Major Lymphoma Researcher Returning to US

Last week Rita Clementi, 47 years old, mother of three, wrote an open letter to the Italian President, Giorgio Napolitano, saying she was moving to Boston because it had become unbearable for her to continue working in Italy.

Rita Clementi, with a research background that culminated some years ago with the identification of gene expressions in malignant lymphomas, at almost 50, is still a temporary scientist at the University of Pavia.

In her letter to the President of Italy she states that, after so many years of missed opportunities due to an intolerable, nepotistic system she has decided to leave Italy and continue her research in the US where, she says, meritocracy is still the main factor determining the career of people in science.
It is interesting to see other countries struggling with the same “brain drain” that affects so many fields in the US. Italy, with 60 million inhabitants, is the second exporter of brains to the US after India (1 billion people).

She has complained openly about the common practice of forcing researchers to work for a decade or more in universities with only temporary contracts.

"As we strive to defeat cancer, discover new molecules and genes, develop new software, support an ever-changing culture, and identify new ways to teach and learn, remember that achieving these goals is partly due to the work of university researchers with temporary contracts, who have worked for years hoping to finally obtain a job that would give them economic stability and freedom."

A broader look at her concerns about scientific research in Italy can be found here:

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