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Multiplying dimensions

CERN’s director for research and computing Sergio Bertolucci on why he's a confirmed fan of TED talks


A few weeks ago, I had a vague notion of what TED was, and how it worked, but now I’m a confirmed fan. It was my privilege to host CERN’s first TEDx event last Friday, and I can honestly say that I can’t remember a time when I was exposed to so much brilliance in such a short time.

TEDxCERN was designed to give a platform to science. That’s why we called it Multiplying Dimensions – a nod towards the work we do here, while pointing to the broader importance of science in society. We had talks ranging from the most subtle pondering on the nature of consciousness to an eighteen year old researcher urging us to be patient, and to learn from our mistakes. We had musical interludes that included encounters between the choirs of local schools and will.i.am, between an Israeli pianist and an Iranian percussionist, and between Grand Opera and high humour. And although I opened the event by announcing it as a day off from physics, we had a quite brilliant talk from our own Gian Giudice on what can be learned from a single number, and a series of animations on physics-related themes prepared in collaboration with TED Ed.

TEDxCERN was a brilliant event, and its impact will go far beyond last Friday. Over the coming weeks, videos of all the talks will be posted on our website, and, we hope, some may make it to the main TED website, which recently celebrated its billionth video viewing.

Another thing that impressed me about TEDxCERN was the quality of the event, which I know was run by a core team and a lot of volunteers. You did a fantastic job. You can be very proud of yourselves, and I’d like to thank you for helping us multiply the dimensions through which CERN connects science to society. I, for one, am already looking forward to the next TEDxCERN!