The CERN Council announced on Monday the election of Hebrew University of Jerusalem (HU) physicist Professor Eliezer Rabinovici as its 24th President beginning January 2022.
Based in Geneva, Switzerland, CERN is the largest nuclear particle research center in the world. Rabinovici will be taking over from Dr. Ursula Bassler, who concludes her term at the end of 2021.
“Professor Rabinovici is a brilliant theorist in the most advanced fields of research,” said Dr. Bassler, adding: “During my presidency, I very often had the occasion to exchange with Professor Rabinovici, whose advice and contributions have always been very helpful to steer the ongoing discussions. I am confident that the Council is welcoming an excellent President, whose concern for science is of the utmost importance.”
Rabinovici is currently a professor at HU’s Racah Institute of Physics and the Louis Michel visiting chair at the Institut des Hautes Études Scientifiques (IHES). He received his Ph.D. in high-energy physics at the Weizmann Institute of Science in 1974 before working as a research associate at Fermilab and Lawrence Berkeley Radiation Laboratory. In 1977, Rabinovici returned to Israel and the Hebrew University as a senior lecturer, where he later served as Racah’s Director from 2005 to 2012.
Professor Rabinovici’s main field of research is theoretical high-energy physics and, in particular, quantum field theory and string theory. He has made major contributions to the understanding of the phase structure of gauge theories, which are the building blocks of the Standard Model, and the uncovering of the phases of gravity. Throughout his career, Rabinovici has held positions within several councils and committees, such as a member of the HEP-EPS Board, Chair of the Israeli Committee for SESAME, and Chair of the Israeli High-Energy Committee. In 2004, he was appointed as one of Israel’s delegates to the CERN Council, where he served as Vice President from 2016 to 2018.
“CERN is a special place where science and collaboration meet to answer some of the most fundamental questions about the world we live in. Throughout my 16 years as a member of the CERN Council, I have time after time been captivated by the commitment, collaboration, and knowledge of people who work together towards the same mission. I am honored that the Council chose me as their next President, and thankful that I get the opportunity to serve CERN’s scientific community,” said Rabinovici.
Upon hearing the news, HU President Professor Asher Cohen congratulated Rabinovici, adding, “The election of Professor Rabinovici to the president of the CERN Council is a badge of honor not only for Hebrew University but for the State of Israel and its institutes of higher learning.”