IPPOG Resources Database

Examples of impact

Author(s): Bruant Gulejova, Barbora, Universitaet Bern (CH)

Contact: Barbora Bruant Gulejova, barbora.gulejova@cern.ch

Submitted by: lila.mabiala@cern.ch

Published: July 17, 2020

Examples of impact

Impact of science on society and sustainable development showcased by particle physics and CERN

This presentation provides an overview of the broad positive impact of science on society and sustainable development, using CERN as a main example. As scientific community faces threatened funding of large experimental endeavors and low interest of young generation to engage in studies of physics and related sciences (refered to as "STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) crisis"), the justification of basic research has become more important than ever. Physics case alone is not enough for the non-scientific stakeholders of the society and even young generation needs to be motivated in terms of "usefulness" of their future occupation. Particle physics and CERN is a great example for showing the big impact of science on society, not only by inquiring the big scientific questions following its main mission, but also as a key driver for innovations, model of science for peace and center of training, education and outreach, providing a steady stream of highly qualified young people with excellent technical skills and international experience used also in business and industry to many countries worldwide. Many applications and spin-offs from basic research in particle physics for benefit of humanity, international collaboration relevance for peace initiatives and the aspect of education and outreach are shown in details. Moreover, the role of science for the UN Agenda 2030 to tackle the global societal challenges - the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) - is also discussed. This resource is useful for conversations with any kind of non-scientific audience, who is interested to know what is the basic research conducted at CERN and elsewhere good for in terms of their own lives, e.g. with funding bodies, decision makers and media, but also broad public and students who might reconsider their relation to physics and natural sciences. This presentation has been presented to high school teachers (HST) attending the CERN international HST programme and uses a lot of information from CERN impact brochure.




Particle Physics and Society
Why Fundamental Research
Applications & Spin-Offs
People Behind the Science

School Topics

Nature of science
Scientific inquiry and reasoning


open data, cern, innovation, economy

Online use


Videos and other links