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CERN appoints Gianotti, first woman chief, to 2nd term

GENEVA — The European research center that runs the world’s largest atom smasher says it has reappointed Italian physicist Fabiola Gianotti, its first woman chief, for a second five-year term.

CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, says Gianotti’s appointment marks the first time its director-general has been named for a second full term. It will begin on Jan. 1, 2021.

Gianotti, 59, headed a key CERN experiment between 2009 and 2013, when the center’s 27-kilometer (17-mile) circumference Large Hadron Collider helped confirm the subatomic Higgs boson seven years ago.

CERN has some big long-term projects like a high-luminosity LHC that will vastly increase the potential for scientific discoveries starting in 2026, and a multibillion-euro (dollar) project to build a 100-kilometer circumference “Future Circular Collider” that could start operating in 2040.

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