Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the European Researchers Night 2014. I am hanging at the Department of Chemistry of Sapienza University, getting ready to take pics to share with you on twitter and to report the roman side of this European event. In the meanwhile, I really want to share with you this amazing italian movie you may not know and that will be screened at the Department of Literature in less than one hour.

“Smetto quando voglio” (I quit as I want to), in theatres from early 2014 and directed by Sidney Sibilia, is a fresh and brainy black comedy that depicts with relentless irony the dramatic situation that italian researchers are living nowadays. Pietro, the main character, is a 37 years old researcher at the Sapienza University of Rome. Although he developed a very advanced drug design algorithm, his supervisor doesn’t understand the importance of his work and decides to fire Pietro. Overwhelmed and unable to confess his awkward situation to his partner Giulia, Pietro decides to use this algorithm to design a new smart drug. In a few time, Pietro walks the same path his inspiring character, Breaking Bad’s Walter White did, ending up involved in mafia business. Openly inspired to Breaking Bad, the movie never loses his comic vein, and it is a cruelly realistic, but still very funny portrait of the life for scientists in Italy.

I didn’t checked this actually, but you could find a subtitled version around. For more details, you can have a look here.

I just want to remember that, in 2013, Italian government decided to cut off the two main funds for research. The fund for applied research project (PRIN) was cut of the 40%, while the fund for base research projects suffered from a disconcerting cutoff of the 70%. Luckily, this seems to not have harmed our irony.

I really wish you a good European Researchers Night 2014. Enjoy this night as a celebration of the passion you put in your work every day. To us, it will be nth time to regret about our wasted potential.

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