In 2023 the first century of the National Research Council will be celebrated. Luxurious, lush
and luxurious celebrations were organized by the institution with the help of all the researchers involved
In 2023 the first 100 years of the National Research Council will be celebrated. Luxurious, luxuriant and lustful celebrations have been organized by the Organization with the help of the researchers involved and, from November 2022 and throughout 2023 there will be events of all types and kinds organized in Rome at the headquarters but also in the regional offices. The event is in collaboration with RAI and the Ministry of University and Research. Doing the math I can say that I have spent most of my life in this organization. I won my first research contract in December 1988 but I took up service on May 16, 1990. In this year and a half of waiting I went almost daily to the headquarters under construction of the Potenza Research Area, or rather Tito Scalo, that the Basilicata Region had made available to the Body. And I also helped in the material construction of the building, hoping that the work would soon be finished and we could move and start this new, uncertain and adrenaline-pumping adventure. And in fact the Research Area of the CNR of Tito Scalo, with 6 new Institutes was inaugurated on 28 April 1991 by His Holiness John Paul II who, in those very days, was making a pastoral visit to Basilicata. Among the young scholarship holders and contractors of my Institute at the time, only I remained, the others took other paths. I well remember that speech by the pope which I copy and paste here because it seems to me almost a prophecy: This meeting is a little improvisation, but what I heard came to mind while reading the context of this visit a little. Here in Basilicata, human life, the human phenomenon dates back to ten thousand years ago. So we are on the last bank of this long history and above all of the prehistoric period which I don’t know if it is the main theme of the research of those present here, ladies and gentlemen researchers. I thought that these ten thousand years of human phenomenon, of human life in this environment is a theme, an immense possibility. Research today certainly goes more towards the future, but the future cannot be planned well if one does not go down to the roots. I dare to wish everyone to go down to these roots too, in the different sense of nature, of the human phenomenon: in the sense of ethical, spiritual, religious traditions. Everything belongs to the identity of the European man, especially in the man who lives in this region, but always of the European man. This can also serve this European man to see a little bit of his future because, we see it many times, with all the scientific and technological achievements, he appears a bit disoriented. I wish you, dear ladies and gentlemen, to also bring some help in overcoming a certain spiritual disorientation of modern man and future man. Thanks and best wishes. In 1988 I was 26 years old, today I’m 60! All my professional training took place in the CNR but my spirituality also grew and was transformed within this institution which absorbed all my strength. From 1988 to 1997, i.e. for 9 long years, I was a precarious worker waiting to take on the role of researcher by winning a competition. This only happened in 1997 after many tribulations and with the fear that this moment would never come. Instead, after 1997 my life was more serene and my working career also began to take off: in 2001 I was a Research Director, the top of my career for a CNR researcher. I entered the CNR with the President Luigi Rossi Bernardi and when everything was paper and there were faxes considered at the time a magnificent and highly technological tool. But there were already computers that I taught myself to use and, soon after, came the Internet and e-mail addresses. There were not many who had an email address outside the CNR and few communications were sent with some attachments that did not always arrive at their destination. But within a few years everything changed and we quickly adapted to everything while the rest of the world around us was slowly not understanding the great revolution that was taking place. I am part of that generation that lived through the period of transformation, welcoming it with curiosity and the desire to understand how far we could go and what the future would hold for us, that future that comes from the past as stated in the slogan chosen by the CNR to celebrate its first 100 years. The first president was Enrico Fermi, in 1923, and the institution was based at the Accademia dei Lincei. The idea of an institution dealing with multidisciplinary research came from Enrico Fermi who was a great visionary. With the second president, Guglielmo Marconi, in 1937, it was moved to a site built near the University of Rome La Sapienza, what we non-Romans do not call the Headquarters but only the CNR or the Palazzo. In these almost 35 years I have had the honor of being part of many projects and situations that do not happen to everyone, of visiting unusual places and meeting highly prestigious scientific colleagues. I have covered the entire cursus honorum within the organization and have held many important positions: among all, I was the first woman from Basilicata to become director of a CNR institute. The first time I entered Aula Marconi (the conference room for great occasions in the Palazzo in Rome) I was thrilled to see the beautiful cycle of frescoes on the history of inventions with a depiction of the great inventors and scientists. Even today when I enter that conference room I feel an emotion because I am fully aware of being lucky to be part of this set of people who have dedicated their lives and their ideas to improving the world and humanity with many exceptions in the good and some bad. I have personally met all the presidents who have been there since Luigi Rossi Bernardi, I have dealt with them and I have drawn many advantages and learned something new. By subtracting 100 -35= 65, the first 65 years were years of construction of the institution. I arrived when a first constituent phase was followed by a transformation phase, for example the foundation of 123 new institutes in the South which lacked them completely, through a program agreement between the Miur and the Ministry for Extraordinary Interventions in the South in 1985 Also interesting are the words of the then President of the CNR Luigi Rossi Bernardi on the birth of the Tito Research Area and its Six Institutes written in a brochure that was published for the inauguration and which I keep as a relic: “Today Thank You to the active collaboration and the considerable commitment of the Consortium for Industrial Development, with the inauguration of the Potenza Research Area, the CNR can fully implement the agreements signed. A commitment of this size will certainly bear the desired fruits in a framework of close and effective collaboration with the University, the local administrations and the business world. The fact that the Potenza Research Area is the first, among the new research areas of the CNR in the South, to be inaugurated, demonstrates that, in Basilicata, this collaboration has been fully achieved: and this is the greatest guarantee of success for the development of scientific and technological research in the Region”. I think I will have to stay a few more years to work in this place, I too am part of the future that comes from the past although someone told me a couple of years ago that I knew too much about the past… – to be able to think about the future, I added in my thoughts . He wasn’t referring to my chronological age since we are almost the same age but to my knowledge of the institution’s past and to being linked to people who made it great. I was very offended by this sentence, the ugliest that was said to me at the CNR – it can’t be all rosy – but then I understood that those who believe they can scrap knowledge do not know the true path of the future, especially those who of Cultural Heritage, like me and like the other person! And I thought of the timeliness of John Paul II’s speech, of Europe and the importance of being part of it right now that there is a war, of the very deep roots that are needed to reach the future, of the disorientation of modern man and technology and the wish that we researchers could help the man of the future through attachment to roots, spirituality, traditions and belonging to a community of scholars. Thank you John Paul II for having anticipated, with great authority and exquisite ability, the slogan of the first 100 years of this institution “The Future comes from the Past”. Best wishes for the first 100 years to all those who have worked and still work at the CNR: at Tito Salo we were three people, now we are almost 200…because solid roots contain the ferment for the future. W the CNR and those who believe in science!
By Antonella Pellettieri