The European Consortium for Astroparticle Theory (EuCAPT) was founded in 2019 to bring together the European community of theoretical astroparticle physicists and cosmologists. The goals of EuCAPT include the exchange of ideas and knowledge, coordinating scientific and training activities, helping scientists attract adequate resources for their projects, and promoting a stimulating, fair and open environment in which young scientists can thrive. With these main goals in mind, the annual EuCAPT symposium serves to bring the community together and stimulate discussions on recent developments. After three years with largely online events, EuCAPT gathered for the first time in person for its annual symposium at CERN, the hub of the European initiative.
From 31 May to 2 June, 180 participants came together in the CERN main auditorium (with a further 100 online) to exchange on topics including dark matter, particle astrophysics, cosmology of the early and late universe, and gravitational waves. The programme alternated between invited overview talks from leading scientists and lightning talks by early-career researchers. No fewer than 50 posters reflected the rich diversity of EuCAPT science, with prizes for the best poster and best lightning talks awarded at the end of the conference.
A highlight of the symposium was an interactive session with the members of the different EuCAPT task forces, ranging from outreach, training and community building to funding and many more, which allowed participants to learn more about the work done within the consortium and to join these activities. EuCAPT founding director Gianfranco Bertone (University of Amsterdam), who gave a well-attended public evening talk at CERN and who is due to step down in January 2024, said: “Leading EuCAPT has been an incredible experience. In four years we have grown into a vibrant and diverse community of more than 1600 scientists, based at 130 institutions across Europe. With a solid organisational structure in place, and many ongoing scientific activities, we are now ready to take the next steps.”
With further EuCAPT activities, such as the first EuCAPT school in Valencia this autumn, ongoing throughout the year, the EuCAPT community will continue to grow such that at the next EuCAPT symposium there will be ample new scientific developments and progress to discuss.