Cristina Lazzeroni is a reader in Particle Physics at the School of Physics and Astronomy in the University of Birmingham. Her research is in Particle Physics, in which she studies the building blocks of matter and their interactions. In particular, she investigates the difference in behaviour between matter and anti-matter at a fundamental level, and its implications on the world around us. Catch Cristina on her Soapbox Near Princesshay Square, Exeter City Centre, on June 13th 1-4pm, where she will be talking about “How we ended up in a Universe made almost entirely of matter”. Her talk is sponsored by the Science & Technology Facilities Council (STFC).
SS: Cristina, how did you get to your current position?
CL: I studied Physics in Italy, and did a PhD there in Particle Physics. Then I moved to Edinburgh as a post-doc, and 2 years later to Cambridge. Then I was awarded a Royal Society University Fellowship, which 3 years later won me a permanent position at the University of Birmingham, where I am now.
SS: What, or who, inspired you to get a career in science?
CL: Well, I have always liked to understand how things works, why they happen etc. I was fortunate to have a family that value knowledge and understanding and hard work. At school I was inspired both by physics and by philosophy because both are trying to explain the most basics things around us, and I have always felt that to understand things properly I need to start from the very beginning. After some thinking, I decided I wasn’t good enough to be a proper philosopher but I could be a reasonably good scientist!
SS: What is the most fascinating aspect of your research?
CL: What I find most fascinating is that it is about the most basic things of all: the building blocks of everything around us! I also like that it is very much related to maths and fundamental concepts like symmetries.
SS: What attracted you to Soapbox Science in the first place?
CL: The very idea of standing in a street with a prop and talking to people about what I do; I am curious to see who will stop to listen!
SS: Sum up in one word your expectations for the day – excitement? fear? thrill? anticipation?
SS: What would be your top recommendation to a female PhD student considering pursuing a career in academia?
CL: Don’t let anyone tell you, or worse convince you, that females are not good for science!