May 16, 2019 - A new scientific education and outreach center designed to engage audiences of all ages in the global heart of fundamental research will soon open in Geneva. It is expected that the Science Gateway will host over 300,000 visitors per year, including students, researchers and others who are simply passionate about the mysteries of the cosmos. Work on the complex will begin in 2020 and the doors will open to the public two years later. As the name suggests, it will be a true gateway to science, a place for welcoming, engaging and educating visitors. The center will host exhibitions that unveil the secrets of nature, from the infinitely small (elementary particles) to the infinitely large (the structure of the universe), as well as exhibits dedicated to the history of the technologies used by CERN. Not to mention classrooms and guided tours with scientists. Areas to experience immersive reality, laboratories where everyone can learn about the laws that govern nature, through hands-on experience. “There are places where our differences are not an obstacle but a strength. Places where different cultures, experiences and languages bring people together instead of keeping them apart. Places where different perspectives allow us to achieve better solutions. CERN is without a doubt such a place”, commented John Elkann, Chairman of both FCA and the FCA Foundation, speaking at the presentation of the initiative in Geneva. The project will be funded through external donations, with the leading contribution coming from FCA Foundation, the charitable foundation created by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.
With a footprint of 7,000 square meters, the Science Gateway will satisfy the curiosity of everyone beginning with the very young, providing them access to tools that will help them understand the world around them. The center’s immersive activities will promote critical thinking and evidence-based analysis as well as collaboration and sharing, all to improve knowledge for the good of society as a whole.
“At FCA we're delighted to be supporting this project as part of our social responsibility which also allows us to honor the memory of Sergio Marchionne by naming the main hall after him,” said Elkann. “The link between Sergio and the Science Gateway is profoundly significant,” continued Elkann. “Sergio loved physics: he had a strong interest in the universal laws that allow us to understand our world. What Sergio did in his life, in his studies and in his career, and also what is being done here every day at CERN, is fundamentally linked with numbers: data, measurable quantities, comparisons with reality and continuous tests and double-checks. But numbers only describe a part of this work. The other side, equally important, deals with imagination, with the courage to challenge conventional wisdoms and the ability to make possible the seemingly impossible.”