14 August 2017
By Bryan T. Smyth
Ireland should apply for full membership of CERN – the jewel in the crown of European scientific research, a Fine Gael Senator has said.
Senator Colm Burke said: “Twenty one European countries are members of CERN, while others are associate members. The Director General of CERN, Dr. Fabiola Gianotti, has made it very clear that the organisation would warmly welcome an Irish application to join.
“Joining CERN has strong support in the Irish scientific community. Joining would be a huge boost to science, technology, engineering and maths. Membership of CERN would send a clear signal to Irish scientists and students and the wider international scientific that Ireland is committed to advanced scientific research.
“Annual membership is around €10 million but it would be money well spent. Being a member of CERN would also allow Irish companies to compete for very lucrative contracts to supply the organisation.
“In the context of Brexit, joining CERN would also be a clear statement that Ireland is committed to important European wide projects. Negotiations to join should be accelerated and the money to do so should be provided in the October budget.
“CERN, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, is based in Geneva. It operates a network of six particle accelerators, including the Large Hadron Collider. CERN is the largest particle physics laboratory in the world and has been at the cutting edge of scientific research for many decades.
“As well as advanced discoveries in the field of particle physics, scientists at CERN also played a central role in the establishment of the World Wide Web.”