Synchrotrons and diplomacy
from BBC Science
After years of doubts about the project's feasibility, construction on the
Synchrotron-light for Experimental Science and Applications in the Middle East (SESAME)
is now at an advanced stage and most of the next round of finance is secured. The first science could start as early as 2015. SESAME is a
"third-generation" synchrotron light source
. It is located in Allan, Jordan and will be the Middle East's first major international research center. The next stage of construction is being funded with $5m each from Israel, Iran, Jordan and Turkey plus another $5m from the EU for CERN to provide the magnet system. Pakistan has agreed to provide $5m in kind. Common citizens are taken aback to see that governments of Cyprus and Turkey, Israel, Pakistan and Iran, along with Jordan, Egypt and the Palestinian Authority have backed the project. But projects with such multi-national team members are very common. SESAME is already a triumph of science diplomacy. When the first beamlines are opened in 2015 the users will surely produce scientific triumphs.
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