Maria Antonietta Ferrara - 2021 SPIE Women in Optics Planner
Institute of Applied Sciences and Intelligent Systems
National Research Council (CNR), Italy
Born in Italy
Growing up I loved science and learning how things worked. I was lucky, because my parents have always supported my passions and they taught me to always believe in myself. I remember when I visited a laboratory for the first time: I was excited to see scientists at work and I realized that was what I wanted to do in my life.As a researcher, I started with my PhD and for the first time I had the responsibility to build a set up and test it rigorously. I was afraid of making mistakes, so I studied a lot and slowly I got familiar with the tools. Then, when I made the first measurement, it was a great achievement for me.
To reach my position as a researcher, I had to wait a long time and I was often discouraged. But I always told myself that “if you want it, you can do it!” And I wanted with all my strength to make my dream of becoming a scientist come true.
Since the beginning, I have had some excellent researchers who trained me and taught me how to work well, so I didn’t miss anything. I would want other young scientists to have the same. And I would also advise young women to not be afraid of obstacles in their career, always believe in themselves. Try to work in a united group, where everyone helps each other, but also find time to have fun. Take time to share scientific activities among young people; you could inspire a new generation of scientists.