On 1 August, Horst Stöcker officially took over as scientific director and chair of the directorate at GSI. He succeeds Walter Henning, who served in these capacities for eight years. An event celebrating the change in management took place during the International Symposium on Modern Trends in Nuclear Physics, which was held at GSI on 18–20 October.

Government dignitaries attended the celebration, including Andreas Storm, parliamentary state secretary of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, and Ralph Alexander Lorz, state secretary in the Hessian Ministry of Higher Education, Research and the Arts. They paid tribute to Henning's achievements and promised Stöcker continuing support for the future of GSI and the planned new Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research. Stöcker noted that: "Implementing FAIR, the international Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research, at GSI is one of my most important tasks." His predecessor Henning played a key role in getting FAIR off the ground - from the generation of the original concept to obtaining expert opinions and securing pledges of financial support from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, the federal state of Hesse, and the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres. The negotiations that Henning initiated regarding the participation of foreign partners in FAIR are currently under way.

Stöcker is the Judah M Eisenberg Professor Laureate for Theoretical Physics at Johann Wolfgang Goethe University in Frankfurt and at the Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Studies. His research relates directly to work with heavy ions at GSI and FAIR. Henning is joining the scientific staff at the Argonne National Laboratory to lead Argonne's efforts to build a proposed exotic beam facility for nuclear physics research.

Gell-Mann takes part in latest JINR Council session

American Nobel-laureate Murray Gell-Mann took part in the work of the 102nd session of the JINR Scientific Council on 27–28 September, at the invitation of the JINR directorate. He received the title of honorary doctor of JINR in recognition of his outstanding contributions to elementary-particle physics. He also visited the Bogoliubov Laboratory of Theoretical Physics at JINR where he delivered two lectures, "Getting creative ideas" and "Nature conformable to herself".

Gell-Mann's visit to Russia began in Moscow on 22 September at the invitation of the city's mayor, Yury Luzhkov. He then took part in the work of the International Symposium on Recent Developments of Quantum Physics in Moscow on 24 September. The following day Moscow State University awarded him the title of honorary doctor at the ceremonial session of the Scientific Council, where he delivered a public lecture "Getting creative ideas". During his stay in Moscow and Dubna, Gell-Mann also had numerous meetings with students, scientists and public authorities.