The “Phd students as a bRidge bEtween SciencE aNd society” (PRESENCE) International Workshop has been organised by UNI-GE in Genoa (Italy) on 27th October 2017 within the framework of the Festival della Scienza, one of the largest science festival organised in Italy. In order to stimulate collaborations and connections among different EU projects thus making more effective the outreach communication, projects in different fields also contributed to the organisation, as Raw Materials@School and Chemistry is all around us.

The aim of the PRESENCE was building a bridge for a bidirectional connection between PhD students and the public at large, and especially high-school pupils and university students. Indeed, during the workshop, the fellows of SYNCHRONICS were active actors  for the popularisation of their expertise in the photonics field, thanks to the posters prepared ad hoc for this special occasion. In addition, some fellows were really pleased to share with the public not only their posters, but also their feedback about their experience during all the workshop and a short video interview about their posters to enhance the outreach of their activities.



Wonderful Photonics In Nature
T. Arcidiacono (UCL)

2017.10 – PRESENCE Arcidiacono


Good Vibes
E. Alloa (University of Cyprus)

2017.10 – PRESENCE Alloa


Photonic Devices in Everyday Life
Piotr Cegielski (AMO GmbH)

2017.10 – PRESENCE Cegielski


Playing LEGO with Molecules: Supramolecular  Chemistry
Vincenzo Grande (University of Wurzburg)

2017.10 – PRESENCE Grande


Self-Assembly in Nature
Marco Squillaci (University of Strasbourg)

2017.10 – PRESENCE Squillaci


Photonics to Connect the World
Giuseppe Carnicella (UCL)

2017.10 – PRESENCE Carnicella


The New Era: From Silicon to Bio-Organic Valentina Robbiano (University of Pisa)

2017.10 – PRESENCE Robbiano


 Exotic Light-Matter States for Future Quantum Simulation
Fabio Scafirimurto (IBM)

2017.10 – PRESENCE Scafirimuto


from the Bio-World to Photonics
Lara Tejerina Gonzales
(Univserity of Oxford)

2017.10 – PRESENCE Tejerina


The Creator:
How to Synthesize a New Molecule
Sabine Weidlich (University of Oxford)

2017.10 – PRESENCE Weidlich


The Flow of Time: from Photography to  Ultrafast Spectroscopy
Giuseppe Maria Paterno’ (IIT)

2017.10 – PRESENCE Paterno’


Flexible Electronics
Alexandros Rapidis (UCL)

2017.10 – PRESENCE Rapidis


Structural Color and Sensing
Paola Lova (University of Genoa)

2017.10 – PRESENCE Lova





“During the workshop I learned how to look at Science from the perspective of who is not familiar with scientific topics, and I realized that it should be understandable for everyone. Consequently, the diffusion of scientific culture becomes necessary at every level of the educational system, trying to demolish all the scientific stereotypes and spread the beauty of Science. Moreover, the role and importance of Science in politics and in countries relationships are now clearer.”

“I was surprised by the interest and the curiosity of such a heterogeneous audience, which included students from either high school and university, but also teachers and museum employees. All of them were highly motivated to know what we were presenting, and their appreciation was an incentive for me and my scientific work.”

“I strongly believe that creating a connection between society and science is a stimulating challenge and a role of high responsibility. Working with passion and building a strong scientific knowledge are the most likely ways to fulfil this role.”

Tecla A.

“The workshop has been an opportunity to experience and remember how important it is to share research findings with PRESENCE and enthusiasm.”

“The experience was great! Students showed very much interest toward the specific subject and science in general and participated actively in a fruitful conversation. I am very positively surprised about this beautiful attitude. Moreover, it was useful for me to break down the complexity of what I do and to look at it from another perspective.”

“It is very important to build bridges in every area of life, and especially in science. The demonstration is that society can understand science and wishes to be part of the process. Finally, I believe it is important and profitable for both parts to participate in more of such successful events.”

Elisa A.

“This experience allowed me to understand how important is to put scientist in contact with people from other fields to clarify and remove misconceptions and false myths about science.”

“The poster session was an extremely positive experience in which both young students and older people from different fields could satisfy their curiosity on different scientific topics by talking with motivated Ph.D. students.”

“Being bridge between science and society is a fundamental role to put science in contact with society and explain why it is important to support the scientific research to tackle certain issues which could be seen as “not relevant” or even “waste of public money.”

Marco S.

“The workshop has been a great chance to be trained by high-level scholars on science popularisation and outreach. I think all the young researchers should try to cooperate among them and apply recognized strategies to let people understand the value of their research.”

“The poster session was an excellent opportunity to learn how to disseminate our research to university-level students. I was extremely glad to see young students fascinated by my research topic. Their questions were a great stimulus to overview and, then, examine in depth the set of problems and outlooks concerning the main aim of our research.”

  “PhD students must have the chance to invest some time in the outreach of their research. Being in their first stage as researchers, they can be easily involved in the communication to not expert people. The role of a PhD student should be investigated further by letting people know what a PhD student does in his working life and how his potentialities can be used to improve the society lifestyle.”

Giuseppe C.

 “Explaining one’s work even to other scientists with a different background is difficult, but explaining it to the lay audience at first seems impossible. If the message is not going straight to the point and at an understandable level, the attention is lost immediately. That’s why it is so important to be well prepared for the task.”

“It was interesting to test my presentation skills in a different environment that I am used to. I found it a bit hard to encourage the high school students to come closer to the poster and ask questions; however, I was positively surprised with those few students who dared. Overall it was a valuable experience, which will be useful in my future career.”

“It is a good idea to participate in such events not only to tell about science to the society, but also to train presentation skills on a different level than Ph.D. students are used to. To do it right it is necessary to prepare an attractive message, which is time consuming. I think that a workload of a typical Ph.D. student is too high to really perform in such role at a high standard, without leaving some research behind.”

Piotr C.

 “I learned that communicate our research is really important not only to inform and make the society aware of our work as scientists, but especially for us to be more open-minded and self-aware, bridging our multidisciplinary knowledge into our research.”

“The poster session was an amazing opportunity to challenge our communication skills. The interaction was very active especially with the young students and I am sure this experience was fruitful for both sides.”

“This experience thought me that every scientist should spend more effort be more in touch with our society to inform people and let them aware of our work, but also to receive feedbacks and inputs for our research. Therefore, I am more enthusiast and willing to actively participate to these kinds of initiatives.”

Vincenzo G.



Wonderful Photonics In Nature – T. Arcidiacono (UCL)


Good Vibes – E. Alloa (University of Cyprus)


Photonics to Connect the World – Giuseppe Carnicella (UCL)


Photonic Devices in Everyday Life – Piotr Cegielski (AMO GmbH)


Playing LEGO with Molecules: Supramolecular  Chemistry  –
Vincenzo Grande (University of Wurzburg)


Macrocylcles:  from the Bio-World to Photonics –
Lara Tejerina Gonzales (Univserity of Oxford)


Exotic Light-Matter States for Future Quantum Simulation –
Fabio Scafirimurto (IBM)


Self-Assembly in Nature – Marco Squillaci (University of Strasbourg)