The President of the Swiss Confederation, Guy Parmelin, honoured CERN with his presence on Friday, 5 November 2021. He was accompanied by representatives of the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research (DEFR) and the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (DFAE). At Point 1 of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the Swiss Head of State met Director-General Fabiola Gianotti, Director for Research and Computing Joachim Mnich, Director for Accelerators and Technology Mike Lamont, Director for International Relations Charlotte Warakaulle, Director for Finance and Human Resources Raphaël Bello, Head of Member State Relations Paul Collier and Professor Felicitas Pauss from ETH Zurich, who was the President ad interim of the Foundation Council of the Swiss National Science Foundation from 2018 to 2019.
Guy Parmelin and Fabiola Gianotti visited the ATLAS experiment cavern with collaboration spokesperson Andreas Hoecker and physicists from ATLAS. Mike Lamont, joined by young Swiss researchers, then welcomed the delegation to Point 1 of the LHC tunnel. Back on the surface, the Swiss President visited the large magnet assembly facility in Building 180 and rounded off his visit with a discussion with young Swiss scientists and engineers at the Globe of Science and Innovation, from where he was also able to view the progress of the CERN Science Gateway construction works.
Switzerland’s importance for CERN cannot be overstated. Hosted on Swiss soil since 1954, the Organization has enjoyed the steadfast support of the Swiss government ever since, and has benefited from invaluable contributions from Swiss industry and the country’s particle physics community. That community, spearheaded by institutes renowned for their theoretical and experimental physics programmes, is particularly active in the ATLAS, CMS and LHCb experiments at the LHC.