Happy 50th, CERN Courier

15 July 2009

The first issue, reproduced in its entirety.


This August, the CERN Courier is 50 years old. That’s a good excuse to take stock of what’s changed and what’s stayed the same, so I found myself a copy of issue number 1 (reprinted in the following pages). With the Courier, it’s remarkable to see the ambition contained in that first edition, and to see how much the magazine has remained faithful to its founder Cornelis Bakker’s original vision.

Visually the CERN Courier has changed beyond recognition, as has the laboratory itself. The audience has changed too. Originally conceived as an internal newsletter, the Courier today addresses a global readership of more than 25,000. One thing that has stayed the same, however, is the magazine’s openness to the world. Issue number 1 reported not only on progress towards starting up the PS, but also carried news of the City of Hamburg’s purchase of a 40 MeV linac for a new lab known as the Deutsches Elektronen Synchrotron. Back then, the Courier felt the need to spell out the DESY acronym. There was also news from the US, including bold ambitions for linear accelerator developments at Stanford University. CERN’s mission of bringing nations together for peaceful collaboration is witnessed by a report from a trip to the USSR, precursor to a long and fruitful collaboration with the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research at Dubna.

The introduction on the first page of that first issue asks the question “what will the CERN Courier be?” It goes on to explain that it is there to “maintain the ideal of European co-operation and the team spirit which are essential to the achievement of our final aim: scientific research on an international scale”. Fifty years on, the world has changed immeasurably, but those words still ring true. Let’s look forward to the next 50 years!

Rolf Heuer, director-general.

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the CERN Courier, in this issue we have reproduced the original edition in its entirety. Since then the magazine has covered numerous dramatic discoveries and breakthroughs at CERN and elsewhere. On pages 25–28 we give just a small selection of highlights.



bright-rec iop pub iop-science physcis connect