With the photographic exhibition “Life as a scientist” Bracco Foundation is paying homage to women in science with the aim of helping to overcome gender prejudices and stereotypes in scientific practice.
Welcome to this journey which is inspired by the 100 women against stereotypes project conceived by the Pavia Observatory and the Gi.U.Li.A. journalists’ association in collaboration with Bracco Foundation and with the support of the Italian representation of the European Commission.
“It is time for the female component of the human race to assume a determining role in the management of the planet. The route we have taken seems to have taken us to a blind alley of self-destruction. Women can give an important contribution in this critical moment.” Rita Levi Montalcini (Nobel Prizewinner for medicine in 1986).
Barbara Caputo, Physicist
The media have called for “the woman who speaks to robots”. Her main interest is the development of the theory and algorithms needed for robots to receive information directly from the Internet.The aim is to arrive at home robotics, highly specialised machines built to carry out specific actions in the domestic environment. Some of these actions could have a wide range of uses, for example assistance for old people, the disabled and children. She places great emphasis on designing robots to avoid situations of prejudice such as gender or racial discrimination.
Patrizia Caraveo, Astrophysicist
She has collaborated on several international space missions dedicated to high-energy astrophysics, starting from the European Cos-B mission. She was one of the first to understand the fundamental role of neutron stars in high-energy astrophysics. In years of research on the identification of the Geminga source, recognised as the first pulsar without radio emissions, she perfected a multi-wavelength strategy for identifying gamma radiation sources in the galaxy. Since January 2012 she has been responsible for the participation of the national astrophysics Institute (INAF) in the Cherenkov Telescope Array, which involves 1300 scientists from 32 countries and is made up of two telescope networks that cover the entire sky.
Chiara Casarotti, Engineer
Her main interests are applied and experimental research in seismic engineering, the dynamic response of structures in reinforced concrete, seismic insulation systems and rapid evaluation with numerical and experimental support of buildings and infrastructures following earthquakes. In recent years she has been involved in the technical management and rapid response to seismic emergences, both as part of the pilot project on the modules of the European civil protection mechanism and national projects for the Italian civil protection department as well as during the three major Italian earthquakes of the past decade (L'Aquila, Emilia and central Italy), with operational roles of technical coordination.
Elisabetta Dejana, Biologist
She was one of the founders of the FIRC Institute of molecular oncological research. Most of her latest work was dedicated to studying the process of vascular formation, both in the embryo and during the growth of tumours. When IFOM was set up in 2000, she was one of the first scientists in its laboratories, setting up a research programme to study the process of tumour angiogenesis and develop therapeutic strategies to inhibit the growth of tumours by acting on it.She has distinguished not just for her scientific contributions but also for her ability to communicate science and for her special commitment to promoting the career of young researchers.
Caterina La Porta, Biologist
For more than 10 years she has been involved in network medicine and complex systems applied to biomedicine. In 2015 she co-founded the Centre for the study of complexity and Biosystems (CC&B) at the Milan Statale University to investigate the fundamental mechanisms of tumour cells such as their heterogeneity. In the specific case of melanoma, the research identified a cellular subpopulation called cancer stem cells (CSC), demonstrating that cancer cells have a plasticity that depends on their surrounding environment. The aim is now to identify the weak points of the plasticity of cancer cells to prevent them turning into cancer stem cells. She was co-founder of the spin off/start up ComplexData in June 2018, of which the first product was the ARIADNE platform that uses artificial intelligence to estimate metastatic risk using big data.
Luisa Torsi, Chemist
She has studied conductive polymers (plastic materials that can conduct electricity). After pioneering studies on chemical sensors she then moved to research on biological sensors with the FlexSmell project which gave rise to the “odour machine” that could create biosensors able to codify and de-codify odours with a precision similar to that of the human nose. She has recently been studying a new technology, the first record measure of an individual protein molecule using a transistor of millimetric size. She is the only Italian woman to have won the prestige Heinrich Emanuel Merck prize for analytical sciences. She is fighting to achieve a greater involvement of women in science.
Life as a scientist
The faces of #100esperte project
Extract from the photographic exhibition held by Bracco Foundation and CDI-Centro Diagnostico Italiano
Ideation and realization by Bracco Foundation
Photographs by Gerald Bruneau
Graphic project Dario Zannier
Photographic prints Spazio 81
Printed by Grafiche Bazzi – Faenza Group
Thanks to (in alphabetical order): Maria Pia Abbracchio, Patrizia Azzi, Giovannella Baggio, Lucia Banci, Ariela Benigni, Paola Bonfante, Barbara Caputo, Maria Caramelli, Patrizia Caraveo, Chiara Casarotti, Tiziana Catarci, Alessandra Celletti, Maria Cristina De Sanctis, Elisabetta Dejana, Liliana Dell’Osso, Maria Benedetta Donati, Elisabetta Erba, Maria Cristina Facchini, Paola Fermo, Elena Ferrari, Simonetta Gentile, Paola Inverardi, Caterina La Porta, Daniela Mari, Mirella Mastretti, Cristina Messa, Paola Mosconi, Elena Pacella, Valeria Poli, Silvana Giuliana Priori, Manuela Teresa Raimondi, Maria Grazia Speranza, Ines Testoni, Luisa Torsi, Paola Velardi.
With reference to the “100 women against stereotypes” project, our thanks to the partners: Pavia Observatory, Gi.U.Li.A. and the Italian Representation of the European Commission.
Thanks also to the working team (Monia Azzalini, Beatrice Covassi, Giovanna Pezzuoli and Luisella Seveso) and the STEM scientific committee (Silvia Bencivelli, Gilberto Corbellini, Alberto Quadrio Curzio, Daniela Falcinelli, Maria Cristina Messa, Telmo Pievani, Donatella Sciuto).