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European particle physics plots course for the future

Geneva, 15 December 2011. CERN1 Council today announced an Open Symposium to be held on 10-13 September 2012 at Cracow, Poland for the purpose of updating the European Strategy for Particle Physics. Council adopted Europe’s current strategy for the field in July 2006 with an understanding that it be brought up to date at appropriate intervals of typically five years.

Particle physics is a long-term field of research that requires long-term vision,” explained Tatsuya Nakada, Scientific Secretary to the European Strategy Session of Council, “With the LHC running well and results coming in, as well as promising prospects for a better understanding of non-LHC physics such as neutrino oscillations, now is the time to start preparing Europe’s role in the future development of particle physics.

The Open Symposium is part of a process designed to get the maximum input from the particle physics community and other stakeholders from both inside and outside Europe, since Europe’s strategy forms part of a global whole. Opinion will be solicited from the individual scientists who carry out the research, communities that stand to benefit and the research ministries that foot the bill. It will be organized by a preparatory group appointed by Council and will provide an opportunity for the worldwide particle physics community to express its views on the scientific objectives of the strategy. Submissions of written statements from individual physicists, groups of scientists representing specific interests, such as an experiment or a topic of theoretical research, will be solicited, along with contributions from institutions and organizations such as funding agencies and science ministries. After discussion in the Open Symposium, these will be made available to the European Strategy Group tasked by Council with drafting the updated strategy document under the chair of the Scientific Secretary.

Council will discuss the updated European strategy in March 2013 and will hold a special session in Brussels in early Summer 2013 to adopt the strategy. It is also expected that the update of the strategy will become an agenda item for the EU Council of Ministers meeting to be held at the same time.

CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, is the world's leading laboratory for particle physics. It has its headquarters in Geneva. At present, its Member States are Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Romania is a candidate for accession. Israel is an Associate Member in the pre-stage to Membership. India, Japan, the Russian Federation, the United States of America, Turkey, the European Commission and UNESCO have Observer status.