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Help us to help "physicist and biologist cubs" grow into scientists able to deal with sustainable development

My issue area is "Women in informal and care economy".
And I have a sub-issue, too: ""

Personal testimony: molding young environment scientists individually.

My story deals with undergraduate instruction in the field of environmental physics, biology and geology. This is a very important point in my feeling: if we wish a sustainable future for our descendants and us, we strongly need many scientists who are competent in these fields, passionate, and willing to share their knowledge with following generations.

This, because the problem we face is immense, but yet largely unknown. We know something about how life and global ecology function, but this knowledge is insufficient to imagine reliably what will happen to our planet, us, our children and their descendants. Without reliable prediction, we are not able to govern.

To better know, we need the knowers. Allowing new scientists to grow, become productive and thrive should be a top priority.

As far as I've seen in the last 30 years, helping young scientists to form their professional identity and passions can only in part be done by frontal courses. Sure these have a great importance to impart basic knowledge, but also are largely insufficient to grow adult scientists.

What actually goes on is a behind-the-scene, immense activity of mentoring, following student theses, leading laboratories. This work is done mostly informally, often unpaid, and without any positive career impact. Meanwhile it is immensely gratifying, when you do: you strongly feel doing something useful, both individually and to the world. It may too be heavy and "time consuming", would "consuming" be an appropriate term.

Slightly rephrased: "typical women work".

On the other side, it can not been done differently. When issuing a frontal lecture you may "teach" 100 people. But when you want to form new colleagues, you can only interact with them one after one individually, and give them something on a person-by-person basis. This can not be industrialized.

If it is so indispensable, why not acnowledging and supporting it?


I urge the World leaders to acknowledge the positive role scientific research (not only applied: also basic) will have in the process of devising sensible, realistic and rationally informed approaches to sustainable development.

And to foster scientist development activities to date made by informal networks, by encouraging individual stated to emit laws which:
- Acknowledge the existence of informal networks aimed at developing students near graduation to became scientists;
- Acknowledge their positive and indispensable function;
- Acknowledge their position across the boundary of academia and productive world;
- For people working in academia: acknowledge participation to these networks (and, more generally, of "relational" work) as a legitimate, accountable and career-score-generating work;
- For students: to include mentoring and informally-given knowledge and goods in academic curriculum;
- And finally, to allocate appropriate resources for this all.

In the meanwhile, we go on, informally, caring and nourishing our cubs.




In partnership with the Women’s Environment and Development Organization (WEDO), World Pulse is collecting personal stories outlining women’s experiences and recommendations on sustainable and equitable development for presentation at the Rio +20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development.

All stories submitted on our community platform between now and June 3, 2012 will be presented at the Rio+20 Conference. Additionally, selected entries will be published in World Pulse’s digital magazine and distributed widely to international media partners. Learn how YOUR voice can be included!


Breese's picture

Thank you, Mauri! I agree -

Thank you, Mauri! I agree - we must empower youth with the knowledge and skills to lead the future in a sustainable and just way.

Mauri's picture

Tapping the untapped

Thank you for your warmness!

Sure, our cubs are the only resource for our future.

An immense one, as I've seen!
And, at least in this stagnating Italy, so much untapped...



Greengirl's picture

Dear Mauri

Thank you for bringing to bare, the importance of the roles of young upcoming scientist in the drive for sustainable development. Everyone sure has a role to play and I hope world leaders will hear you out, by coming up with solutions that will incorporate the needs and aspirations of everyone!



Mauri's picture

Thank you dear! Let's

Thank you dear!

Let's hope.

And in the same time, let's "move on", as each one may do. Maybe, even results of our tiny actions help building a big ground no Big Leader will be able to neglect.



jadefrank's picture

Taking your voice to Rio+20!

Dearest Mauri,

As always, I appreciate your unique voice and found your story to be very insightful—In placing more importance of the education and leadership of scientists as a crucial key for sustainable development.

Thank you for participating in our Rio+20 initiative and courageously sharing your voice. Your story and recommendations are en route to Rio de Janeiro with our partners at WEDO, and will be presented at the conference to ensure grassroots women's perspectives are included at the negotiating table. Our editorial team is working on an E-magazine for publication next Wednesday which you will receive in your inbox, highlighting selected pieces from our Rio+20 initiative. We will keep you updated on the outcomes of the conference and how you can stay involved as a vocal leader for your community on these issues.

I encourage you to read the stories of your fellow PulseWire sisters and engage in conversation to share experiences, ideas, and best practices for addressing sustainable development issues in your communities.

In friendship and solidarity,

Mauri's picture

THanks - and a little promise

Thank you, dear!

Incidentally, I'm writing now from the PhysicsDepartment in Milan, and just a couple hour ago my/our cubs have shared with me ideas only a grown-up physicist may have. Heartwarming!!

And, I'll read - promised. As just as I've done I found *real* ideas to disentwine from spread/finance/devastation/greed/...



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