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ISSN: 1600-5775

Schopper receives UNESCO's Albert Einstein Gold Medal

On 15 April 2004, Professor Koichiro Matsuura, Director General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), awarded UNESCO's Albert Einstein Gold Medal to Professor Herwig Schopper, the President of the SESAME Council.[link] The Albert Einstein Gold Medal is a high distinction that UNESCO confers on outstanding figures who have made a major contribution to science and international cooperation. The award was given in the presence of the SESAME Beamlines and Scientific Committees and UNESCO representatives of countries involved in the project.[link] Professor Matsuura said that Professor Schopper is an outstanding scientist who has published extensively and has made remarkable contributions to the advancement of science in such cutting-edge fields as nuclear and particle physics as well as other areas of advanced scientific research. With his profound insight into the most complex issues of physics, Professor Schopper has provided leadership worldwide in the creation and use of high technology research facilities in particle physics. He was involved from the outset in the successful construction of the Large Electron Positron collider (LEP) at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), the world's largest accelerator facility located in Geneva. In addition, he oversaw the Deutsches Elektronen Synchrotron (DESY) accelerator facility, the major accelerator facility in Germany. His contribution to international scientific cooperation has been enormous. From 1981 to 1988 he was Director General of CERN. From 1994 to 1996 he was President of the European Physical Society, and from 1993 to 2002 he was a member of the Scientific Council of the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research (JINR) in Dubna, Russia. And, of course, Professor Schopper has been President of the Council of SESAME since 1999. Professor Matsuura went on to say, “SESAME epitomizes what international scientific cooperation should be. Certainly, without Professor Schopper, the project would never have advanced to its current stage. I am very grateful to him for all he has done to bring the project towards reality. As you all know, I am a firm believer in this project, which will give the Middle East region a world-class laboratory with facilities for basic research and many applications. SESAME will promote economic development from within and will be a bridge in the region between the South and the North. Equally important, it will offer a means of building up a culture of peace through science.” Professor Matsuura concluded by saying that “2004 is an important year for you and that two months ago you celebrated your 80th birthday. I must stress, however, that, in awarding you this UNESCO medal, it is not only to pay tribute to your past activities, but also a way of letting you know that UNESCO plans to count on your help for many years to come!”

[Figure 1]
Figure 1
Professor Herwig Schopper receiving UNESCO's Albert Einstein Gold Medal from Professor Koichiro Matsuura, Director General of UNESCO.
[Figure 2]
Figure 2
Professor Herwig Schopper with the members and Chairs of the SESAME Beamline and Scientific committees.
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