A memorable week

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This has been a memorable week for CERN, starting with the award of a Special Fundamental Physics Prize and ending with the handover of the CERN Council Presidency from Michel Spiro to Agnieszka Zalewska. In between, the LHC team demonstrated its expertise with a successful pilot run with 25 nanosecond bunch spacing, a new application for Associate Membership was received, and we had good news on the budget.

The award of the Fundamental Physics Prize, and the manner in which it was divided between ATLAS, CMS and the LHC, is fitting recognition of the efforts of the thousands of people who have contributed over many years to the success of our flagship scientific endeavour. In making the award, the Milner Foundation aims to raise the profile of fundamental physics and its value to society. The Fundamental Physics Prize comes hot on the heels of the European Physical Society’s first Edison Volta Prize, which Sergio Bertolucci, Steve Myers and I were honoured to accept on behalf of the entire LHC community.

Rising to the occasion of these accolades, the LHC demonstrated how much it merits this recognition by successfully running with a record 2,748 bunches per beam and 25 nanoseconds between bunches. This is a vast achievement, allowing the machine’s first three years of proton running to end on a high note, and presaging a strong restart in 2015 after the LHC’s first long shutdown reaches a conclusion.

In other Council business, we received a new application for Associate Membership, delivered in person by Russian Education and Science Minister Dmitry Livanov. Russia joins Brazil, Turkey and Ukraine as applicants for Associate Membership. I am also pleased to report that CERN’s budget closes the year in good health. There has been much speculation through the year about the potential impact of the Eurozone crisis on CERN’s budget, so I am happy to report that payments are being received from all our Member States: a strong indication of the importance they all attach to CERN’s mission.

There were two new appointments. Frederick Bordry will take over from Steve Myers as Director for Accelerators and Technology on 1 January 2014, and Miguel Jimenez will replace Frederick Bordry as TE Department Head.

Finally, at the end of a full Council week, it remains only for me to thank Michel Spiro warmly for his years of service as President of Council through a period marked by a particularly strong relationship between Management and Council, and to welcome Agnieszka Zalewska to the role. I’m sure you will all join me in wishing her well.