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IOP welcomes UK backing for Professor Mark Thomson to lead CERN

5 April 2024

The UK government is supporting particle physicist’s candidacy to be the next Director-General of the European Organization for Nuclear Research.

The Institute of Physics (IOP) has welcomed the news that the UK government is supporting Professor Mark Thomson to be the next Director-General of CERN.

Sir Keith Burnett, President of the IOP, said: “The IOP is very pleased that the UK government is supporting Professor Mark Thomson’s candidacy for the role of Director-General of CERN. Mark is a very able, highly qualified and well-respected candidate and, if he were elected, would offer CERN and its community the kind of leadership that will be needed in the coming years.”

Tara Shears, the IOP’s Vice-President for Science and Innovation, said: “Whoever becomes the new Director-General of CERN, they are going to be facing an incredibly important and challenging time as they navigate the next few years.

“The high-luminosity upgrade of the Large Hadron Collider and its experiments needs to successfully complete and deliver data, and the technologies and computing solutions we need to enable new initiatives must be developed.

“CERN itself needs to operate as sustainably and equitably as possible. And there’s the question of what the next-generation particle physics facility might be and where it will be situated.

“The next five years will be critical in setting out the future direction of the subject and whether CERN remains at the heart of it.”

Particle physicist Professor Mark Thomson standing in front of a picture of space