Once upon a time, in another galaxy, I used to be the youngest one, like when I was a programmer in the late 80’s or when I started to attend scientific conferences. Suddenly I am almost always the oldest one, in lunches at work, unless an emeritus joins us, during meetings, in social settings. But it is ok, it is in fact very nice to listen to young people and get inspired. My favorite young person is Greta Thunberg whom I want to honor today in occasion of the Autism Awareness Day. In the old galaxy where I come from, one does not accept nor understand diversity. I left industry for university as I felt that I was not normal enought for a life in industry in my early 20’s. However, universities are also conservative and a lot of work has to be done to include people like Greta who challenge science and the world.
Today, together with 8 European partners, we have submitted an H2020 application called GRETA to the Science with and for Society – SwafS-15-2018-2019: Exploring and supporting citizen science SWAFS program of H2020.
“Empowered through the innovative GRETA citizen science methodology, young people and all citizens will generate, and engage in, bottom-up citizen science activities aimed at social innovation that will help humanity achieve its sustainable development goals. We choose to focus particularly on addressing societal challenges linked to the transition towards happier and healthier cities, with climate change being one of the most important among them.
We aspire to include everyone in this process, regardless of their gender, age, ability, geographical, socio-economic, cultural, or other background. Therefore, we pay particular attention to empowering people at risk of exclusion, focusing especially on the inclusion of the disabled as well as of girls and women in the innovative citizen science activities that we will develop.”
I do not know if the GRETA project will get fundings, the competition is hard. In any case, it is a big inspiration to try to be part of this. I am 54, I am one of the oldest ones, but not even when I wrote my master thesis in the old times, in the other galaxy, I concentrated and worked hard as in this process.