Science policy and science diffusion

When I went back to Italy in 2005, after about 8 years abroad, I had the curiosity to study the Italian academic system, trying to identify its peculiarities and differences with respect to the others I knew during my carrier. In collaboration with Prof. S. Zapperi I wrote a commentary in Nature Physics about the age structure of the Italian academy compared with that other countries. We have then written a book (in Italian — published by Laterza, 2010) about a more general discussion of the Italian university and research systems.

This had quite an impact and for this reason I was invited to write editorials for the Italian daily Il Fatto Quotidiano and others dailies, weekly journals and on-line journals
(e.g, Scienza in Rete, the quarterly journal of the Italian Aspen Institute, the official publication of the EuroScience organization, the journal Research Europe devoted to discuss European science policy, etc.). Now I publish regularly, discussing various subjects, ranging from science, science policy, research evaluations, politics, economics, etc.

I am one of the editors of the blog (Return On Academic Rerearch and School) that I have co-founded on September 2011 together with other colleagues active both in the fields of natural sciences, social sciences and humanities. Roars is one the most important Italian forums for discussions on research and higher education policies. Since its inception we have published more than 4000 articles from more than 400 authors, receiving more than 50,000 comments and more than 24 million contacts with the daily average is more than 10 thousand visits. As was co-author, with the other editiors of Roars, of a book on the Italian university system that summarizes several years of activity of our blog {\bf[C2]}. For this activity I have been invited to several academic meetings in Italy, Spain, Denmark and Portugal on science policy including ESOF2014.

I have then written the book “Science and the Economic Crisis: impact on science, lessons from science’‘ (Springer 2016) that was published (Laterza 2016) also in Italian {\bf [C5]}. The book ponders the interface between science dissemination and scientific policy—with some digressions into history and the philosophy of science. It therefore aims to show how the ideas developed over the past century in natural sciences (both in general and specifically in meteorology, biology, geology, and theoretical physics—much neglected in the public debate), actually play a major role in understanding the seemingly diverse and unrelated problems lying at the heart of the current crisis and may suggest plausible and original solutions. This book is a voyage across modern science, and one of the main threads will be finding an answer to this crucial question: what are the practical, economic and cultural benefits of basic research? The preface of the book was written by Donald Gillies Emeritus Professor of Philosophy of Science and Mathematics University College London.