A conversation with Selvaggia Santin
What’s your job at the CMCC Foundation?
I’m a scientific manager at CMCC within the Climate Simulations and Predictions division. I’m the coordinator of the European Topic Centre on Climate Change impacts, vulnerability and Adaptation (ETC/CCA), a Consortium of 15 European Organizations contracted by the European Environment Agency (EEA). I’m dealing with climate change adaptation issues.
Which road led you to CMCC?
It was a long time ago, about 14 years. I was working on a European project on Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) with the University of Bologna and I heard about the possibility to apply for a position at CMCC on climate change adaptation. It was a new theme and a very interesting one for me. Since then, adaptation science and policy is my main topic.
Is your current job the one you had dreamed of when you were a child?
I’ve always wished to work in the science field. I studied Physics, and then ICZM and Environmental Cooperation and Sustainable Development Policy. At the present I’m not doing pure research, I’m rather working at science-policy interface, collecting, evaluating and sharing scientific knowledge in support to decision making. I like this dimension and I find myself comfortable in it.
Could you tell us the most important moment in your career life at CMCC?
I’m not sure it was the most important moment but it was, for sure, the most amazing moment for me: my first Conference of the Parties (COP) of the UNFCCC (The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change). It was COP11 in Montreal (Canada). All delegates from all over the world were participating in such international negotiations on climate change. They were all there and I was there too as a member of the Italian delegation.
I remember perfectly that week. Delegates were working all night long. We had to agree line by line the text of a decision that should be finalized. We were discussing and arguing about every single sentence, word and commas.
If you’re not there, you cannot understand how consuming it is and you cannot realize how many different shades of meaning a concept can imply depending just on its phrasing.
What’s on your workstation?
A box full of pens and colors, ginger and a glass water bottle. Many papers to be read. To be honest, my real treasure is in my lower drawer: it’s full of chocolates and candies. My colleagues in Bologna know about it: it’s open to all of them. Even if they are able to complain when it’s empty. I’m a coffee addicted and chocolate lover.
How do you travel to work?
I’m commuting daily by train and then on foot. While travelling I often work or listen to relaxing music. And checking social media update: I am mostly following climate change info channels, friends’ profiles and fashion blog (I am passionate about fashion!).
What do you do in your spare time?
I mostly play with my beloved daughter Annamaria.
Cinema or literature: give me a title and explain your choice
I can say literature. I prefer mostly novels and thrillers. I’d recommend “The Third Twin” by Ken Follett. It is perfect to escape from the everyday routine: it allows you immersing yourself in a parallel dimension for a while. I also like Paolo Coelho and mystic-spiritual readings. I have to say that I really like Freud too.