What is the topic of your project?
With my project I would like to investigate the relationship between people’s engagement with science and technology and their social embeddedness. Studies on public opinion towards science have been focusing on scientific attitudes as if this was a special box, separate from all other aspects of society and they have been targeting individuals and their choices without really acknowledging the social structure in which they are embedded. This is a fundamental but narrow perspective that misses to capture the complexity of the concept. People are social actors and as such they act also according to their social status and the context in which this is enacted. Therefore, I would like to investigate if this is the case also for scientific attitudes, also in light of the non-scientific role and consequences that science and technology have a will have in society. In doing so, I will focus on engagement with science, as it is the most recent outcome in the long search of a dialogue between science and society.
How did you end up doing at the CFA?
It was a long way. I am born and raised in Italy, but I’ve always wanted to experience foreign environments and way of making research. Before coming here in 2020 I spent a couple of years studying and working at the Sociology department of Tilburg University, in the Netherlands. I enjoyed very much the experience and when it came to an end I decided to continue the abroad experience, but somewhere else. My master thesis and most of my studies were already in the Public Understanding of Science field, and it was a friend that knew the center and Aarhus University to advise me to apply for a PhD position here. After some research about CFA work (and the city of Aarhus), I understood that this had to be my next working place. And so, here I am!
What is like doing a PhD at CFA?
Even though the PhD is a very personal journey, I would say that there are several aspects characterizing the experience of a CFA doctoral student. First of all, as a complete stranger to the center, I found a very open environment, I felt very well taken care of in my first weeks (so much kage!) and I think this is something very valuable. Due to the pandemic, I started being consistently in the office only after one year in my PhD, but I am experiencing truly welcoming everyday working relationships, I never feel intimidated of interacting with anyone, seniors included. Finally the researchers composing the center are many, very experienced and from a variety of backgrounds, which makes the community extremely interdisciplinary and working much interesting.
What would you like to do when you are done with your dissertation?
For who I am and the experiences I had in the last year, it is still very soon to say. Spending the first year of the PhD in a dorm room does not help much in getting acquainted to the possibilities, but academia is one of the top options at the moment. I like doing research, and I also appreciated the tiny teaching experiences I had, I hope to get more of that! Anyway, I would not despise research jobs outside academia too. For the moment I am enjoying the ride, let’s see where it will lead me next.