This is the first in a series of Brain Awareness Week partner interviews, in which partners share their experiences and tips for planning successful events. Piero Paolo Battaglini is a full professor of physiology at the University of Trieste in Italy. He is also a member of the European Dana Alliance for the Brain.
Your past Brain Awareness Week events have ranged from theatre production to radio shows, and conferences to music concerts. How do you organize such a diverse program each year, and have there been any particularly well-received events that you’d like to highlight?
I live in a University campus (University of Trieste), in a city where there is a second university—the International School for Advanced Studies (ISAS). At both schools, there is a community of neuroscientist who more or less all know each other. What I do yearly is to send an email to everyone I know who might be willing to organize something directly at the University, or through a colleague, Chiara Saviane, who does the same coordination at ISAS. Everybody knows that if they propose something, it is up to them to do it. My contribution is simply to organize the calendar, avoiding overlaps as much as possible. Because of the enthusiasm of the organizers, all events are generally well-received. If I had to rank them, the best events are those where new insight into neuroscience research are given. Among others, neuroscience cafes are often very successful.