Alessio Caspanello is a professional journalist since June 2010 and editor-in-chief of the online newspaper since January 2017. The site, of which he is one of the founders, is specialized in investigative journalism, inquiries, open data, fact checking. He was a founding member of the Parliament Watchitalia association, which deals with transparency, participation and open government, and is part of the Open Data Sicilia community. In 2015, he won the Mario e Giuseppe Francese Journalism Award established by the Sicilian Order of Journalists Marina Trimarchi is associate professor of nuclear and subnuclear physics at the University of Messina. Her research interest are mainly focused on heavy ion reactions at low and intermediate energy and, more recently, on astroparticle physics. She is actually the Delegate of the Rector of the University of Messina for scientific dissemination and she is the Principal Investigator of the Sea in SHELL project, associated event to the European Researchers’ Night 2021. Luca Nalbone is specialized in “inspection of foods of animal origin” and he got his PhD in “veterinary public health and safety in 2020. His research activity has focused on the dynamics of diffusion, distribution, extraction and identification of microplastics in food of animal origin in order to understand the real risk and the potential impact that microplastics may have on public health through consumption of contaminated food. Serena Savoca is Assistant professor in Ecology at University of Messina. Her research interests focus on marine ecology, including studies on marine ecosystem biomonitoring and marine pollution, with special attention to the microplastic pollution impact on aquatic environment and living organisms. Her latest studies concern the investigation and characterization of microplastics occurred in farmed fish species.
Women in Science panel – Summary It is quite well known that women are under-represented in many STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subjects. In this panel three academics and one gender expert come together to discuss the reasons for this gap and ways to close it, with the aim to generate fruitful discussions across the Mediterranean. Ms Anna Koukkides-Prokopiou (Independent Gender Expert, Senior Fellow at the Cyprus Center for European and International Affairs, University of Nicosia) relays interesting points on this critical societal challenge as food for thought and gives more details on the hot topic of Artificial Intelligence and how the absence of women in how this field is shaped will affect how our world will be shaped in the future. As a gender expert, Anna also facilitates the discussion. Associate Prof. Dimitris Tsaltas (Cyprus University of Technology, Limassol, Cyprus) relays results from the project which focuses on gender as intersecting with other social dimensions in scientific institutions and research fields related to agriculture including food, livestock, fishery, forestry, natural resource management, and farming and rural life. Dr Margarita Zachariou (Cyprus Institute of Neurology and Genetics, Nicosia, Cyprus) touches on another very interesting topic; that of women’s underrepresentation in biomedical research and clinical trials. This has led to negative implications for women’s health, such as drugs with more side effects to women. Dr Katerina Kaouri organised this activity on behalf of SciCo Cyprus, one of the partners in the project. The MEDNIGHT project is funded by the EU and involves 13 partners in three Mediterranean countries as well as many other collaborating organisations. This is one of the numerous activities of the project which culminate with the Researchers’ Night taking place in 370 cities across Europe on 24th September 2021