ATLAS Collaboration Members in Discussion
A group of ATLAS physicists in the Ohio State University office discussing a proton collision event display. (Image: CERN)
Technicians working inside the CMS detector in 2008 (Image: CERN)

Cooperation between nations, universities and scientists is the driving force behind CERN’s research.

As of 2017, more than 17 500 people from around the world work together to push the limits of knowledge. CERN’s staff members, numbering around 2500, take part in the design, construction and operation of the research infrastructure. They also contribute to the preparation and operation of the experiments, as well as to the analysis of the data gathered for a vast community of users, comprising over 12 200 scientists of 110 nationalities, from institutes in more than 70 countries.


Director for Accelerators and Technology
Director for Research and Computing
Director for International Relations
Director for Finance and Human Resources
Computer Centre 2017
Computer Centre 2017 (Image: CERN)
I learned a lot in my training at CERN — and not only technically. Here I got the courage to take on the impossible and to win. I lived during one of the most interesting half-centuries of particle physics — and now in biology, biomedicine, pharmaceutical research one encounters the same problems in integrating IT with experimental research. At CERN, I learned a few basic questions that work universally: What is it for? Why do we need it? Will it work? And if you make something useful that works, it will surely be praised and adopted.

Paolo Zanella came to the CERN computing group in 1962, just three years after the first computer had arrived. He later was head of the Data Handling Division for 13 years, before becoming professor at the University of Geneva.