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Make Science, Not War, Scientists Say

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Make Science, Not War, Scientists Say

“I believed then and now I believe those contacts are of high importance,” he said in an email. “However, what Putin and the Russian military have done in the name of the Russian Federation is so serious that I strongly support the decision of the CERN Council.”

What this means for individual scientists at CERN is unclear. In a note to the lab, Dr. Gianotti stressed that no one is being sent home and that ongoing collaboration is being maintained, at least for now.

Joseph Incandela, a physicist at the University of California, Santa Barbara who led one of the teams that discovered the Higgs boson, elaborated. “The people who are here can continue to come to the lab and do their work,” he said. “Those who come from Russia can still get here via somewhat more curvy flight paths if they are allowed to do so by the Russian authorities. They are not banned from entering CERN.”

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However, Lisa Randall, a theoretical physicist at Harvard, noted in an email: “Given that there is no flight, and there probably won’t be instrument transfers, I’m not sure about the implications of continued collaboration.”

Thus far, CERN’s plan to restart the Large Hadron Collider in April, after three years of planning, repairs and improvements, remains on track, according to Mike Lamont, CERN’s director of accelerators and technology. ,

So the promise of a narrow bridge of communication lives on. In an email, Michael Turner, a physicist at the Kavli Foundation in Los Angeles and former president of the American Physical Society, emphasized the value of these informal working relationships. “Scientists are often very influential members of their societies,” he said, and their conversations “are a reminder of the humanity of all individuals, even in countries whose leaders are doing outrageous things.”

“That being said,” he said in relation to Russia’s actions, “I think the whole world is trying to figure out what to do.”

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