Winning a project is a bit like hitting a bullseye

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A conversation with Alessandra Mazzai.

As a child he already dreamed of science and archery. Francesco Bosello tells about his projects, sports, volleyball matches and fantasy literature. Get to  know the director of the ECIP Division a little better, directly from Venice Lido.

What’s your job at the CMCC Foundation?
I am director of the ECIP Division, which deals with climate change impacts and adaptation policies, in particular through the development of macroeconomic models. As economists, we interact daily with researchers from all CMCC divisions, who deal with disciplines that can be very different from ours. Ultimately our main task is to translate what they identify as the physical consequences of climate change into economic terms.

Which road led you to CMCC?
I’ve always been interested in environmental and economic themes. I wrote my thesis on environmental taxation, and later focused my interests on climate change economics. I saw the birth of CMCC and have been collaborating with the Foundation from the very beginning.

Is your current job the one you had dreamed of when you were a child?
Research and researchers as professional figures have always fascinated me, I always dreamt of being a researcher, regardless of the disciplinary field, perhaps  because I didn’t know what it meant! I imagined that a researcher would be closed in his room “thinking”, with his books and his computer. Actually, today research takes up only part of my time: I would say that roughly a third of it is invested in the search for funding, which is essential, and a quarter (at least) in various kinds of administrative practices.

Could you tell us the most memorable moment in your life as CMCC researcher?
There are two categories of moments that I would like to mention. The first is winning (and consequent management) of projects as coordinator. The most recent is the H2020 COACCH project, which started in December 2017. The second concerns volleyball matches played with colleagues at the CMCC conventions in Ugento.

What’s on your workstation?
A photo of Isabella, my 9 year old daughter, a “Volkswagen van” clock and two gifts from ex-colleagues: a wooden elephant, given by an Indian researcher who spent a visiting period in Italy, and a tin pen holder sponsoring the Simpsons, which once contained a small panettone and has now been conveniently recycled.

How do you travel to work?
I live in the Venice Lido and I get to work only using public transport: bus-boat-bus.

What do you do in your spare time?
At work I am mostly sitting and concentrated, therefore in my free time I play sports: body building, running on the seaside (I live 50 m from the beach!), and archery.

When you shoot an arrow, can you hit the target?
If it’s close, yes! Sometimes even if it’s 70 meters away. I only started a year and a half ago, but I’ve wanted to try since I was a child (like being a researcher!): my role model was Eugen Herrigel (Robin Hood would be too obvious).

Cinema or literature: give us a title and explain your choice
I love reading fantasy and science fiction books. My favourite is The Lord of the Rings, a book that, read in different phases of life, struck me for different reasons: when I was 12 for the adventure, when I was 18 for the construction and complexity of the characters, and as an adult for the cosmogonic vision of the author.

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