CERNIsrael became Thursday the first non-European full member of CERN, the Center of European Nuclear Research, after a unanimous vote by the organization’s 20-state governing council.

It is also the first time CERN admits a new member since 1999.

CERN, which was established under the auspices of UNESCO, is located in Switzerland, on the border with France. It is the largest center in the world for the study of atomic particles. The laboratory is known for its giant underground atomic collider, the Large Hadron Collider.

Israeli scientists have collaborated with CERN for many years, including on projects involving the collider.

Since 2011, Israel was an associate member in the pre-stage to membership of CERN, membership that needed to be held for a minimum of 24 months.

“This is a very special moment for Israeli science and Israel,” said Eliezer Rabinovici, chair of the Israeli Academy of Science’s National Committee for High Energy Physics.

He said CERN’s decision was “a welcome recognition of Israeli science and technology.” “It reflects decades in which many Israeli scientists, technicians and Israeli industry have contributed significantly to the European scientific effort at CERN.”

Israel’s Science, Technology and Space Minister Yaakov Peri said that “scientific interests overcame political ones. Israel is now the first and only country outside Europe to be granted full member status. Beyond the prestige of membership, it will make it possible for Israeli industry to participated in tenders connected with the collider, be represented in the organization’s management, apply for Israeli students

soruce: EIPA. Yossi LEMPKOWICZ.

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