CERN Accelerating science

EDU group moves to CERN's new Stakeholder Relations Office

by Panos Charitos

CERN recently launched the Stakeholder Relations Office, which will manage and sustain the Organization’s relationship with key audiences. Furthermore, it will take responsibility for the Organization’s reputation and ensure that CERN is “communicating optimally with everyone we care about and who cares about us” to use the DG’s exact words. It will strengthen relations with internal and external stakeholders and help the leadership achieve its strategic and operational goals.

The new office will present a better overview of CERN’s activities related to the various stakeholder groups (i.e. the general public, VIPs, decision makers, schools and teachers) and identify their needs and concerns. In addition, the Stakeholder Relations Office aims to foster communication between the different groups that comprise the office (i.e. Communications, Education and International Relations) and increase the synergies among them.

In January 2014, the Education Group has moved from the Physics Department to the new Office in the DG support unit. The main structure of the Education Group has not been affected, as groups did not merge but rather moved as entities to the new office. As Rolf Landua, Head of the Group explains: “the move to another department, and two retirements inside our group, were seen as an occasion for streamlining the different sections and create more synergies.”.

This year’s big event is CERN’s  60th anniversary, and the EDU group holds a vital role in helping the Member States to host CERN  exhibitions. In addition, the group is expected to have a central part in the official celebrations at CERN. Rolf Landua adds: “We are looking forward to inaugurate the new visit points at the control centre, SM18 and the Computing Centre, and we will need to train our guides to take full advantage of all their new features.”.  Work for completing the SM18 visit point with a new LHC mockup tunnel is underway, as it has to be ready by this spring. On the same time scale, the inauguration of the refurbished Synchrocyclotron (SC) will be another highlight.

The new “S’cool Lab”, which is being installed in the lower part of Microcosm, will also be ready in Spring, and will give students the opportunity to perform experiments in modern physics, in some cases using special technologies  developed at CERN. The S’cool Lab has been funded by a generous donation by the Loterie Romande.

Regarding the relation of the EDU group to the PH department Rolf Landua continues:

“All the work that we do in the visit service, in the exhibitions, and most of the other activities wouldn’t be possible without the support of CERN’s staff members and thousands of visiting scientists. Members of the PH help us with guided tours, as lecturers in our teachers programme and clearly they are one of the liveliest parts of our work. I think that it is important to maintain our close relations and continue to collaborate”.