Ireland to join CERN?

29 October 2018

Evidence was recently presented to the Oireachtas Committee for Business, Enterprise and Innovation on the benefits of Ireland joining the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN).

Ireland to join CERN?

The Institute of Physics has long campaigned for Ireland to join CERN and the recent entry of Ireland to the European Southern Observatory has only heightened the very anomalous position whereby within Europe only Ireland, Moldova and Bosnia have no formal agreement with CERN.

The group giving evidence included Professor Ronan McNulty, University College Dublin, Professor Sinead Ryan, Trinity College Dublin, Professor Brendan McClean St Luke’s Hospital, Professor Val O’Shea, University of Glasgow, Ed Hendrick, CEO Sonru and Dr Sheila Gilheany, Institute of Physics.

Over the course of more than an hour the group drew attention to a number of membership benefits including access to education and training, knowledge transfer, medical research, big data, business opportunities and public science engagement.

There was unanimous support from the TDs and senators present to Ireland joining CERN. It was noted that  in Innovation 2020, the report on the strategy for Ireland’s research and development, innovation and science, the government gave a commitment to initiate discussions on joining a number of international research organisations including CERN. While Ireland has now joined three of these organisations it has not yet agreed to joining CERN. 

A full transcript of the evidence presented is available.

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