SESAME and beyond

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Science  26 May 2017:
Vol. 356, Issue 6340, pp. 785
DOI: 10.1126/science.aan6880

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Last week, Cyprus, Egypt, Iran, Israel, Jordan, Pakistan, the Palestinian Authority, and Turkey, as well as other nations and international organizations, gathered in Jordan to inaugurate the Synchrotron-light for Experimental Science and Applications in the Middle East (SESAME) project. Having persevered through two decades of political and financial challenges, this complex machine is poised to run its first experiments this year. Indeed, SESAME represents the power of science in bringing together countries—even those with frayed relations—under a common goal of advancing knowledge for the benefit of all humankind. The triumph of SESAME, and the outpouring of research results from other light sources around the world, have spurred interest in building synchrotrons in developing countries.