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Top tips from Andrea Bandelli

Andrea Bandelli

Find out what’s been keeping Andrea Bandelli, a member of the jury that will decide the winners of this year's Mariano Gago Ecsite Awards, entertained. There's still time to make your application/nomination for the 2023 Awards! Applications/nominations close 28 February.

Listening to - I listen to several podcasts; in addition to a few which are probably everyone’s favourites (The Guardian’s Today in Focus, The Daily from NYT… ) I listen to Monocle’s podcasts, which are a perfect complement to the magazine. In particular I like The Stack, a weekly dive into the print and publishing industry. Every episodes presents a couple of magazines and books and it’s a bit like visiting a very well stocked international newsagent. It’s a window on the amazing array of human curiosity.

Reading - For my job, reading the Economist is a great way to keep abreast of major geopolitical issues. It gets pretty grim though, considering the state of the world now. So I complement it with other readings that give me more hopeful perspectives. A magazine I like a lot is Are We Europe. It’s a quarterly publication that presents new journalistic voices and cross-border narratives. Every issue features local stories and perspectives which together give a brilliant view on the beauty, complexity and diversity of Europe.

Following - I’m currently in a phase of “low engagement” online - I’m not spending as much time on social media as in the past. On twitter I admire the wisdom and insights of @shaunoboyle - his views on science communication are always sharp and thoughtful (and hilarious as well). I also admire Mary Carty. I got to know Mary during my time at Science Gallery International, where she’s a board member. Her insights on entrepreneurship, human potential, creativity are always very inspiring.

Things keeping me up at night - When faced with this question I remember a quote from Jack Ma who answered “Nothing! If I don't sleep well, the problem will still be there. If I sleep, I have a better chance to fight it." I really force myself to sleep at night especially at times where I am worried and stressed. What worries me is the increasing polarisation of civic debate; the urge of taking positions and quick decisions; the lack of respect and patience, and the increasing fear of international collaborations. Enough to stay awake at night, but actually those are the problems I need energy to fight during the day!

Somewhere I've been recently - A few months ago I went to Olomouc, a city in eastern province of Moravia in the Czech Republic, about 2 hours by train from Prague. It’s a small charming city with outstanding renaissance and baroque architecture, a vibrant student life and a not to be missed astronomical clock in socialist realist style. Instead of the traditional saints and angels, the clock features proletarians of all kinds praising the importance of science and technology!

Somewhere I'm planning to go - This spring I’ll be visiting Japan for the first time. Japan has always been on top of my travel wish list, but I never had an opportunity to go. In addition to all the great reasons to visit, Japan will likely become an associated country in Horizon Europe in the near future. Therefore there will be many more opportunities to collaborate on joint projects, strengthening scientific and cultural collaboration. Later this year I’ll also join the STSforum annual meeting in Kyoto, an event organised to discuss a 100- to 500-year long-term vision for humanity. With all the impending problems and threats the world is currently facing, a long term view is what we need to give us hope and determination to change.