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All of us at the Step Change Project are hoping you all are enjoying the height of summer, and that you are taking a little time off over the next few weeks to enjoy the warmer weather and the longer days!  For July’s Citizen Scientist of the Month, we are shining a warm ray of light on Luisa Portieri, a citizen scientist and friend who is working alongside our partners at the University of Rome Tor Vergata,
 on our Infectious Disease Outbreak Preparedness CSI.

Learn a little more about Luisa

  • Where am I from: Rome, Italy.
  • Role within the CSI: Citizen scientist contributing to focus group discussions and interview activities.
  • Areas of interest: Volunteering, education of children and adolescents in the social context of the periphery of Rome and in the Catholic Parish.
  • What I like most about Science:  How I can use the scientific method in all aspects of my daily life. I am fascinated by the research discoveries in the medical field (vaccines, immunotherapy in oncology, and neurology).
  • My biggest dream: To work with and for adolescents.
  • My favourite recipe: Pizza Napoletana (pizza garnished with tomato, mozzarella cheese, and anchovies).

Why did you decide to take part in this initiative on Infectious Disease Outbreak Preparedness?

In my opinion, it is very important that citizens establish more direct contact with scientists in order to be constantly informed about scientific facts, as highlighted by the COVID-19 situation.

I would like to help establish these relationships and help build trust between citizens and scientists, with mutual exchanges.

What did you know about Citizen Science before you started working for StepChange?

I had actually never heard of citizen science before I started working with Step Change.

However, ever since I learned about citizen science, I have been very intrigued by the fact that citizens could be involved in activities, something that had seemed distant and complex to a citizen until then.

Would you participate again in such an initiative, and if so why?

Yes, of course!

Citizen Science should not remain an activity limited to the individual person but should be available and be shared with other people, in order to pass on knowledge and methods. Interacting with the scientific world helps to manage fears and control fake news. In one sentence “You live better”!

Thank you again to Luisa for all the great work you do for the StepChange project, and for helping our friends in Rome!

Check back with us in July for our next Citizen Scientist of the Month.

Do you want to take part in the project as a citizen scientist and join our Italian Citizen Science Initiative? Or if you would like to learn more about the project, do not hesitate to reach out to us and send us a message via the form below. A member of our research team will get in touch with you. Or click here for more information.