Education and Science, EU – Baltic States, Latvia

International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Saturday, 19.09.2020, 15:04

Accession to CERN has contributed to our Latvia's emerging community of excellent physicists - Levits

BC, Riga, 20.01.2020.Print version
Latvia's accession to the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) has helped develop a community of excellent physicists also in Latvia, President Egils Levits said during a visit to CERN in Geneva today.

"CERN is one of the leading global laboratories and scientific centers. It is crucial for Latvia to become the associate member state of CERN. We have worked hard and have been committed to this goal for a number of years now. Our science and technologies have benefited from that, and this process has paved the way for a new community of scientists specializing in research in high energy particle physics," the president's office quoted Levits as saying.

Levits' visi to CERN underlines the importance of research opportunities CERN has been providing to Latvia and the contribution of Latvian scientists to CERN’s research efforts, the president's office said.

"Undeniably, we must spend some of the public funding for science to support fundamental research," the Latvian president said.

Fundamental research aims to deepen our theoretical understanding of particular field and discover new laws. "This is good for society. Although the benefits of fundamental science are not always obvious to the society or politicians, we need to invest public funds into development of applied and fundamental science. CERN, for example, is researching the origins of the Universe. And it is not just about scientific curiosity. These findings have practical implications. Knowledge that can then be used in health care and other areas," Levits said.

While at CERN, President Levits also addressed the students of the Riga Technical University Engineering College, Aizkraukle Regional Gymnasium, Valmiera State Gymnasium, Talsi State Gymnasium and Cesis New Primary School through a video link.

Levits told the students that "science is your future and the future of Latvia. You can either work here at CERN or in other fields elsewhere. Latvia currently experiences a shortage of IT and engineering experts, and you have plenty of opportunity to become one. Latvia, the European Union and other countries of the world are actively supporting the development of science to build knowledgeable societies that are capable of handling diverse challenges, for example, climate change, cyber threats, health and other major issues".

Latvia joined CERN on October 31, 2016 when the government of Latvia and CERN signed the Technical and Scientific Cooperation Agreement concerning research in high energy particle physics.

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