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Humans of Research interviews Lorenzo Rosasco (and special guest Agnese Seminara)

An open-air exhibition and a collection of stories


Lorenzo Rosasco

Is it possible for a photograph to transform the urban landscape, while also introducing us to stories and people? Humans of Research tries to answer this question with a traveling photographic exhibition in 10 Italian regions.

The project was conceived and created by the social enterprise of communication about science Psiquadro to tell the world of research in a new way. It started on 23 February in Perugia and, in the following months, in other nine cities (Genoa, Trieste, Cagliari, Trento, Ancona, Turin, L'Aquila, Palermo and Pavia). The project transforms posters in streets and squares into installations, and inaugurates a gallery of stories collected on the website.

In the shots of photographer Marco Giugliarelli, we find researchers in their own environments, shown through the gestures that best describe their way of interpreting their profession.

Research institutions in 16 cities and 10 regions collaborated in the 2021 edition of Humans, to identify 10 researchers who met with reportage photographer Marco Giugliarelli. This is how he describes his approach: "I wanted to meet to tell their stories and I was eager to grasp the personalities that would have emerged, not only in their workplace, but in all those places they feel most connected to. I wanted to capture those glimpses and gestures that can show us how their personality is inextricably linked to their way of doing research". Next to these shots, the words: taking part in the photographic campaign, science writer Francesco Aiello and culture journalist Angela Giorgi interviewed the researchers and managed to enrich their portraits with even more fascinating nuances.

It is the beginning of a journey, as Irene Biagini, President and founder of Psiquadro underlines: "This 2021 edition kicks-off a work that we will expand in the coming months and years, to tell the stories of those who do research in an original and creative way, in line with the style that has characterized Psiquadro's way of communicating research for 20 years: a team of professionals, always ready to pick up new cultural stimuli and transform them into shared experiences".

Humans of Research has aims at becoming a larger and larger collection of stories of women and men who interpret the pleasure of knowledge through the craft of research, both in Italy and Europe.

The researcher representing Genoa is Lorenzo Rosasco: Professor of Computer Science here at MaLGa Centre, the Machine Learning Centre of the University of Genoa, Visiting Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and external collaborator at the Italian Institute of Technology (IIT). Rosasco is one of the 14 members of MaLGa’s faculty, and leads the Laboratory for Computational and Statistical Learning, which focuses on machine learning theory, algorithms and applications.

As head of the new Efficient Algorithms for Sustainable Machine Learning project - for which he received a prestigious ERC Grant - he put together a team of researchers from all over Europe. "If your horizon as a researcher is Europe or the United States, the struggle with employment simply won’t exist for you. Now I am facing a challenge: helping the people who work with me to find stable opportunities in Italy."

Prof. Rosasco’s full interview with Marco Giugliarelli’s photos is on the Humans of Research website, at the link below.