On 12 May 2021 Nature Italy and Nature Portfolio organised a webinar on how "Next Generation Italia", the government's plan for investing the resources from the European Union's post-pandemic recovery fund, will impact the future of science and research in Italy.
The investments are a unique opportunity to reverse Italy’s long-standing underspending on higher education, research and development – provided they are focussed on the right priorities, are accompanied by structural reforms, and by a renewed relationship between science, politics and citizens.
The discussion addressed such questions as:
• How will R&D investments from the recovery fund be organised? What topics and geographical areas will be prioritised?
• Does the level of funding correspond to the wishes of the scientific community?
• What reforms and transformations are needed to make the most of the new investments (more transparency in allocating funds, reforming academic careers, actions to achieve better gender balance)?
• How can Nature Italy contribute by improving scientific information and exchange of ideas in the community, and between scientists and decision-makers?
Agenda and speakers:
• Welcome and Introduction
Magdalena Skipper (Editor in Chief, Nature)
• Education and Research in Italy’s post-pandemic plan
Maria Cristina Messa (Minister for University and Research, Italian Government)
• Why Nature Italy and why now?
Nicola Nosengo (Chief Editor, Nature Italy)
• The Italian anomaly: the structural problems of Italian science and its potential
Elena Cattaneo (Senator for Life, Professor at University of Milan)
• How to bridge Italy’s gap in research spending
Ugo Amaldi (President, TERA Foundation)
• A new role for Italian Universities
Maria Sabrina Sarto (Deputy Rector for Research, Sapienza University of Rome)
• Three decades of covering Italian science: what has changed, what has stayed the same
Alison Abbott (Former European Correspondent, Nature)
• Discussion and Q&A with the audience