Meet our guides: Noemi

Guide since: 2014
Position: ATLAS Physicist (staff)
Languages: English, Italian, French

Noemi

I have the honour of wearing two hats: that of a scientist and a guide. As a CERN physicist, I have long believed that one of my core missions is to contribute to raise awareness about the different activities and research projects carried out at CERN. By doing so, we dispel fear and create opportunities to educate people about the significance of scientific research.

Guiding young students, especially those from high school, is where my heart finds joy. When students interact with scientists at CERN, they often feel intimidated, perceiving them as superhuman figures. However, as their guide, I consistently receive comments expressing relief and surprise when they realise that scientists are just ordinary individuals like themselves. This relief often sparks a sense of confidence, which makes them realise that pursuing a career in science is within their reach – often at a crucial juncture in their education, having to decide which field of study to pursue. My impact may be just one jigsaw piece in their decision, yet, in some sense, I feel a certain level of responsibility for their future choices.

One heartfelt tale involved a girl who expressed her fear of pursuing research, believing it to be a field dominated by men. I told her stories of incredible women who have made significant contributions to science, and I shared with her my own experience: woman, mother, physicist. I saw her eyes glimmer with a fresh sense of hope and determination. Imagine my overwhelming joy when a few years later I received an email from her, revealing that she had started university in a scientific field and had a strong desire to pursue a PhD. She expressed how our conversation had ignited a fire within her, dispelling her doubts and fuelling her ambition.

These rich and fulfilling experiences as a guide at CERN not only underscore the significance of outreach but also serve as a rewarding testament to the impact of our efforts in nurturing young minds.

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