Danish professor new vice-president of the CERN Council
Jens Jørgen Gaardhøje, a professor of particle physics and head of the Subatomic research group at the Niels Bohr Institute at the University of Copenhagen, has been elected as vice president of the CERN Council.
The international research centre CERN in Geneva is the world’s largest and leading research centre for particle physics. Researchers from around the world carry out collisions between atomic nuclei or nuclear particles in the 27 km long subterranean accelerator, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in order to unravel the fundamental structure of the universe. CERN has 21 member countries, which work together on the large research projects and more are on the way as associate members. In addition, there are also researchers from non-member countries, so it is a unique global scientific organisation.
Denmark participates in the research at CERN and has been involved in major breakthroughs like the Higgs particle in 2012. With the appointment of Professor Jens Jørgen Gaardhøje from the Niels Bohr Institute as vice-president of CERN’s Council, Denmark will now have a representative in CERN’s most senior management.
“It is very exciting to be a part of the senior management of the world’s largest centre for particle research and to help make the long-term decisions and to lay out the scientific strategies. What accelerator will eventually replace the LHC, one that is 100 km? What new technologies should we focus on? Are there new particles outside the Standard Model that can explain the 95 percent of the energy in the universe that we do not understand? It is important to be where things are discussed and the agenda is set,” explains Jens Jørgen Gaardhøje, who is looking forward to helping set the course for future research and development of an organisation that has a budget equal to that of the University of Copenhagen.
CERN’s Council is made up of national representatives from each of the 21 member states, but there has only been a Dane in senior management 3 times since the organisation was founded in 1954. As vice-president, Jens Jørgen Gaardhøje is elected for one year at a time and can remain in the post for three years. He will assume the post on 1 July 2016.