Particle physicist Fernando Ferroni takes the reins as president of Italy’s National Institute of Nuclear Physics (INFN) at the end of the month. Ferroni, 59, is a professor at the Sapienza University of Rome, and has worked on experiments at the CERN laboratory in Geneva, Switzerland, the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory in California, and INFN’s Gran Sasso laboratory. INFN plays an important role in CERN’s Large Hadron Collider (LHC), as well as operating the Virgo gravitational-wave detector near Pisa, but perhaps Ferroni’s greatest challenge will be to steer the construction of the SuperB electron-positron particle collider which is due to break ground near Rome this year. As Italy’s economy teeters on the brink, can the country afford an expensive machine to investigate the balance between matter and antimatter in the universe? Questions and answers have been edited for brevity and clarity.
Q: What are your priorities as president of INFN?
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