Science Bringing Nations Together

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Once upon a time...

In 1956, a year and a half after the establishment of the European Organization for Nuclear Research, CERN, the states of the "socialist bloc" signed an agreement establishing a similar international centre for the study of fundamental problems in physics: the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research, JINR. The seat of the Institute was chosen to be the town of Dubna, 120 km north of Moscow. Though the establishment of JINR was clearly a political response, during the Cold War, to the establishment of CERN, from the very beginning the Institute's activities were aimed solely at investigating the fundamental properties of matter and using scientific discoveries for peaceful purposes.

At the International Conference on Peaceful Utilization of Atomic Energy, Geneva, 1958.
From left to right: Professor V.P. Dzhelepov, Director of the first Laboratory in Dubna and one of those who supervised the construction of the first Dubna. accelerator; the synchrocyclotron; Academician N.N. Bogoliubov, who took over as JINR Director in 1964; Professor D.I. Blokhintsev, the first Director of the Institute.

The first scientific results obtained with the JINR synchrocyclotron and synchrophasotron aroused a great interest among Western physicists.

Although the "socialist bloc" collapsed, JINR survived and continues to work successfully because it is science rather than politics which drives it. In 1992, the 18 JINR Member States confirmed their continued interest in the existence and development of this remarkable international scientific centre. JINR's staff is now over 4000 people, 1200 of them researchers, including 200 professors. The Institute maintains scientific contacts and carries out joint investigations with 690 institutes and universities in 57 countries of the world.

Left to right: P. Dirac, JINR Director D.I. Blokhintsev, JINR Vice-Director M. Danysz (Poland), one of the founders of the Dubna Institute Professor M.G. Meshcheryakov, Professor N.N. Bogoliubov, Professor Ya. A. Smorodinsky.

International co-operation is Dubna's natural way of life. Even when JINR was being developed, it was international co-operation that determined many future fields of research. Many prominent scientists have visited Dubna. Among the distinguished guests of Dubna was the outstanding British scientist, one of the founders of modern nuclear physics, Paul Dirac.

A visit of the eminent Danish physicist Niels Bohr to Dubna resulted in establishment of very close contacts with the Copenhagen institute later named after him. After this visit Professor Bohr became a good friend of JINR.

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