In DepthScience Diplomacy

Synchrotron aims to bridge divides in the Middle East

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Science  05 Aug 2016:
Vol. 353, Issue 6299, pp. 530
DOI: 10.1126/science.353.6299.530

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A beleaguered experiment in science diplomacy is on the threshold of success. Last week, an $80 million synchrotron lab in Allan, Jordan, announced the first call for research that will be conducted on two beamlines of high-energy particles. The intense beams of light, expected to switch on this autumn, can probe biological samples or materials. Full-fledged studies should start early next year at the Synchrotron-light for Experimental Science and Applications in the Middle East (SESAME). The project is a partnership of several Middle Eastern countries, with construction costs financed so far primarily by Israel, Jordan, and Turkey, along with grants from donors outside the region. Founded in 1999, SESAME was behind schedule because of political complications and other setbacks, but is on track for commissioning in December.

  • * in Manchester, U.K.