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Science Forum Fireside Chat

Saturday April 23, 2022

10am-12pm PST

Webinar: Zoom with Q/A

Livestream: Youtube

Hybrid: New Media Gallery

Gather around an exclusive fireside chat on the future of particle accelerator based physics discovery and technology between the heads of CERN and TRIUMF, moderated by the Swiss Embassy.

Re-watch the chat!


CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, is a global collaboration helping uncover what the universe is made of and how it works by providing unique particle accelerator facilities including the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) that smash subatomic particles together at close to the speed of light. TRIUMF, Canada's particle accelerator centre and home of the world's largest cyclotron of its kind, has led Canadian contributions to CERN, and is pushing the frontiers in research to advance science, medicine, and business. Their leaders will come together to discuss the future of their innovations and collaborations.

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Fabiola Gianotti

Director-General, CERN

Dr. Gianotti has worked on several CERN experiments, and been involved in detector R&D, construction, software development and data analysis. She has held the elected position of spokesperson (project leader) for the ATLAS experiment, and presented the results on the discovery of the Higgs boson in the July 4, 2012 seminar at CERN. Gianotti has authored or co-authored over 500 publications in peer-reviewed scientific journals. She has also been a member of several international scientific committees, including the Scientific Council of the CNRS (France), the Physics Advisory Committee of the Fermilab Laboratory (USA) the Scientific Council of the DESY Laboratory (Germany) and the Scientific Advisory Committee of NIKHEF (Netherlands). She was also a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the UN Secretary-General.

Nigel Smith


As former Executive Director of SNOLAB, Dr. Smith is both a renowned researcher and experienced laboratory leader spanning local, national, and international spheres. Dr. Smith joined TRIUMF at an important period in the laboratory’s history, moving into the second year of its current Five-Year Plan (2020-2025) and preparing to usher in a new era of science and innovation that will include the completion of the Advanced Rare Isotope Laboratory (ARIEL) and the Institute for Advanced Medical Isotopes (IAMI). This new infrastructure, alongside TRIUMF’s existing facilities and world-class research programs, will solidify Canada’s position as a global leader in both fundamental and applied research.



Urs Obrist
Senior Science and Technology Counsellor, Embassy of Switzerland in Canada

Dr. Obrist focuses on enhancing Swiss-Canadian cooperation in research and innovation as well as science diplomacy writ large. He has organized various Swiss-Canadian Innovation Days covering topics such as personalized medicine, polar research, or autonomous vehicles. He speaks at universities and conferences across Canada and has organized several panels for the Canadian Science Policy Conference and the Swiss-Canadian Cleantech Innovation Summit. He graduated in International Relations History from the University of Toronto and has published a critically acclaimed monograph on Swiss-Vietnamese relations during the Cold War. His wide-ranging experience includes research, the banking industry, journalism and higher education. He was a Junior Fellow and Don of Hall at Massey College in Toronto and is a Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society.


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