The one with questions

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Interview by Alessandra Mazzai

“The only silly question is the one that you do not ask” he keeps repeating his students. Let’s get to know better the curious and cynical Shouro Dasgupta, the Sherlock Holmes of CMCC.

What’s your job at the CMCC Foundation?

My work is to investigate climate change impacts on the socio-economic aspects of society: economic activity, labour productivity, human health, inequality, and energy supply. This is something I am very interested in and I am passionate about it.

What brought you to CMCC?

I’ve been working within the ECIP division at CMCC ever since I arrived in Venice for my PhD on Science and Management of Climate Change and it was a natural road to stay here after I finished my studies to continue my research.

Is your current job the one you used to dream of as a child?

As I child, I wanted to be a lot of things: superhero, firefighter, sports personality, … never a musician, because I have zero musical talent (unlike the talented Alessio Bellucci!). By the time I was in high school, I realized that I was going to be an economist and that my dream job was to teach. It sounds very nerdy, but it’s true: I was a very boring macroeconomist before my master’s degree! It’s then when I saw the light that I needed to look into environmental economics and climate change impacts.

Tell us about a special moment during your time at CMCC

Recently I won my first project, co-coordinated with Francesco Bosello and funded by FAO. The project is on climate change impacts on labour productivity in the Near East and North Africa (NENA) region, a theme I have been working on for the last couple of years. It’s a dream fulfilled: coordinating your own project and working on something that will be useful for policymakers to change things!

What do you keep at your workstation?

I would like to say organized chaos, but it’s not. It’s just chaos. However, my workstation is the go-to place if you want chocolates. Also, I usually bring back food from all the beautiful places where I travel for work. Apart from that, I have research papers, notes about ongoing work, students’ exams, forgotten work, and lots of pens (I like pens!).

What ritual is never missing from your workday?

I have no ritual: it comes back to chaos! My only ritual is asking myself at night: “What is something new that you learned today?”.

How do you travel to work?

I live in Venice, on the beautiful island of Giudecca. I take a vaporetto to reach Piazzale Roma and from there, either I bike or take the bus to work, according to the weather.

What do you do in your spare time?

I spend my free time with my wife. We like traveling: our current goal is to travel throughout Italy by train.

Movies or literature: give me a title and explain your choice

Literature. I am a voracious reader. I read almost everything, so I end up reading a lot of trash! I am a harsh judge of books. The best book for me is the Canon of Sherlock Holmes. Not only for his detective talent but also because he asks so many questions and is able to use his talent and inquisitiveness to answer them. I also like his cynicism: he is very cynical, and so am I.

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