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UK candidate for Cern leadership praised as MPs question benefits of membership

Image: Argonne National Laboratory [CC BY-NC-SA 2.0], via Flickr

Particle physicist Mark Thomson would do “fantastic” job at Europe’s nuclear research body, advocates say

The government’s push for a prominent UK scientist to lead Europe’s nuclear research organisation Cern has won plaudits despite some MPs questioning the value of the nation’s £160 million annual membership.

Earlier this month the government nominated University of Cambridge particle physicist and executive chair of Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) Mark Thomson to become Cern’s next director-general. He would replace Italian Fabiola Gianotti, who took on the role in 2016. The next DG will be picked in December by the Cern Council, the group’s governing body composed of the representatives of its 23 member states.

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