Fabiola Gianotti, Research Physicist CERN

From a gifted author in J.K. Rowling to an expert in the internet in Mary Meeker, and now, to a scientific genius in Fabiola Gianotti, we acknowledge Forbes for recognizing intellect as a crucial component of Power.

Italian physicist Fabiola Gianotti

Italian physicist Fabiola Gianotti

For this issue, Gianotti, a research physicist at CERN and our 78th most powerful woman on Forbes’ 2013 list, certainly deserves all the accolades she did get; not only is she real smart but she’s down-to-earth, “humble and easy-going” – considering the nature of many in “power” display.

You may then ask, “Is being a genius enough to be included in the most powerful list?” Oh, it’s a great attribute to have but unless you use it productively whereby it would affect generations if not the way humanity thinks … then you got to give more than a handful of effort.

In Gianotti’s case, she’s been involved with one of the world’s largest experiments in ATLAS – LHC at CERN; not to mention the fact that she has just finished her 4th year as the spokesperson for the said experiment. What else is ATLAS? Well, it is also known to be a collaboration of about 3,000 scientists from around the world.

In short, when it comes to physics or fundamental knowledge – Gianotti should cross one’s mind. This was why she was even nominated to Time magazine’s 2012 Person of the Year.

And yes, have you heard of the “Higgs-Boson”? Well, Gianotti was the team leader of one of the 2 teams that spearheaded its discovery and study. Neat, huh? Ah, can’t be bored with science?!

As Fabiola Gianotti puts it in her April 2013 interview with Symmetry, “Now that we have discovered a new particle, we are going to measure it in detail, so I expect many more nice results about the Higgs boson to come out in the next months. For the rest, I have no idea. I am serious. The LHC has been conceived and built to address a long list of questions, of which the existence of the Higgs boson is only one. There are many others: the composition of dark matter, the origin of the matter/antimatter asymmetry in the universe, the unification of forces, etc. So we will continue to work and hopefully we will be able to solve, at least partially, some of these issues. We will see what surprise nature has set aside for us. I think the best reward will be to find something totally unexpected…”

Sounds exciting? Hmm… if only for man’s thirst for knowledge – it definitely is. Knowledge is Power.

What’s your take?