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Community Profile: Giorgio Orlando

Name: Giorgio Orlando

Current position: Postdoc

Affiliation: University of Groningen

Field of research: Cosmology, with some interest for Astrophysics and particle-physics.


What is your career trajectory to date?

I got my Phd in University of Padova in February, 2020. I remained in Padova as a postdoc until September 2020. Then I moved to the University of Groningen for another postdoc, which is my current position.

What are the most exciting open questions in your research area?

To me, it is the discovery of gravitational waves from inflation.

What do you like and dislike about being a scientist?

I like the constant challenge of solving new problems, getting new ideas and being rewarded by developing them. I dislike the frustration in discovering that an idea and months of hard work might bring to nothing in the end.

Which of your skills are you most proud of, or find most useful?

I am proud to be patient, resilient and honest. I always try to be a good example for people younger than me and do the right thing, rather than being opportunist.

In your career so far, at what point were you the most excited, and what were you excited about?

Difficult question. I don’t usually get excited for my achievements. I must say that I got very excited when I ended my PhD!

What new skills would you like to learn in the next year?

There are a lot of things that attract me, also outside my research area. But among all the things, I would like to learn to deliver my research to the generic non-expert public.

What advances or new results are you excited about or looking forward to?

The launch of the next generation of gravitational waves missions, like LISA.

What is the biggest obstacle that is slowing down your research field right now?

The difficulty in finding very new and original ideas. My impression is that cosmologists tend to over-publish the same thing, rather than risk an high-reward high-risk scientific path. So, basically, the "publish-or-perish" road.

What’s your favorite food?

It depends, sometimes pizza, sometimes sushi, sometimes chilli chocolate ice cream.

How do you like to relax after a hard day of work?

Cuddling with my girlfriend, seeing Netflix film/YouTube videos. Playing football.

Do you have any non-physics interests that you would like to share?

I like helping people with mental illness or personality disorders. I like playing football.

If you were not a scientist, what do you think you would be doing?

Difficult question. Maybe I could have been a good psychologist, but at the same time I don’t think that psychology is really rigourous. In any way, something in connection with people that struggle with mental health.

What do you hope to see accomplished scientifically in the next 50 years?

If it refers to my field, I would say the discovery of the nature of dark matter or dark energy. Outside my field, I would hope that medicine could cure or give relief to people with terrible diseases, like permanent paralysis or cancer.

What question would you have liked us to ask you, and what would you have responded?

“Are you happy?” Fortunately, I am surrounded by people who make me happy.


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