European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation and Director General of CERN Visit SESAME

 sesame-dipole-model-handover
Source of the image: © CERN | President of SESAME Council, Chris Llewellyn-Smith, receives half of the model SESAME magnet from CERN Director General Rolf Heuer, while European Commissioner for Research, Carlos Moedas, presents the other half to SESAME Director Professor Khaled Toukan

On 13 April, the European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, Carlos Moedas, and the Director General of CERN, Rolf Heuer, visited SESAME where they met the staff working on the construction of SESAME and saw inter alia the experimental hall and equipment already installed. This visit was the culmination of a half-day Conference Addressing shared challenges through Science Diplomacy: the case of the EU-Middle East regional cooperation organized in Amman by the European Commission (EC). Opened by Mr Moedas and Princess Sumaya Bint El Hassan, President of the El Hassan Science City and the Royal Scientific Society of Jordan, talks at the Conference centered on the importance of science diplomacy and actions being undertaken for this in the Middle East. They included a talk The SESAME Story delivered by the President of the SESAME Council, Chris Llewellyn Smith.

During the visit, Mr Moedas signed a letter informing the Director-General of UNESCO that the European Union is becoming an Observer of SESAME, which he handed to Flavia Schlegel, UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Natural Sciences – UNESCO is the depository of the Statutes of SESAME.

The visit ended by the symbolic presentation by Mr Moedas and Professor Heuer of a model SESAME magnet to the Director of SESAME, Khaled Toukan, and Professor Llewellyn Smith. The model will remain at SESAME until delivery of the magnetic system of SESAME’s storage ring, after which it will return to CERN as a reminder of CERN’s important contribution to the system. Construction of the magnetic system is being led by CERN with support from SESAME and funding (€5 million) from the European Commission.

On the eve of the conference, Robert-Jan Smits, Director-General, Directorate-General for Research and Innovation at the EC, hosted a dinner for the speakers at the event. Among the guests was Prince El Hassan bin Talaal who welcomed the speakers to Jordan.