The Origin of CERN

Since  CERN, the Geneva home of the Large Hadron Collider, is currently celebrating its 60th Anniversary, I thought I would use this organ to correct a widespread misapprehension concerning the the true historical origin of that organization. I have to say the general misunderstanding of the background to CERN is not helped by the information produced locally which insists that CERN is an acronym for Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire and that it came into being in 1954. This may be the date at which the Geneva operation commenced, but the organization has a far older origin than that.

CERN is in fact named after the Dorset village of Cerne Abbas, most famous for a prehistoric hill figure called the Cerne Abbas Giant. The following aerial photograph of this outstanding local landmark proves that the inhabitants of Dorset had the idea of erecting a large hardon facility hundreds of years ago…

5 Responses to “The Origin of CERN”

  1. According to the link you kindly he posted he “carries a huge knobbled club”. I notice that he also appears to have a stick in his right hand.

    • The Cerne Abbas Giant, or The Rude Man of Cerne, as he is sometimes known, is both clavigerous and ithyphallic.

      • He is also redundant, and a favorite on this blog, it seems: https://telescoper.wordpress.com/2010/02/27/the-true-origin-of-cern/ That doesn’t quite make sense, I realize. I am still seething slightly due to your stubborn infatuation with Bayesian methods, thus cannot think my typically pithy thoughts.

        I suspect this will be ineffective, but I will try. You are an astrophysicist, by education, training and avocation. You are at the pinnacle, the very zenith of your field. I would (and do!) acknowledge that, with more than a little reverence. Deborah Mayo, who commented on your Bayes via Guardian UK post, is a PhD credentialled and experienced statistician. Must you be so dismissive of her frequentist remarks? I am merely a base practitioner of the dark arts of Fisher-Neyman-Pearson, so I have no expectations for myself in this rarefied milieu. (I am not haranguing you because she is a woman either. Frequentist/ Bayesian takes taxonomic precedence over gender).

        P.S. I wish CERN would return to its origins, and in the process drum up support for nuclear power for generating electricity.

      • telescoper Says:

        I was dismissive of Dr Mayo’s comments because they included apparently willful misrepresentations of what I said. I’m more than happy to discuss frequentism versus Bayesian if proponents come up with proper arguments.

  2. […] In The Dark: The Origin of CERN […]

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