Silvia Paolucci, a recent and very active member of the EvoKE community:
Who are you?
I am Silvia, Italian evolutionary biologist with academic research experience in The Netherlands (PhD) and Switzerland (postdoc); currently working in science outreach field.
What I do for a living and what research I do?
After years of active academic research, I went back to my home country where I currently work in a laboratory involved in science education and science outreach. My main duties include lab activities in the field of biology and chemistry for school students of all ages, coordination of student research projects, organization of various science festivals and science outreach events (this year I organized the first local Darwin Day which was a great success!). In the past, I carried on research in the field of evolutionary ecology, adaptation, chronobiology and evolutionary genetics.
Why I wanted to join an organization like EvoKE?
I’ve been always interested in science outreach, with a focus in evolution, and always wanted to do something concrete in this field. EvoKE is the best opportunity to do so! I think the biggest value of EvoKE is its aim to put together a great diversity of competences, cultural backgrounds, and interests from people working in various fields (researchers, teachers, communicators) and in different countries. Such diversity offers a great chance to build a collaborative network of people that use the variety of ideas and skills to work effectively with the goal of increasing public understanding of evolution and scientific literacy in general. Moreover, being part of a big European association such as EvoKE surely enhances the possibility for building national and regional networks that could benefit from the support of the larger organization.
What kind of initiative I liked in EvoKE?
Although I could not physically attend, I found the conference in Porto very exciting and motivating. In general I like the idea of using different skills from people with various backgrounds to be more efficient with our goals. The initiatives to write a COST action to promote these collaborations was great! I particularly like the Evokids project, a big international network aiming to teach evolution to young kids.
What kind of initiatives I want to develop in the future?
I recently became an active member of EvoKE through my participation in the working group for defining the tasks of the future EvoKE national contact points and I will keep working on that. Furthermore, I’d like to involve myself in activities related to evolution education with school students and school teachers. Being part of a growing community such as EvoKE is very stimulating and inspiring! More and more ideas will be developed in the future and I am looking forward to give my contribution!