I have been working in the field of science communication since 2017.
From 2017 to 2022, I worked as a science communication manager. For this role, I designed and managed the communication and dissemination activities of several EU-funded international, large-scale research projects. Since June 2022, I am a senior communication consultant in the space sector and I am responsible for the support office of Copernicus, the European Union’s Earth Observation programme.
From May to November 2021, I completed an internship in science journalism at the European Southern Observatory (ESO).
I developed many of my scicomm skills by taking a number of academic courses in science communication and journalism, see the section on my education in science communication below.
I have also given workshops on science communication to scientists and researchers, in particular to the research group coordinators and to the early career researchers of the Cluster of Excellence QuantumFrontiers (see the Teaching section).
Senior communication consultant in the space sector (since June 2022)
I work as a senior communication consultant at SpaceTec Partners (Germany and Belgium), a boutique consultancy in the space sector whose array of services includes: strategy and technology consulting, communication activities, and interdisciplinary project management mainly for public institutions (e.g. European Commission, European Space Agency, European GNSS Agency, European Parliament, National Ministries, etc.). SpaceTec’s areas of activity cover space (earth observation, navigation, satellite communications, exploration and situational awareness), geo-information, security & defence, transportation & aviation, mobile & mobility, and energy.
In particular, I am the project manager of the support office of Copernicus. Copernicus is the European Union’s Earth observation programme, looking at our planet and its environment to benefit all European citizens. It offers information services that draw from satellite Earth Observation and in-situ (non-space) data. The European Commission manages the Programme. It is implemented in partnership with the Member States, the European Space Agency (ESA), the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT), the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF), EU Agencies and Mercator Océan.
The Copernicus Support Office has the overarching objective to boost the visibility and user uptake of Copernicus, and to assist existing or potential new users, including academia, decision makers, media, stakeholders at large, and the general public. My duties as the project manager of the Copernicus Support Office include:
- Animation of the Copernicus Relays and Copernicus Academy networks, through the organisation of webinars, videoconferences and events such as their annual general assemblies.
- Supporting events and activities organised by members of the Copernicus ecosystem.
- Supporting the Copernicus Helpdesk.
- Overseeing the weekly production of the Copernicus Observer articles and their distribution.
- Overseeing the periodic monitoring of Key Performance Indicators for the assessment of Copernicus-related communication activities.
- Production of graphic dissemination materials, in close collaboration with graphic designers.
- Preparation of project reports to the European Commission.
SciComm Manager for EU research projects (June 2017 – May 2022)
I worked as a project manager in science communication at ICONS (Italy) and at the youris.com European Research Media Center (Belgium). I designed and led the communication and dissemination activities of many large-scale, international research projects funded by the Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation programme of the European Commission.
In particular, I am one of the co-authors of this working paper, which describes the integrated methodology developed by ICONS to estimate the effectiveness of communication and dissemination activities of research projects. The methodology is based on two innovative tools, namely the community engagement index and the communication effectiveness quadrants.
The Horizon 2020 projects for which I have been the communication and dissemination leader are (between parentheses the focus of the project and the time period of my involvement):
- ASTRABAT (new Lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles, January 2020 – April 2021)
- HOUSEFUL (circular solutions for the housing sector, May 2018 – May 2022)
- STARDUST (urban solutions for smart cities, April 2018 – April 2021)
- URBAN GreenUP (nature-based solutions for more sustainable cities, June 2017 – May 2022)
- FETFX (promotion of EU-funded research projects on Future and Emerging Technologies (FET), January 2019 – May 2020)
- PROTON (societal computer simulations modelling the recruitment processes to organised crime and terrorist networks, March 2018 – September 2019)
- EFFECT (promotion of EU-funded research projects on Future and Emerging Technologies (FET), June 2017 – December 2018. The above mentioned FETFX project was the continuation of EFFECT)
- FEAT (exploring art as a channel for science communication, June – October 2017)
My duties as a communication and dissemination leader of the above projects included:
- Design and implementation of the overall communication and dissemination strategy.
- Identification of the main stakeholders and the most suitable communication channels and formats.
- Development of the project visual identity, website and dissemination materials such as videos, leaflets, flyers, brochures, roll-ups, factsheets, best-practice kits, etc (in close collaboration with graphic designers, video makers, and web developers).
- Content creation and curation.
