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Austria To Pull Out of CERN 168

andre.david notes an AFP report that Austria has announced its intention to withdraw from CERN, citing budget concerns, adding: "Austrian particle physicists are not happy with this. From HEPHY, the Austrian Institute for High Energy Physics: 'All of a surprise Johannes Hahn... announced that he wants to terminate the Austrian membership at CERN... This [would] affect spin-off projects like the planned cancer treatment center MedAustron... which is dependent on collaborating with CERN... Strangely enough this intention just arrives at a time where scientists are about to harvest the fruits of LHC...' Will other countries follow suit?" "Austria is pulling out of the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), Science Minister Johannes Hahn announced Thursday, citing budget concerns. The €20M ($26.9M) yearly membership in CERN... makes up 70 percent of the money available in Austria for participation in international institutes and could be better used to fund other European projects, he said. Hahn said he hoped Austria could find 'a new kind of cooperation' with CERN and described Vienna's withdrawal from the project as a 'pause,' noting that some 30 states were already working together with the Geneva-based centre without being members. The newly-available funds will now allow Austria to take part in new European projects, boost its participation in old ones as well as help the Austrian Science Fund (FWF), the country's main organization funding research."
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Austria To Pull Out of CERN

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  • Re:*coff* (Score:5, Informative)

    by key.aaron ( 1422339 ) on Friday May 08, 2009 @11:26AM (#27876925)

    > Can anyone name a single discovery in HEP in the last 25 years that has led to a practical improvement of anything whatsoever? The only thing HEP has generated is paper.

    That's an easy one: The particle accelerators developed for research in HEP have directly resulted in the accelerators used in hospitals for radiation therapy.

  • Re:*coff* (Score:5, Informative)

    by MrMr ( 219533 ) on Friday May 08, 2009 @11:29AM (#27876969)
    You never know what comes out of these projects. I vaguely remember this guy from CERN in 1990 playing with two computers.
  • Sensationalism? (Score:3, Informative)

    by hh4m ( 1549861 ) on Friday May 08, 2009 @11:59AM (#27877307)
    Why are we overreacting over this? Austria will cease to be a member of CERN but it WILL continue cooperating with CERN as other non member countries do. Science is a relevant expense but the world is facing tough economic turbulence and some things need to be restructured. The benefits of science can be reaped by everyone at the end of the day, i mean i wasn't part of any of the great inventions yet i sit here benefiting from them.
  • by andre.david ( 1373517 ) on Friday May 08, 2009 @03:10PM (#27880347)

    They point out that 30 countries are working with CERN without being members, and it seems like they would like to be one of 31. I mean, why wouldn't they? Being a member sounds expensive.

    That is a great question.

    What a country loses for not being a member is that you can't vote in the CERN Council. I think it also becomes harder for your nationals to get hired (both for training and employment) and for your country to get tenders.

  • Re:*coff* (Score:3, Informative)

    by ljw1004 ( 764174 ) on Friday May 08, 2009 @06:19PM (#27883017)

    Furthermore, IMO, the fundamental search for knowledge is one of the noblest human endeavors in existence.

    I think that's important. LHC and the like are the greatest achievements of our civilization. On a par with the pyramids of Ancient Egypt. Looking back, it was awesome that King Cheops of Egypt built his pyramid at Giza, but pretty much insignificant that King Userkare of Egypt raised import duties by 0.1%.

God helps them that themselves. -- Benjamin Franklin, "Poor Richard's Almanac"