“Science is beautiful but also extremely useful,” former ATLAS Spokesperson, Fabiola Gianotti told an audience of thousands this week at the opening plenary session of EuroScience Open Forum (ESOF) 2014, in Copenhagen, Denmark.
ESOF is an open platform for debating science and a showcase for European and global research. This year's theme – Science Building Bridges – aimed to raise the public awareness of science and to strengthen the links between science and society.
Present at Gianotti's speech were Queen Margrethe II of Denmark, President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso and Danish Minister for Higher Education and Science, Sophie Carsten Nielsen. Participants at the conference ranged from scientists and researchers, journalists and science communicators to representatives of industry and policy makers. Gianotti and CERN Director-General Rolf Heuer spoke of the importance of fundamental research in a lively discussion about CERN and the world of particle physics.
Heuer told the conference delegates that of more than 30,000 particle accelerators in the world, about 15,000 are used in hospitals, a similar number are used in industry, while the remaining are used for scientific research. He also addressed his global vision for membership of CERN, saying, “Diversity is an opportunity. We have redefined the E in CERN from ‘Europe’ to ‘everywhere’.” Gianotti agreed: “Science doesn’t see borders. It is a huge unifying force. Our work is not just a scientific adventure; it is also a human adventure with very good life lessons.”
Four other sessions during the conference involved CERN scientists or those working on the LHC. The audience at “Detectives of the microcosm” were taken on a whirlwind journey covering over five decades of particle physics, as Tiziano Camporesi of CMS, Stephanie Hansmann-Menzemer of LHCb, Samira Hassani of ATLAS and André Mishcke of ALICE presented an overview of LHC results in a session moderated by CERN’s Head of Communication, James Gillies.
CERN’s Life Sciences Advisor Manjit Dosanjh moderated a session on cancer detection and treatment, and, along with CERN's Director for Research and Scientific Computing, Sergio Bertolucci and former CERN Director-General Chris Llewellyn Smith, also participated in an EIROforum-organized session called “Decoding the origin, fabric, and fate of life and the Universe”. Finally, former LHCb Spokesperson, Tatsuya Nakada, spoke at the session “What the Higgs do we do now?” on the global perspectives for the future of particle physics.
CERN also formally announced the restart schedule for the LHC, at a media briefing session at ESOF on 23 June.