- Preparation of news items to promote the main project outcomes.
- Project website management.
- Social media management.
- Newsletter design.
- Event organisation, promotion and management.
- Preparation of project reports to the European Commission.
- Quantitative assessment of the communication impacts (see the working paper linked above for the adopted impact-assessment methodology).
As part of the EFFECT project, I have co-organised the workshop European Leadership through Disruptive Technologies: Future and Emerging Technologies towards 2030, held at the European Parliament on March 7, 2018, in Brussels (Belgium).
As part of the FETFX project, I have co-organised Journalist-in-the-lab. The goal of the initiative was to select young students at science communication schools and universities in Europe to give them the possibility to visit top European institutes and collect materials for new stories on research on Future and Emerging Technologies (FET). The two research institutes involved with the initiative and which welcomed the selected students were the Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology and the Institute of Materials Science of Barcelona, located on the campus of the Autonomous University of Barcelona (Spain).
The websites of the FETFX/EFFECT and STARDUST projects that I co-managed were bestowed the 2018 .eu Web Awards in the “Laurels” and “Better World” categories, respectively. The .eu Web Awards is an online competition held every year since 2014. It acknowledges the best websites with .eu or .ею (Cyrillic script) extensions. The prize is organised by EURid, the registry manager of the .eu and .ею country code top-level domains upon appointment of the European Commission in 2003. The objective of the award is to enhance the visibility of beautiful and impactful .eu and .ею websites.
Internship in science journalism at ESO (May – November 2021)
I have completed an internship in science journalism at the Department of Communication of the European Southern Observatory (ESO), the foremost intergovernmental astronomy organisation in Europe and the world’s most productive ground-based astronomical observatory. The internship took place at the ESO Headquarters in Garching near Munich, Germany.
ESO’s Department of Communication is responsible for all aspects of internal and external communication for the organisation. It covers the whole spectrum of communications, including media relations, content production, public and local outreach, digital communication, and internal communication. It also coordinates closely with the ESO Supernova – Planetarium & Visitor Centre for astronomy education activities.
As part of the internship, I have worked on the preparation of ESO news and press releases, blog posts, publications, web pages, video scripts and other public communication products. Samples of my work are available in the Portfolio section. In particular, I contributed to the preparation of the communication materials promoting the first ever image of the supermassive black hole at the centre of the Milky Way, a major scientific result obtained by the Event Horizon Telescope collaboration. Other tasks I conducted were monitoring social media and collecting analytics and press clippings.
Education in SciComm
I gained deep knowledge of science communication by completing the following study programmes:
- Online and media writing: this module was offered by the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol, UK) and taught across 10 weeks of online content between April and July 2022. The module introduced students to science writing techniques that are suitable for non-academic audiences. It explored key writing structures and key principles behind non-academic writing with an emphasis on online writing. Over the course of the module, students considered how to identify a story in scientific research, key writing structures, how to adapt the writing for different audiences, and other aspects of science writing, such as writing an effective press release. The final assignment was the production of a 2500-word science writing portfolio consisting of three pieces of writing for three different audiences, plus promotional social media material. When writing each piece, students had to choose from the following genres covered in the module: a news story, a blog post, a feature story (long-form writing), and a press release. One of the pieces of writing had to demonstrate the ability to communicate risk and/or statistics in a way suitable for a lay audience. The three articles I wrote are:
- Astronomers find the first isolated black hole ever observed (news story)
- Asteroids striking the Earth: how likely is that? (feature story)
- Sorry, your zodiac sign is wrong (blog post)
- Erice International School of Science Journalism: the school is offered by the Ettore Majorana Foundation and Centre for Scientific Culture and supported by the Italian National Institute for Nuclear Physics (INFN), Le Scienze (Italian edition of Scientific American), and the Enrico Fermi Research Center. It takes place every year for one week in Erice (Italy) and I was awarded a grant by the organisers to attend the 2017 edition. The theme of the 2017 edition was “Unveiling the Universe: when Science hits the News” (see programme and lecturers here).
- Post-graduate programme in science journalism and communication: the programme is offered by La Sapienza University in Rome (Italy) and focuses on multimedia journalism and communication strategies. I completed it over the 2016/2017 academic year and with the maximum mark (110/110 with honours). I was awarded a grant as the best student in the programme in that academic year. My thesis work is available at the following link: