Today, for the first time in 18 years of association to the Italian National Institute of Nuclear Physics (INFN), I leave for a trip abroad, to the CERN laboratories, on my own wallet.
The situation into which basic research has been thrown by our crazy government borders the ridiculous, but is pretty darn serious. Italian physicists often travel to foreign laboratories to attend their apparata, collect data, perform their research, discuss with colleagues. If they lose money to do this, they will stop their foreign activities. I think in particular at graduate students and young post-docs, who earn salaries insufficient for a living, and whose per-diem compensation when abroad used to allow them to cover their expenses.
Post-docs in Italy earn about 1200 euros a month, a salary which is half or a third of that of colleagues from other countries. Until May 31st, when they traveled abroad they would also get about 100-130 euros per diem to cover lodging and meals. This allowed them to save a little. From now on, they will be reimbursed of the hotel expenses (making the choice of a cheap lodging not attractive any more), while the refund of meals is still uncertain. For sure, lunches and dinners within the lab (at CERN there is an excellent canteen) will not be refunded, because there will be no proof of the expenses.
In a time of economical crisis, other countries are reducing expenses across the board, but one sector immune of cuts is research and instruction: obviously, since it is a quite foolish idea to reduce the quality of our investment in the future. In Italy, basic instruction has been hit hard by the cuts, and expenses for universities and research are also being cut recklessly. The emergency, for our prime minister, is to pass laws that prevent judges from investigating on his misdemeanour, while the economical crisis, the future of Italy, and the situation of our younger generations do not appear a concern.
As I leave for CERN, I think that I will spend more money than I will get back, but I bring with me one conforting thought: I do not need to be ashamed of my job when I am abroad. In Italy, that is the feeling.
- PHYSICAL SCIENCES
- EARTH SCIENCES
- LIFE SCIENCES
- SOCIAL SCIENCES
Subscribe to the newsletter
Stay in touch with the scientific world!
Know Science And Want To Write?
- Wait, Let's Not Be In Such A Rush To Go Multiplanetary Or Interstellar - A Comment On Elon Musk's Vision
- Petition To Youtube To Halt Ads On Doomsday Videos - They Make The Vulnerable Suicidal
- Paleo: In A Clinical Trial, Bread Made With Ancient Grains Could Benefit Heart Health
- Hubble Spots Europa Geysers Again - How They Did It - And What Next? Flyby? Lander?
- Why Psychology Lost Its Soul - Science Replaced It
- Chatelperronian Hominins: Disputed Neanderthal Region Confirmed In France
- No Go Area! What? What is that?
- "I don't think that much of the Kardashev scale. Especially L2,3 star vs galaxy. How would it be..."
- "When Descartes claimed ... the soul ... is eternal and indivisible... it's obvious he starts with..."
- "Oh, sorry to hear that, I hear this so often. Basically it's like propoganda I think. Propoganda..."
- "Hi mr walker... lately i havent been able to eat or drink.. and if i do sleep its during the whole..."
- "Right, California did, but prior to that there were schools in Marin with only 25% vaccination..."
- Is Parenting Kids of Human and Canine Persuasion the Same? Yes!
- Diabetes: MiniMed 670G Hybrid Closed-Loop Insulin System Is A Waypoint To An Artificial Pancreas
- Celebrate Oktoberfest with Beer Chemistry
- Littlest Consumers Doing Well, Nutrition-wise
- Herpes Vaccine Update: Exciting News, But Don't Throw Away Condoms Just Yet
- Ben & Jerry’s Asks Us to Take Big Lick of Fear & Hype
- Antipsychotic medications linked to increased risk of pneumonia in persons with Alzheimer's disease
- Multiple sclerosis misdiagnosis shows need for improved education of clinicians
- Brown adipose tissue can secrete factors that activate fat and carbohydrate metabolism
- Therapeutic Gene Delivery for Inherited Retinal Degeneration in Children
- Molecular atlas of the pancreas