University of Firenze (Florence), Department of Physics and Astronomy, Florence, Italy
OSA Member since: 1967
OSA Fellow since: 1989
After working with CNR (the Italian Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche) doing research in a stimulating and internationally linked ambient, I became Professor of Physics in the University of Firenze (Florence) Italy. I was recently sent to retirement (by law), but am still active in teaching optics in the same University. I am one of the founders of the SIOF, the Italian Society for Optics and Photonics, of which I was also the President. From 1993 to 1996 I was the President of the ICO, the International Commission for Optics. Being the first female ICO President since the ICO Foundation in 1947 was a great recognition for me.
What is your advice for balancing one’s professional and personal life?
It depends on how high one wants to go in his/her professional activity. To reach top positions is a difficult task; one needs a lot of good will and help from the family.
Do you have suggestions for how female scientists support each other’s career and development?
Example is very important because one can see that the path is already open. Another point is encouragement. A female professor can encourage female students; a female colleague can encourage younger female colleagues. This sometimes requires one to overcome competition especially in the case of people of the same age, but this is needed because it is better to help each other than to be in competition.
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