CERN, along with Peter Higgs and François Englert, today receives the Prince of Asturias Award for "the theoretical prediction and experimental detection of the Higgs boson." CERN Director-General Rolf Heuer will accept the prestigious prize on behalf of the Laboratory during a ceremony this afternoon at Oviedo’s Campoamor Theatre in Spain.
"I’m greatly honoured to receive, on behalf of CERN, the 2013 Prince of Asturias Award for Technical and Scientific Research, shared with Peter Higgs and François Englert," said Heuer. "This prize recognises the importance of the discovery and is an award for all scientists – experimentalists and theorists – who made it possible."
Spain’s scientific and industrial communities are strong contributors to the construction of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) and its experiments, which together make up the unique fundamental research facility at which the Higgs boson was discovered. Today Spanish physicists are heavily involved in analysing the data collected by the LHC experiments, with many more advances in our understanding of the universe anticipated.
The award ceremony will take place in the presence of Her Majesty the Queen of Spain and Their Royal Highnesses the Prince and Princess of Asturias. CERN management has decided that the prize to CERN will be used to offer ten grants for PhD students from around the world to attend next year’s major particle physics conference, the International Conference on High Energy Physics, ICHEP2014, in Valencia.
"The ICHEP conference is one of the most prestigious international conferences in the field of particle physics," said Heuer. "I am happy that this award makes it possible for CERN to allow ten students from around the world to attend next year".
The prize to CERN will also be used to launch a competition for school students in Spain. Pupils aged 6-18 will be challenged to submit a drawing, photo, video or a news article. Their entries will be evaluated through a public vote and by an expert committee involving scientists from CERN and CPAN, the Spanish Centre for Particle Physics, which will contribute to the competition with related outreach activities and awards. Six winners will be rewarded with a two-day visit to CERN. Full details of the competition will be available from 1 December on the CERNland children’s website.
"CERN shares with Fundación Principe de Asturias the wish to promote the importance of science and technology in our daily life and the importance of the collective effort to achieve ambitious objectives such as the discovery of the Higgs Boson," said Heuer. "The competition will involve hundreds of young pupils and will help us see how the younger generation perceives science and technology."