For those of you who don’t know, Fabiola Gianotti is the current Director General of CERN, the largest particle physics research institution in the world. You may know CERN as the home to the Large Hadron Collider – the 27 km long particle accelerator that discovered the Higgs Boson.
As TIME seems to show, she is an incredibly respected person even outside of her field. So when I got the chance to speak to her, even for a brief moment, at the 2016 International Conference for High Energy Physics, I took it.
Of all things I could have expected, this was what I found out – she has a piano performance degree from the Milan Conservatory! She spoke of music always having been a huge part of her life and that she couldn’t see it being any other way. It was an incredible reassurance for me to hear her convictions on music and science coexisting in her life.