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‘Science Gateway’, science for all, launched in Geneva

Communicating science to the general public, especially young people. This is the aim of the Science Gateway in Geneva, the new gateway to the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN). The foundation stone was laid yesterday, 21 June, in front of the current entrance to the centre, headed by Fabiola Gianotti. ‘Science Gateway’ – which will accommodate up to 3,000 visitors – will be completed by the end of 2022.

The almost all-Italian project is by architect Renzo Piano and has the support of the Fca Foundation, the charitable arm of Stellantis, and the Agnelli Foundation, which have contributed some €40 million of the €70 million needed. The structures will be built by ICM SPA and CIMOLAI SPA, the two Italian companies that won the relevant tenders.

Covering an area of 7,000 square metres, the ‘Science Gateway’ will be housed in a new iconic ‘carbon neutral’ structure; it will consist of several solar-powered buildings, which will house experimental spaces and laboratories as well as exhibition areas. The 900-seat auditorium of the ‘Science Gateway’ will be dedicated to Sergio Marchionne, CEO of Fca who passed away in July 2018.

“A glass bridge will connect the different themes and parts of the ‘Science Gateway’ while also allowing a live encounter between researchers and children, visitors and physicists, tourists and scientists, all united by curiosity and a thirst for knowledge,” architect Piano explained at the opening ceremony. The exhibitions will also focus on CERN’s accelerators, the experiments carried out at the research centre and data processing, and how scientists use these resources in their research.

“The difficult times we have experienced over the last 18 months,” said Giannotti, “have demonstrated the enduring value of science and the need for cooperation across borders. Science brings people together and shows how much mankind can achieve when it sets aside differences and focuses on the common good. Science gives hope and confidence in a better future.

“This is a sign of great optimism. This is an ambitious project that will soon become a reality to help young people, as well as those who are not so young, understand what is done at CERN,” said Stellantis chairman John Elkann.

The ‘Science Gateway’, whose start of work is behind schedule due to the Covid emergency, was first presented in 2019; it has a popularising objective, that of stimulating curiosity and making science in all its dimensions known and loved by as many people as possible.

The presentation event was also attended by the chargé d’affaires a.i. of the Permanent Representation of Italy to the United Nations in Geneva, Cons Amb. Marie Sol Fulci. 

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