On 18 September, Microcosm will permanently close its doors. For 32 years, CERN’s first permanent on-site exhibition has been a window onto our Laboratory, close to its heart, reflecting our community’s desire to share the CERN story and to inspire future generations of scientists.
Microcosm exhibitions have progressed over the years through a series of revamps, becoming more interactive and reaching an ever-broader public. This progression continues as Science Gateway, due to open next year, takes up the baton.
The success of Microcosm has been driven by the close and fruitful ties between CERN’s exhibition teams and the research community. The time devoted to outreach by CERN researchers, their donation of objects, their participation in films and their creative input into the design of exhibits are indeed a determining factor in the enduring impact of CERN’s exhibitions. This authenticity, much appreciated by our visitors, will surely make the heart of Science Gateway beat, building on the experience of Microcosm and other exhibitions created over the years.
Microcosm’s current content will not be lost. Some of it will be reused elsewhere at CERN or for CERN’s travelling exhibitions, and some goes on to be used by institutes in our Member and Associate Member States. We continue to build important partnerships in this area. Naturally, much of the content goes to Science Gateway. Through its exhibitions and hands-on educational activities, Science Gateway takes over Microcosm's mission: to give people of all ages and from all walks of life the chance to find out about CERN’s discoveries, scientific research and technologies. And the exhibitions team will continue to share the material produced as widely as possible beyond the local area, working with museums and institutes developing content on CERN.
As Microcosm in its current form closes down, I thank the many, many Cernois involved in its three decades of success. I am looking forward to the forthcoming opening of Science Gateway, which will continue the proud tradition of public outreach and engagement, drawing on the expertise and enthusiasm of our community.
For more information about the history of Microcosm, read the article "Microcosm, 30 years telling CERN’s story".