Fabiola Gianotti

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Fabiola Gianotti
Portrait of Fabiola Gianotti.jpg
Born (1960-10-29) October 29, 1960 (age 55)
Rome, Italy
Fields Particle physics
Alma mater University of Milan
Known for ATLAS experiment at the CERN Large Hadron Collider
Notable awards

Fabiola Gianotti (Italian: [faˈbiːola dʒaˈnɔtti]; born October 29, 1960) is an Italian particle physicist and the Director-General of the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN). Her mandate began on 1 January 2016 and runs for a period of five years. She is the first woman to hold the position of CERN Director-General.[1][2]


Fabiola Gianotti received a Ph.D. in experimental particle physics from the University of Milan in 1989.

Since 1996, following several postdoctoral positions, including a fellowship at CERN, she has been a research physicist in the Physics Department of CERN, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, and since August 2013 an honorary Professor at the University of Edinburgh.[3] She is also a member of the Italian Academy of Sciences (Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei)[3] and foreign associate member of the US National Academy of Sciences.[4]

Gianotti has worked on several CERN experiments (WA70, UA2 experiment, ALEPH, ATLAS), being involved in detector R&D and construction, software development and data analysis.

From March 2009[5] to February 2013[6] she held the elected position of project leader (”Spokesperson”) of the ATLAS experiment. The ATLAS Collaboration consists of 3000 physicists from 40 countries. On 4 July 2012 she presented the ATLAS results on the search for the Higgs boson in an historic seminar at CERN.[7] This event marked the announcement of the discovery of the Higgs boson by the ATLAS and CMS experiments.

Gianotti is the author or co-author of more than 500 publications in peer-reviewed scientific journals. She has given more than 30 invited plenary talks at the major international conferences in the field. A list of her scientific publications is recorded in the database Inspire HEP.

She was/is a member of several international committees, such as the Scientific Council of the CNRS[8] (France), the Physics Advisory Committee of the Fermilab Laboratory (USA), the Council of the European Physical Society, the Scientific Council of the DESY Laboratory[9] (Germany), the Scientific Advisory Committee of NIKHEF[10] (Netherlands). She is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board [11] of the UN Secretary-General, Mr Ban Ki-moon.

Gianotti was included among the “Top 100 most inspirational women” by The Guardian newspaper (UK, 2011),[12] ranked 5th in Time magazine’s Personality of the Year (USA, 2012),[13] included among the “Top 100 most influential women” by Forbes magazine (USA, 2013)[14] and considered among the “Leading Global Thinkers of 2013” by Foreign Policy magazine (USA, 2013).[15]

Religious views

In a 2010 interview, Gianotti said that she saw no contradiction between science and faith and they belong to "two different spheres".[16] In an interview by la Repubblica, she said that "Science and religion are separate disciplines, though not antithetical. You can be a physicist and have faith or not."[17]

Honours and awards[edit]

Honorary academic degrees[edit]

  • Since 2013 she is honorary professor at the University of Edinburgh.[3]



  1. ^ "Fabiola Gianotti signs her contract as CERN's new Director-General". CERN Bulletin. Retrieved 28 August 2015. 
  2. ^ Castelvecchi, Davide (2014). "Higgs hunter will be CERN's first female director: Italian physicist Fabiola Gianotti will take the reins at the European physics powerhouse in 2016.". Nature. doi:10.1038/nature.2014.16287. 
  3. ^ a b c "Honorary Professor: Fabiola Gianotti". University of Edinburgh. Retrieved 28 August 2015. 
  4. ^ "National Academy of Sciences Members and Foreign Associates Elected". National Academy of Sciences. Retrieved 31 August 2015. 
  5. ^ "ATLAS makes a smooth changeover at the top". CERN Courier. Retrieved 28 August 2015. 
  6. ^ "Passing the torch at ATLAS". Symmetry. Retrieved 28 August 2015. 
  7. ^ "4th July 2012, Seminar at CERN". CERN. Retrieved 28 August 2015. 
  8. ^ "Arrêté du 29 novembre 2005 portant nomination au conseil scientifique du Centre national de la recherche scientifique". CNRS. Retrieved 31 August 2015. 
  9. ^ "Members Scientific Council (as of January 2015)". DESY. Retrieved 31 August 2015. 
  10. ^ "Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC)". NIKHEF. Retrieved 31 August 2015. 
  11. ^ "The members of the Scientific Advisory Board". German Commission for UNESCO. Retrieved 31 August 2015. 
  12. ^ "Top 100 women: science and medicine". Guardian News. Retrieved 28 August 2015. 
  13. ^ "Runner-Up: Fabiola Gianotti, the Discoverer". Time. Retrieved 28 August 2015. 
  14. ^ "#83 Fabiola Gianotti". Forbes. Retrieved 28 August 2015. 
  15. ^ "François Englert, Peter Higgs, and Fabiola Gianotti". The FP Group. Retrieved 28 August 2015. 
  16. ^ "La signora dell'universo" (in Italian). Famiglia Cristiana. 20 August 2010. 
  17. ^ ""Io, tra Dio e il Big Bang". Fabiola Gianotti, direttrice del Cern: la signora dell'Universo" (in Italian). la Repubblica. 28 December 2014. 
  18. ^ "Teknik och naturvetenskap utser hedersdoktorer". uu.se. Uppsala universitet. Retrieved 31 August 2015. 
  19. ^ "EPFL awards Fabiola Gianotti honorary doctorate". EPFL. Retrieved 31 August 2015. 
  20. ^ "14 individuals to receive honorary degree from McGill". McGill University. Retrieved 31 August 2015. 
  21. ^ "Fabiola Gianotti: The Higgs boson and our life". UiO, Dep. of Phys. Retrieved 31 August 2015. 
  22. ^ "Honorary graduates 2014/15". The University of Edinburgh. Retrieved 31 August 2015. 
  23. ^ "Fabiola Gianotti". Biografieonline.it. Biografieonline. Retrieved 29 August 2015. 
  24. ^ "Premio "Enrico Fermi"". sif.it. Società Italiana di Fisica. Retrieved 29 August 2015. 
  25. ^ "Fabiola Gianotti awarded the Niels Bohr Institute Medal of Honour". Niels Bohr Institute. University of Copenhagen. 1 November 2013. Retrieved 31 August 2015. 
  26. ^ "Laureates: Fabiola Gianotti". breakthroughprize.org. Fundamental Physics Prize Foundation. Retrieved 29 August 2015. 
  27. ^ "L'ambrogino d'oro a Fabiola Gianotti". INFN. Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare. Retrieved 31 August 2015. 

External links[edit]