Science bringing nations together - by Alexey Sissakian, Academician of RAS, Director of the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research, 1st Deputy Chairman of the Russian Pugwash Committee (April, 2009)
Abstract of paper, presented to the 58th Pugwash Conference on Science and World Affairs
the Hague, April 17-20, 2009
The 1950’s were a time of frantic development in nuclear physics in many countries of the world. Despite the opposition between two superpowers with differing political systems, the Soviet Union and the United States, scientists sensed the need for international cooperation in the sphere of peaceful usage of atomic energy. Touching upon the interest of many countries, and in essence of all humanity, particularly large-scale expenditure, the quickly growing complexity and depth of scientific research required the unification of materials and intellectual resources of the world. The cooperation of scientists became not only a realistic demonstration of alternatives to feuding governments, but also an essential stimulus for the peaceful usage of atomic energy.
In 1954, the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) was founded not far from Geneva. One and a half years later, on March 26, 1956, through the initiative of the Soviet government, the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research (JINR) was founded in Dubna, a city near Moscow, and the founders of which, at that time, became the eleven states of the Socialist camp. It is noteworthy that both winners and losers in World War II found their place among the member states of CERN and JINR.
Founded like political competitors in the field of science, CERN and JINR, soon after their creation, demonstrated unprecedented cooperation of scientists from different countries, and in reality, effectively opposed the policies of the Cold War and the Iron Curtain. These organizations provided the only realistic possibility at that time for unification of the efforts of countries with different political systems in the field of fundamental sciences. Today we can state, that apart from their remarkable scientific discoveries and breakthroughs in fundamental science they have also created a shining model of international collaboration bringing nations together.
The traditional, joint exhibition of CERN and JINR, called “Science Bringing Nations Together,” successfully passed into many capitol cities in Europe and Asia.