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At CERN, Science Unites A Divided World

Geneva:  From conflicts that chafe foreign shores to ones closer home, examples of a world divided are for everyone to see. There is no dearth of points of friction that drive humanity further away from itself.

In this backdrop, CERN or the European Organization for Nuclear Research represents a united global village of scientists, are who shining examples of what the world can achieve if it just works together. It is here that 10,000 scientists from 100 different countries working without much care for their differences.

A metal placard at the facility in Geneva, Switzerland, bears an invite to CERN staff for a party thrown by Israeli and Palestanian students to celebrate the fact that science brings people together.

Speaking to NDTV which visited CERN recently, a Qatari scientist reflected the sentiment of his colleagues who are working with a renewed sense of uniting a divided world through discoveries that suggest the reasons the world is fighting over don’t even exist.

Othmane Bouhali, a Research Professor from Qatar at CERN, said, “Some people in the world are going in the other direction, but CERN is going in the right direction. Even if there is that conflict, there’s always a hope that at a certain moment scientists will take control and reason will win.”

Twenty people are forcibly displaced every minute as a result of conflict in the world, according to the UN refugee agency. Discoveries at CERN could end the reasons for that conflict.  

Asked whether scientists at CERN are trying to prove that religion and God have nothing to do with life, Rende Steerenberg, Head of Operators team, at CERN, said, “Yes, there is a physics reason behind it, behind everything, and what we should, try and do, is to find out how the world was built and then how to connect this with religion for the people, this is really difficult.”

India isn’t a permanent member but over 100 Indian scientists work at CERN. Dr Archana Sharma, the only Indian Scientist Employed at CERN told NDTV: “My lab is full of Indians and Pakistanis. To give you an example, we had a cricket match recently, and we were fighting like anything on the field. However, in the laboratories here, the goal is one.”