Why I attend all the talks: Prof Racaniello

This week I was lucky to meet Prof. Vicent Racaniello, who is a professor at Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons. He has been working on virology for about 40 years, which really impresses me (the time, not the topic). His talk was by far the better attended talk of this seminar series and the way Prof Racaniello structured it was very simple, with a very catchy title “One brain, three viruses, and one podcast”: he gave a historical perspective of his life work and dedicated quite some time to talk about science communication and why it is important. This, non-research aspect of his work is incredible time-consuming and according to himself not always brings the expected return. However, Prof Racaniello is happy if he manages to get 10 followers per travel, which I find very humbling coming from a person that has been doing science communication for 14 years, hosts five podcasts, has one blog and is present in all social media.

A few of us stayed for lunch with the speaker: listen to Prof Racaniello talk was very comforting as most of his ideas resonated with mine, in great opposition to those of the established scientists I have around me most of the days.

I did not know Prof Racaniello, his scientific work, or his science communication work before last Wednesday, but now I know which podcast I will be listening to on those long sessions in the FACS machine.

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