CERN membership for Ireland

There is a new initiative to attain membership in CERN for Ireland. This would be a huge boost to Irish fundamental research in particle physics:

Recently the director general of CERN, Rolf-Dieter Heuer, suggested that Ireland could become a member of CERN in the near future. However, due to the ongoing austerity and lack of funds there seems to be little ambition from the Irish government to find the necessary funds. As a result, “CERN membership for Ireland” has been established to encourage everyone interested in science in Ireland to visit our Facebook page designed to promote science and research discussion in Ireland. We also encourage you to sign the petition asking the government to provide the small amount needed to advance scientific research in Ireland. Please visit the link below to take part and please forward this to interested parties particularly if you are involved in publishing or education.

Thank you,
CERN membership for Ireland.

Sign the petition.

Visit the Facebook discussion page

According to a 2008 document from the Institute of Physics,

CERN Membership Fee – Why Join Now?

The membership fee is calculated on the basis of the nation’s net national income (generally around 74% of GDP). On the basis of Irish GDP for 2004/05/06, CERN estimates an annual fee of 22.05 MCHF (approximately €13 million at current exchange rates), which is comparable to some of the larger SFI grants. Financially it is particularly opportune for Ireland to join now as the other member states and the USA have already paid for the LHC and its detectors. Informal discussions with CERN suggest that the membership cost would be phased in over a transitional period of up to five years, during which the contribution would build up from 25% to 75% of the full contribution and there would be measures to build up the national capacity in particle physics and to allow for the development of research groups in specific areas so as to obtain maximum benefit from membership. Given Ireland’s current strengths in areas such as imaging and detector systems it seems very feasible that a cluster of research groups could be significantly strengthened by CERN membership and could dovetail with existing SFI research priorities. Such clusters currently exist in the UK, for example, the John Adams Institute and the Cockcroft Institute. Researchers in Ireland have already established good links with groups in the UK, Europe and the USA and would be in an excellent position to capitalise on these connections


Over the summer it was announced, “The head of CERN has told RTÉ News that Ireland could join the project for as little as €1 million.”


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