Scientific research institution

Women, science and leadership, a conversation with Ilaria Capua

It’s a question that has concerned Western society since the women’s liberation movement: is it really possible to be successful both at work and at home? When applied to women in the field of science, the question takes on various dimensions. We talked with Ilaria Capua, the Director of the Division of Comparative Biomedical Sciences at the Istituto Zooprofilattico delle Venezie, and Member of the Italian Parliament, about this challenge, the importance teaching women leadership skills and what the world learned from the Ebola outbreak.

Bugging and promoting the excellence in physics

It calls itself “a knowledge hub”, a place where people from developing countries can share and learn at the top level. It is located in Trieste, Italy. Founded by a Nobel Laureate, it is funded (almost) by a single country, but ruled by two outstanding international organizations. It has already a great fame, due its scientific excellence and its role in promoting and educating the best young scientists from all over the world.

Scientific research: Milan calls Europe

Milan may be considered one of the main centers of Italian research, at least in its international and cooperative dimension, as it is demonstrated by the data regarding the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) that Scienceonthenet have analyzed(1). From such data, the great research centers of Milan clearly stands out, especially in the fields of biomedicine, energy and information technology, but there are also hundreds of small enterprises that collaborate with partners from abroad, in a “Europe of knowledge” that is still to be fully discovered.

The quest for quality: Telethon as a model

Telethon Scientific and Medical Committee assigned few days ago the new grants for 2013. Projects selection is extremely rigorous and articulate: Telethon, in fact, follows the same process of the US National Institute of Health, which only honours merit and is considered the best in the world. Scientific publications from Telethon Research, on average, obtain 60% more citations than the US average (based on Thomson Reuters citation-index calculations).

CMS discovers new particle

The announcement was made just a few days ago about the discovery of a never previously observed baryon, with a mass close to that of the lithium atom. Physicists Claude Amsler, Vincenzo Chiochia and Ernest Aguilò of CERN in Geneva "played" with the LHC, the same tool used for the Higgs boson search. Researchers say the discovery of the second of three baryons composed of usb quarks is important to confirm the theory that explains how quarks bind together and how the strong force, one of the four forces existing in nature, helps creating these elusive particles.

Italian and British Universities (and Dickens)

I thought about what could be done usefully to compare the Italian and British Universities systems, but it’s a daunting task. But I can’t help noticing how many of your colleagues have worked at British and US universities and probably, between yourselves, you have enough insight. But there are important themes. The following is somewhat digressive and I hope some of you might have the patience to read it to the end.

Nerviano Medical Sciences must be saved!

Nerviano Medical Sciences (NMS), a centre at the cutting edge of pharmaceutical research in the field of oncology, is in danger of closure, leaving 650 researches unemployed.  While  other countries invest millions of euros in such places of excellence, Italy is on the brink of letting one of their top research institutes close. This centre is indispensable for the country and for all those affected by cancer. It is inconceivable that such a place is on the brink of closure.  We must save Nerviano Medical Sciences.