An interview with Linda Cremonesi

Name: Linda CremonesiLindaCremonesi

Current Job: Research Associate at UCL

Scientific Discipline/Field: Particle Physics

Country: from Italy but working in the UK

Pick some letters (L,G,B,T,Q etc.): L

Website: http://www.hep.ucl.ac.uk/~lindac/ and https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Linda_Cremonesi

Twitter: @LindaCremonesi

What does your job involve?

I study some of the tiniest particles in the universe, neutrinos. I currently work on 2 experiments, one in the US (NOvA) and one in Antarctica (ANITA). The NOvA experiment throws neutrinos from Illinois to Minnesota and then looks at what happens to them (do they transform? do they disappear? do they stay the same?). The ANITA experiment flies at 40km above the surface of the ice in Antarctica to look for neutrinos coming from outside our galaxy.

As a researcher I spend much of my time performing data analysis and simulations, but my job also involves quite a lot of travelling to the experiments themselves and to meetings/conferences, I’m also involved in science outreach and teaching during term-time.

How did you get to this job (education etc.)?

My love relationship with physics started in Italy at the Università degli Studi di Milano, where I gained a Bachelor degree in 2009. During my third year I had the exceptional chance to be an Erasmus Exchange student at Queen Mary University of London. I went on to complete a Master of Science in Physics and Astronomy at University College London, and then a PhD in Physics at Queen Mary University of London.
After my PhD, I started this job as a neutrino hunter at UCL.

Do you feel being LGBT has affected your career decisions?

Definitely. I think I felt that I couldn’t really be myself in Italy and that’s why I moved to London in 2009.

Have you had any reactions from colleagues about being LGBT, either good or bad?

The reactions from my colleagues and collaborators have always been extremely good. When I announced that I was getting married, they were all extremely warm and genuinely excited for me!

The only bad experience I had was still when I was at uni in Italy, some students were being homophobic, and that’s one of the reasons why I left.

Did you have any role models growing up (LGBT, STEM, totally unrelated…)?

My role models have always been people close to me, like family, friends and colleagues, rather than an idealised image of somebody I’ve never met. The person I admire the most in the World is my gran, she’s 97 years old, she has a lot to say and she’s still kicking!

What are your plans for the future?

My only criteria for a future job are: an interesting research and having my wife with me, so who knows where I’m going to be?

Anything else you’d like to add?

I guess I’m one of the few people that can say I’ve touched all the continents on Earth 🙂

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