Over the years, CERN has always been open to the scientific communities of all nations, overcoming political barriers. CERN scientists worked with their Soviet and US counterparts throughout the Cold War. It is no accident that many Eastern European countries joined CERN soon after the fall of the Berlin Wall. And today, scientists from all regions of the world rub shoulders at the Laboratory.
CERN was the prototype for scientific collaboration in Europe, and has given rise to organisations with remits ranging from astronomy to biology. The latest organisation to follow in CERN’s footsteps is SESAME, a laboratory for the Middle East in Jordan. That Israel and the Palestinian Authority should be among the founder members of SESAME may seem surprising, but perhaps no more so than the countries of Europe coming together in the wake of the Second World War to found CERN.