CERN celebrates 70 years of collaboration, discovery and innovation

30 January 2024

European particle physics lab CERN kicks off its 70th anniversary celebrations in 2024 with a public event in Geneva on Tuesday, Jan. 30. CERN was founded in 1954, in part by the Netherlands, to rebuild science in Europe after the war and promote peaceful cooperation.

The festivities are the run-up to the official commemoration on Oct. 1, 2024. The program includes many events and activities for all kinds of audiences, both at CERN itself and at member countries. In the Netherlands, Nikhef is organizing a CERN tour of technical courses at colleges and universities in the fall.

“CERN’s achievements over the 70 years of its history show what humanity can do when we put aside our differences and focus on the common good,” said Fabiola Gianotti, Director General of CERN. “This anniversary is also a great opportunity to look forward. CERN’s wonderful journey of discovery into the fundamental laws of nature and the constituents of matter will continue in the future with new, more powerful instruments and technologies.”

On Jan. 30, the CERN70 year kickoff will take the shape of a public event in the Science Gateway at CERN, featuring a combination of science and art, and discussions with prominent scientists about CERN and its achievements. The meetings can be followed online, and are co-presented by Nikhef researcher and TikTok blogger Clara Nellist.

CERN now has 32 member countries and 10 aspiring members. The lab, with the world’s largest particle accelerator, involves more than 17 thousand researchers from 110 countries. The lab delivered numerous scientific and technical discoveries in its existence so far, from the wire chamber in 1968 to the Higgs particle in 2012. The Netherlands and Nikhef were and are intensively involved in these. CERN was also the birthplace of the World Wide Web, and develops techniques for medical diagnostics.

In the fall issue of Nikhef magazine DIMENSIES, a Dutch language article appeared about the history of CERN and the role of the Netherlands. The article can also be read in English below. [PDF version]