The Editorial 'Self-inflicted damage' ( Nature 463, 270; 2010) incorrectly stated that Rita Levi-Montalcini intends to appoint a new commissioner at the European Brain Research Institute in Rome. In fact, if her plans go ahead, the appointment would be made by the local prefecture. In addition, the Editorial spoke of Italy's "none-too-good scientific image". This was meant to refer to the nation's image problem in terms of reliability as a scientific partner; it was not intended to call into question Italy's scientific skills and ability.