Voir en


CERN to change name for 70th Anniversary

The Organization’s new name, Network of Experiments for Research and Development in Society, encapsulates the true nature of the Laboratory in 2024


new logo
The Organization’s new logo. The correct usage of the branding can be found on the Design Guidelines website.

Update: Did you enjoy our April Fools’ day story? CERN is indeed celebrating its 70th anniversary, but without changing its name. For the complete CERN70 anniversary events and programme of activities, visit cern.ch/cern70.

Since its inception in 1954, CERN has grown from a small group of physicists from a handful of countries to a thriving international hub for science and technology. This is why, on the occasion of the Laboratory’s 70th Anniversary, the time has come for the name to be adapted to reflect its new role in society. The new name, the Network of Experiments for Research and Development in Society, will come into force on 1 October 2024, at the Laboratory’s 70th birthday party.

The acronym CERN was borne from an intergovernmental meeting of UNESCO in Paris in December 1951. This is when the first resolution concerning the establishment of a European Council for Nuclear Research (in French Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire, or CERN) was adopted. Two months later, an agreement was signed establishing the provisional Council – and the name “CERN” stuck. However, today, our understanding of matter goes much deeper than the nucleus, and “CERN” is now widely viewed across the scientific community as an outdated and exclusionary name.

“The word “nuclear” doesn’t really reflect the full breadth of scientific research we do here,” says Noah Lott, Head of Rebranding at the Organization. “Network of Experiments for Research and Development in Society indicates the range of particle physics, computing, engineering and technology research that takes place at the Laboratory, as well as its impact on society.”

“We are also no longer just a European organisation, as we have grown to a global community encapsulating more than 80 countries,” adds Ivana Reed, spokesperson for international relations at the Laboratory. “We feel that everyone, no matter who they are, will feel accepted and proud to be associated with NERDS.”

A dedicated working group – the Decision for a Unified Moniker Board – was created in 2021 to assess potential options for the new name. “NERDS is so much more memorable and inclusive than CERN,” explains Wirall Geex, president of the working group. “Since we are a global network of varied experiments, we hope the new name will remove negative stereotypes about the type of people who work at the Organization,” he adds, pushing up his glasses.

NERDS was chosen by the working group out of a list of names put forward by the CERN community. Among the high contenders were A Large International Experimental Network (ALIEN), the High Energy Laboratory for Physics (HELP), and the initial frontrunner, the Global Organization for Discovery (GOD). However, following a spirited debate in the working group, GOD was discarded on account of unfortunate echoes of the “God particle” – the controversial name accidentally given to the Higgs boson in 1993.

NERDS looks forward to continuing to be at the forefront of scientific research for the next 70 years and beyond.