Nuclear Research in 1954 was signed by 12 founding Member States under the auspices of UNESCO in Paris on 1 July 1953.
Born just a few years after the end of the Second World War, CERN was one of Europe's first joint ventures. Today, CERN has 21 Member States and collaborates with many other countries around the world.
CERN is one of the greatest examples of successful scientific collaboration the world has ever seen. Physicists and engineers are probing the fundamental structure of the Universe. They use the world's largest and most complex scientific instruments to study the basic constituents of matter – the fundamental particles. These particles are made to collide at close to the speed of light. The process gives the physicists clues as to how the particles interact and provides insights into the fundamental laws of nature.
The instruments used at CERN are purpose-built particle accelerators and detectors. Accelerators boost beams of particles to high energies before the beams are made to collide with each other or with stationary targets. Detectors observe and record the results of these collisions.
The commemorative event is being held in Room I at UNESCO headquarters, situated at 125, Avenue de Suffren, Paris 7ème.
Read more about recent collaboration between UNESCO and CERN:
- A voyage to the Origins of the Universe – at UNESCO (October 2013)
- Bridging the digital divide (October 2012, EN, ES), A World of Science, volume 10, numéro 4
- Introducing the Higgs Boson (July 2012)