Israel’s Prof. Eliezer Rabinovici was on Friday elected as the 24th president of the council of CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research.
Rabinovici is a professor at the Racah Institute of Physics of the Hebrew University who has served on the council for years. He replaces Ursula Bassler as head of the council, headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. The panel represents the 23 member states, governs the organization and oversees major decisions including programs and budgets.
Rabinovici’s term is for one year, but it can be renewed twice and usually is, making it a likely three-year posting.
The Israeli scientist specializes in theoretical high-energy physics, particularly quantum field theory and string theory.
“Professor Rabinovici is a brilliant theorist in the most advanced fields of research,” Bassler said in a statement. “During my presidency, I very often had the occasion to exchange with Professor Rabinovici, whose advice and contributions have always been very helpful to steer the ongoing discussions. I am confident that the Council is welcoming an excellent President, whose concern for science is of the utmost importance.”
Rabinovici himself said that CERN “is a special place where science and collaboration meet to answer some of the most fundamental questions about the world we live in.
“Throughout my 16 years as a member of the CERN Council, I have time after time been captivated by the commitment, collaboration and knowledge of people who work together towards the same mission. I am honored that the council chose me as their next President, and thankful that I get the opportunity to serve CERN’s scientific community, Member States and Associate Member States,” he said.
CERN, located in Switzerland, operates the $10 billion Large Hadron Collider, which creates high-energy collisions of subatomic particles.
Israel has been a member of CERN since 2013. It was the first non-European full member, and remains so to this day.
Israel joined the organization as an observer in 1991, and dozens of Israeli scientists have taken part in various research projects associated with the organization, including the discovery of the Higgs boson, known popularly as the “God particle,” in 2012.