In a few short months from now, on 7 October, we’ll be formally inaugurating the CERN Science Gateway. The ceremony will mark the culmination of a project to which many of you have contributed, and the start of a new phase of sharing our passion and drive for science with our neighbours and people from around the world.
Science Gateway is CERN’s new flagship centre for science education and outreach. It will allow us to receive many more visitors than we’re able to welcome today, going a considerable way towards satisfying demand, which currently runs at over 300 000 requests for visits per year. It will also allow us to expand our education and outreach activities, reach new audiences from 5 years old and upwards, engage more with the local population, attract the young generation to careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and forge new links with science education and outreach centres in the Member States and beyond.
As well as being a vital window for science outreach and a source of inspiration for the public, Science Gateway will also be a vibrant part of CERN life. It will be a scientific hub, with its auditorium offering a venue complementary to the main auditorium with double the capacity. The first scientific event we will host is a symposium on 31 October to mark the 50th anniversary of the discovery of neutral currents and the 40th anniversary of the discovery of the W and Z bosons.
Science Gateway will open to the public on 8 October, the day after the inauguration ceremony. But before that happens, we plan to have an inauguration ceremony for the CERN community at the end of September, as well as two days of visits for members of the community and their families.
Between now and then, we’ll be bringing details of the project to you through a series of articles in the CERN Bulletin. These will cover all aspects of the new venue, from what Science Gateway will offer to the CERN community, through to the building’s architecture and the exciting exhibitions and activities that it will host.
Science Gateway would not have been possible without the generosity of our donors, who covered the full cost of the project, the support of the local authorities in Geneva, who accompanied us throughout all the administrative procedures, the help of the CERN & Society Foundation, and the hard and enthusiastic work of many CERN people and services. I would like to thank all of them very warmly.
Science Gateway is set to become the place where CERN’s science and the public meet. I’m personally very excited by the prospect of having a venue where our scientific activities take place alongside public events, and where CERN personnel will rub shoulders with visiting members of the public.