Chris Llewellyn Smith Headshot

Former Director General, CERN

Sir Chris Llewellyn Smith was the Director General of CERN from 1994 to 1998, when the Large Hadron Collider was approved, contributions to the collider were negotiated with Canada, India, Russia and the USA, and construction started, and President of the SESAME Council during the construction period, from 2008 to 2017. He was one of four people associated with SESAME who received the AAAS Award for Science and Diplomacy in 2019.


Sir Chris Llewellyn Smith reviews how research facilities like CERN and SESAME foster international cooperation where relations are strained. With today’s complex geopolitics, he stresses the need for scientific collaboration across divides.


SESAME, the only synchrotron in the Middle East, seeks to achieve scientific excellence, attract and retain scientists, and foster regional cooperation, while overcoming sometimes tense political relationships.