Paola De Paoli was born in Rimini (a city on the Adriatic Sea) on 3rd December 1924. She graduated in foreign languages and literatures at the University Ca’ Foscari in Venice and began to deal with science journalism in late Sixties, when in Italy it was quite unusual for a woman to write on these topics. From 1970 she has been a frequent contributor to “Il Sole 24 Ore”, the Italian leading financial newspaper, especially with articles about science policy. She spent in Milan most of her life.
Paola was president emeritus of UGIS, having led the Italian association of science journalists for more than a quarter of a century (from 1984 to 2010), assuming the presidency after Giancarlo Masini, UGIS first president, who was one of the founders of the Italian association in 1966 and a key person for the birth of EUSJA. Paola too has been involved in the EUSJA activities since its inception in 1971, serving as president in two terms: 1987-1988 and 1998-2000.
For twenty years Paola was dealt with science editorial activities for American publishers and a consultant for the Italian Ministry of science and technology. She has co-authored a number of books: “Le biotecnologie in Italia” (Biotech in Italy), “Le piste della ricerca” (The tracks of research), “Luna vent’anni dopo” (The Moon twenty years later). She received several awards, among them the Capo d’Orlando Award for science popularization assigned in Vico Equense, near Naples.
A woman with great strength of character and personality, who combined decision and kindness both in private and professional life, Paola formed an ideal couple with her husband Camillo Marchetti, also a journalist in the technical and industrial sector. They were married almost sixty years ago.
As president of UGIS, Paola has played an important role in Italian science journalism. She organised a large number of study trips and visits to research centers in Italy, Europe, Israel and the United States. She has always shown great attention towards younger colleagues. On the occasion of the celebrations for her 90th birthday promoted by UGIS in Milan at the Science and Technology Museum, she announced a personal donation of 30,000 euros for three scholarships of 10,000 euros each for as many young science journalists aged under 35: one was assigned in 2015 and two in 2016 on the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of UGIS.
Paola was a role model for many journalists’ associations around Europe. As president of EUSJA, she had a formative impact and inspired the creation of new national organisations in several countries. Her wit and humour will always be remembered during the EUSJA General Assemblies.
Paola passed away in Milan on 6th January 2018. Her husband Camillo lovingly assisted her until the end.
Fabio Pagan, Jens Degett