Physicist Hitoshi Murayama addresses UN on science and peace

Hitoshi Murayama, UC Berkeley professor of physics and director of the Kavli Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe in Tokyo, discussed the link between science and peace at a gathering at the UN on Monday, Oct. 20, celebrating the 60th anniversary of CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research.

The event, “CERN: Sixty Years of Science for Peace and Development,” was organized by CERN and the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).

In his keynote address, “Science for peace and development today and tomorrow,” Murayama emphasized the critical importance of international science endeavors toward increasing peace and development around the world.

“I firmly believe that basic scientific research is a true peacemaker for humankind,” he said. “The awe of the beautiful universe makes differences in cultures, languages, colors, genders, religions and ideologies simply disappear.”

Held at UN headquarters in New York, the event gathered eminent politicians and scientists including Nobel Peace Prize winner and former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, Nobel Physics Prize Laureate and former CERN Director-General Carlo Rubbia, and South African Minister for Science and Technology Naledi Pandor. The celebration highlighted the role that science plays in peaceful collaboration, innovation and development.

“CERN embodies this idea that basic science unifies people from all nations,” Murayama said. “Thousands of people from friendly or warring nations come to CERN and build amazing scientific instruments together.”

Established after World War II, CERN seeks to conduct groundbreaking science research while uniting people from all over the world. Even at the height of the Cold War, CERN brought together scientists from both sides of the iron curtain. Today it continues this tradition by promoting exchanges between all countries, independent of their political relations.

“CERN has a history of uniting people in quests that have nothing to do with power but everything with knowledge,” Murayama said.

To read Murayama’s complete remarks, link here.