Published online 19 May 2009 | 459, 311 (2009) | doi:10.1038/459311e

News in Brief

Austrian scientists celebrate CERN U-turn

Chancellor overturns science minister's decision to end 50-year participation in physics laboratory

CERN buildingsAustria will stay in CERNCERN

Austria has reversed its decision to withdraw from CERN, Europe's particle-physics laboratory near Geneva in Switzerland.

On 8 May, science minister Johannes Hahn had announced that Austria would end its participation in 2010. Instead, the country would use its annual contribution of about €17 million (US$23 million) to make up shortfalls in the country's research budget. The decision sent shock waves through the country's physics community (see Nature 459, 151; 2009).

Protests were not in vain. On 18 May, Chancellor Werner Faymann overruled his science minister and announced that Austria would continue its 50-year-old membership in CERN without cuts.

"Austrian science as a whole will benefit from this firm declaration of belief in basic research," says Christian Fabjan, director of the Austrian Academy of Sciences' Institute for High Energy Physics in Vienna. 

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