In this interview during the opening ceremony of IYBSSD, Hans Peter Beck, Swiss physicist and member of CERN, says that science, among other things, is a major tool that can be used to find a common language among people of the world.
What is science?
We have to make clear science is human culture and a door opener across nations.
We are studying the basic building block of the universe, of nature, of everything around us. When we understand how these fundamental buildings, how they interact, what they do, which gives us something that we call quantum field theory, which is all backed behind quantum mechanics, it allows us to build devices, quantum sensors, to understand, to measure what’s going on. And it gives us the understanding that the small things that you study, they allow us to understand the large scale up to the universal scales. So it is quite stretching, but it tells us who we are in this universe, what is our role tells us, really? Planet, Earth and no planet B.
What links can you make between your research and sustainable development?
Let’s talk about accelerators. Particle physics needs the big accelerators and you know aboutut the Large Hadron Collider, 27 kilometre circumference.
Accelerator technology is widely used for health, for clean water, for analysing microbes, the COVID virus. For this you need accelerators to see the structures of all these things. So these technologies are all spinoffs out of particle physics.
What is your biggest wish for this International year?
Is that communication across the globe, among nations, among ethnicities, to me, can only work based on rational thinking about understanding who we are, where we are. And science is a tool, is where we can find a common language, where we can agree on each other. And we have to make clear science is human culture and a door opener across nations, groups, ethnicities.
Interview by Laurent Orluc