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Zoe Louise Matthews | ASY-EOS | UK

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Austria no longer to lose CERN membership

Werner Faymann, Austrian Chancellor has recently announced that the country will not be pulling their CERN membership after all. This comes after Science Minister, Johannes Hahn, expressed the intention to quit by 2011 a few weeks ago, in order to focus on smaller international projects, in light of the economic crisis. As could have been expected, it was met with tremendous disagreement by the CERN community, and a petition was set up in protest (signed so far by over 32,000 physicists, myself included). The success of the petition was fuelled not only by the distress of the Austrian physicists involved with CERN but also by concerns from other countries that this could be the start of a chain reaction.

CERN membership is a demanding investment, but a project as large-scale as this can only work because many countries collaborate and work together to support it. In fact, it makes me proud and hopeful of humanity to think that something as fundamental and human as a quest to understand our universe can bring so many different people together to achieve so much. CERN stands for this. I hope endeavour like it never dies.

In particular, after 50 years of membership, the timing of this pull-out would have been heart-breaking. After making a crucial contribution to the incredible achievement of the LHC, to pull out at the very moment that this project begins to yield results, when all of the hard work will begin to be realised, would have been such a waste.

I know I speak for many people when I say, “Thank goodness for that.”

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2 responses to “Austria no longer to lose CERN membership”

  1. Robert says:

    yes, you do.

  2. Neil says:

    Hooray!