The CERN Courier's 50th anniversary issue
For those who enjoy a nostalgic look back, the CERN Courier has posted a treat: The very first issue of the Courier, which started as an in-house newsletter and now reaches 25,000 subscribers around the world.
Writing in the July/August issue, CERN Director-General Rolf Heuer notes that both the European lab and the Courier have changed beyond recognition since the first issue came out 50 years ago:
One thing that has stayed the same, however, is the magazine's openness to the world. Issue number 1 reported not only on progress towards starting up the PS [Proton Synchrotron], but also carried news of the City of Hamburg's purchase of a 40 MeV linac for a new lab known as the Deutsches Elektronen Synchrotron. Back then, the Courier felt the need to spell out the DESY acronym. There was also news from the US, including bold ambitions for linear accelerator developments at Stanford University. CERN's mission of bringing nations together for peaceful collaboration is witnessed by a report from a trip to the USSR, precursor to a long and fruitful collaboration with the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research at Dubna.
The anniversary issue highlights five decades of science from the Courier archives, from the 1959 announcement of the first beam in the Proton Synchrotron (news so fresh that the issue had to be made over at the last minute to fit it in) to accelerator milestones, particle discoveries, Nobel Prizes, the invention of the World Wide Web and the startup of the Large Hadron Collider.
As someone who loves browsing through old postcards and magazines -- and who owns a 55-year-old issue of Life magazine from the month I was born -- I have to say I love this stuff: The typefaces, then so modern and now so charmingly retro; the pastel pages; the thought of how much harder it was back then to put out a publication like this one; and the language of a dynamic, yet more genteel time, as in this request for suggestions from page 8 of issue one:
You don't have to sign them. If you believe you might blush in seeing your name in print in our next issue, or if modesty prevents you from being further associated with your idea, then just drop us a note "incognito." You may be sure your appeal will always receive due consideration, even if it is not so tender to us. Editors are -- and should be -- rugged people...
That, at least, has not changed!
We wish the Courier a very happy anniversary and many exciting reports ahead.