#weareISSNAF 2021 Webinar Series

May 18, 2021, 12:00 noon CDT
Giorgio Bellettini

Honorary Professor of Physics (Emeritus), University of Pisa

Guest Scientist, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (FERMILAB)

The Italian Factor at Fermilab

In conversation with Paul Grannis



A very significant outcome of the long-standing collaborative effort of Italians and North American nuclear physicists is the present deep involvement of Italians in the scientific and cultural life of Fermilab. Giorgio Bellettini reflects on a scientific career that started in the sixties, spanned two continents and was marked by a strong collaboration between American and Italian physicists, such as on the CDF experiment at the Fermilab Tevatron collider, where over 100 Italian scientists participated. His deep, constant involvement with Americans shaped many significant events, including two important scientific discoveries. After the end of CDF data-taking ten years ago, the Italian INFN is participating strongly in new world-class experiments at Fermilab and is looking to play an important role in the exploration of neutrino physics, the field where Italians have been making important contributions and on which the Lab is betting for future fundamental discoveries. Additionally, the Cultural Association of Italians at Fermilab, created by Bellettini to enable Italian students to train in the USA and to spread the Italian language, music and culture in the US, is another aspect of his important legacy. 

Hosted by the Consulate General of Italy in Chicago
and Italian Cultural Institute in Chicago


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Giorgio Bellettini



Giorgio Bellettini is Honorary Professor of Physics at the University of Pisa, where he retired in 2009, and Guest Scientist at Fermilab. He has made experiments in particle physics at Frascati, at CERN, and since 1980 at Fermilab. Since 1981 he was spokesperson of the Italian groups in the Collider Detector Facility (CDF) and Co-spokesperson of the international CDF Collaboration at the time of the discovery of the top quark. He was Director of the Italian National Laboratories of Frascati, Chairman of the ISR Committee and Member of the Science Policy Committee of CERN.

He is an author of over 850 refereed publications in international science journals, where many important results are reported including the discovery of the increasing with energy total proton-proton cross section at the CERN ISR and the discovery of the top quark at the Fermilab Tevatron.

He is APS Fellow, Commendatore of the Italian Republic, and was honored with the Carlo Matteucci Medal by the Italian Academy of Sciences in 2006.


Paul Grannis


Paul Grannis is Distinguished Professor Emeritus in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Stony Brook University.  He was the co-spokesperson of the D0 Experiment at the Fermilab proton-antiproton collider in 1995 when the CDF and D0 collaborations discovered the top quark, the heaviest constituent of matter.  He was awarded the 1990 Panofsky Prize by the American Physical Society.


April 15, 2021, 6:30 pm PST 
Massimo Piattelli-Palmarini 

Professor of Linguistics and Cognitive Science 
University of Arizona
Language, mind and brain



Over 60 years ago, a radically new approach to language and mind called Generative Grammar was initiated by Noam Chomsky. In 1974, at MIT, Chomsky and Massimo Piattelli-Palmarini opened a convergent field: biolinguistics. This field has witnessed an impressive development ever since, in terms of experiments, dedicated journals, books, articles, conferences and teaching. This webinar will offer a non-specialistic panorama of these developments, in a field that is still fully growing. 

Hosted by the Italian Cultural Institute Los Angeles and the Consulate General of Italy in Los Angeles.


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Curriculum Vitae

Massimo Piattelli-Palmarini is (since August '99) Professor of Linguistics and Cognitive Science at the University of Arizona, member of the Department of Linguistics, of the Cognitive Science Program, of the Department of Psychology, and honorary member of the Department of Management and Society. From January 1994 to July 1999 he was director of the Department of Cognitive Science (Dipsco), of the Scientific Institute San Raffaele, in Milan (Italy), and professor of Cognitive Psychology at the San Raffaele University. From September 1985 to December 1993 he was Principal Research Scientist at the Center for Cognitive Science of MIT. 


He has been a visiting professor at Harvard University (Fall 2020, Spring 2007, 1989 and 1988), the University of Maryland (Fall 2006),  at MIT (Fall 2003 and Spring 1993), at the Collège de France (Paris, May-June 2002), Rutgers University, NJ (Fall 1992), and at the University of Bologna (Spring 1997 and 1998). In August 1990 he was the chairman and organizer of the XII Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, held at MIT. 


From 1980 to 1985 he has been the Director of the Florence Center for the History and Philosophy of Science (Florence, Italy); from 1974 to 1979, the Director of the Royaumont Center for A Science of Man (Chaired by the Nobel laureate Jacques Monod) in Paris, and lecturer at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (Paris-Sorbonne). He obtained his doctorate in Physics at the University of Rome in 1968. 


His books in English: "Inevitable Illusions: How Mistakes of Reason Rule our Minds" (Wiley, 1994); with Jerry Fodor "What Darwin Got Wrong" (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2011).