CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, was founded in 1954. But CERN only became truly world famous after the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) identified the elusive Higgs boson in 2013. With the larger profile came increasing public concern about the work CERN does, especially from conservative Christians who believe the scientists at CERN are "playing God." CERN has tried to allay these concerns, delivering the news that -- among other misconceptions -- the LHC is (sadly) not trying to "open a door to another dimension."
Suspicions persist, however. CERN recently found it prudent to answer a question about why it has a statue of the Hindu god Shiva, a complex deity sometimes characterized as "The Destroyer," on the premises. CERN answers that the Shiva statue was a gift from the Indian government, India being one of CERN's observer states along with Russia, Japan and the US. CERN emphasizes that it is a multicultural institution, with scientists from more than 100 countries -- presumably of various religious beliefs. The Shiva statue is not the only artwork on the premises, CERN is also careful to say. CERN draws attention not to Shiva's reputation as a destroyer but as a symbol of Shakti -- or "life force."
[Check out the "Most Interesting Finds" on Amazon ]