On Sunday, February 15, 2015, Fabiola Gianotti, physicist and upcoming director of the science temple of the world, the CERN of Geneva, will accept the Renata Berlone Prize in the Focolare town of Loppiano, Italy.

Gianotti was ranked fifth on the list of the New York TIME’s personality of the year. She was named among the 26 scientists on the Scientific Advisory Board of the UN Secretary-General. She was elected group leader of 3000 scientists of ATLAS, one of the two experiments that made it possible to harness the particle. 

She was the first woman to hold this position in the 60 years that the European Center for nuclear research has been in existence. Gianotti was also among the protagonists of the proof of the Higgs boson.

“This discovery represents a huge step ahead in the understanding of basic physics because,” Gianotti says, “it allows us to explain the origin of the masses of the elementary particles, including the electrons and quarks, the basic components of the atom. If the electrons and quarks did not have mass, the atom would not be able to exist as a bound and stable system, and without atoms there would not be the chemical elements and therefore matter as we know it. We ourselves along with the universe would not exist, or would have completely different forms. The Higgs boson is therefore the key particle for explaining the structure of the universe and of our own existence.”

“I will work for science in service of peace. It is a great honor and responsibility for me to be chosen as the next general director of the CERN, following in the footsteps of 15 illustrious predecessors. The CERN is a center of scientific excellence and a source of pride and inspiration for the physicists of the whole world. The CERN is also a cradle of technology and innovation, a source of knowledge and of education, and a shining concrete example of scientific cooperation on a global level for world peace. It is the combination of these four activities that makes CERN so unique, a place that produces the scientists and best people of the world. I will be totally committed in maintaining the CERN’s excellence in all of its activities, with the help of everyone, including the Council of CERN, the staff and the users from around the world.” There is a lot to look forward to in the future when the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) will be back in operation: “. . . there will still be many surprises,” she said, “surprises that nature has in store for us.”  

Source: Il Fatto Quotidiano

 

The physicist Fabiola Gianotti
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