On 8 April, CERN unveiled plans for a major new facility for scientific education and outreach. Aimed at audiences of all ages, the Science Gateway will include exhibition spaces, hands-on scientific experiments for schoolchildren and students, and a large amphitheatre to host science events for experts and non-experts alike. It is intended to satisfy the curiosity of hundreds of thousands visitors every year and is core to CERN’s mission to educate and engage the public in science.
“We will be able to share with everybody the fascination of exploring and learning how matter and the universe work, the advanced technologies we need to develop in order to build our ambitious instruments and their impact on society, and how science can influence our daily life,” says CERN director-general, Fabiola Gianotti. “I am deeply grateful to the donors for their crucial support in the fulfilment of this beautiful project.”
The overall cost of the Science Gateway, estimated at 79 m Swiss Francs, is entirely funded through donations. Almost three quarters of the cost has already been secured, thanks in particular to a contribution of 45 m Swiss Francs from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. Other donors include a private foundation in Geneva and Loterie Romande, which distributes its profits to public utility projects. CERN is looking for additional donations to cover the full cost of the project.
The Science Gateway will be hosted in iconic buildings with a 7000 m2 footprint, linking CERN’s Meyrin site and the Globe of Science and Innovation. It is being designed by renowned architects Renzo Piano Building Workshop and intends to “celebrate the inventiveness and creativity that characterise the world of research and engineering”. Construction is planned to start in 2020 and be completed in 2022.