„Welcome to the future of Lithuania and Europe. Today we open the new era in the history of national science! “ – those were the welcome words of professor Artūras Žukauskas, Rector of the Vilnius University, to the guests of the Grand Opening Ceremony of the two new research facilities – Joint Centre for Life Sciences and National Centre of Physical and Technological Sciences, also the visitors of the CERN exhibition.
President of the Republic of Lithuania Dalia Grybauskaitė was pleasantly surprised by the huge changes in the Student Campus „Saulėtekis“ which happened over the three years. “When we read that Lithuania accounts for 10 percent of the global production of lasers, it sounds good, but one has to see and to feel it so that you can fully perceive the significance of the fact. Lithuania has a great perspective indeed! Today Lithuanian science blossomed as a beautiful flower. And it is our task further on not only to invest in it but also to find the best way to utilize the findings of science in order to improve the human wellbeing.” – President stated.
The Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevičius wished the researchers and scientists to produce more innovative products and focus on new technologies in future.
“Mankind's progress is determined by science and the Joint Life Sciences and the National Physical and Technological Sciences Center is an excellent example how Lithuania supports education”, – Jose Angel Gurria, General Secretary of OECD stated in his welcoming speech.
The opening ceremony was followed by a Science Forum “Science Centres. Their Influence on society and future generations“ Ministers of Economy, Education and Science, business representatives and academia discussed a variety of related subjects – how to promote young people for a scientific career, how to attract young talents, shared their views on the importance of education in our society, science and business interaction.
Professor Rolf Dieter Heuer, former CERN Director General presented CERN, its activities and achievements to the audience. On 17th of March CERN Council is to consider Lithuania's application for Associate Membership in the organization.
In parallel, interactive CERN Exhibition “Accelerating Science” was opened to visitors. The visitors will be taken to an exciting voyage to the origin of the Universe and to the heart of matter. Five short tunnel sections join together the five main zones, transporting the visitors from one theme to the next. A significant part of the exhibition consists of interactive media that are particularly attractive to a younger audience. The exhibition is free of charge for visitors and will stay open until the 15th of July.