Florence, February 2018

Professor Gianluca Giorgi of the University of Siena will be chairing the 22nd International Mass Spectrometry Conference (, that will be held at the Fortezza da Basso in Florence from 26 to 31 August 2018.

Professor, can you tell us laypeople exactly what spectrometry is and above all, how it affects our daily lives?
Mass spectrometry is a discipline concerned with identifying molecules and determining their quantities even when they are found in complex compounds and minimum amounts.
Even if we are often unaware of it, mass spectrometry has a huge and positive impact on our lives starting from birth. Just to mention a few examples, mass spectrometry is used in neonatal screening, in testing food ingredients and safety, environmental analyses, anti-doping tests, proteomics, metabolomics, and some medical-clinical analyses.

We were impressed by the fact that the plenary lecture will be given by Marco Leona, a forty-eight year old Italian scientist who is in charge of the Department of Scientific Research of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, in New York, which investigates the material aspects of works of art. There is the interesting, and amusing, case of a Roman statue believed to portray a poor, lower-class woman that turned out to be a patrician lady in costume for a Dionysian rite. Are there similar offices or agencies in Italy?
Mass spectrometry is widely used in archaeological and cultural heritage work, and there are many research groups in Italy that are active in this field.

How many participants are you expecting?
We are expecting around 2,000 participants from public and private organizations, corporations, universities, monitoring agencies and industries from all over the world. The list of companies participating in various ways, with stands in the exhibition area, is very interesting. This is further proof of the close ties between spectrometry and daily life. Mass spectrometry is evolving constantly, and the exhibitors offer continuous updates on new instruments and applications.

Paris Summit on the Environment

In Paris, in December, the Italian Ministry of the Environment organized a top level meeting at the "Istituto Italiano di Cultura" to define the role of the world's leading financial centers in mobilizing capital to accelerate action on the climate. The event, co-hosted by the UN Environment, was held the day after the "One Planet Summit" convened by President Emmanuel Macron on the second anniversary of the Paris Agreement. The meeting was opened by the Italian Ambassador in Paris and concluded by Gian Luca Galletti, the Italian Minister of the Environment.

Unity in Diversity

Unity in Diversity, the Global Mayors Conference opened on 7 November in the Salone dei Cinquecento, Florence, and was concluded the following day in the Vatican. More than forty mayors from all over the world, as well as scholars, economists, high-ranking representatives from the United Nations and European institutions attended to discuss the many issues that mayors have to face today. One of the "hottest" topics on the agenda concerned migrants and related pressures. Cities play a decisive role because the urban environment is playing field for the game between inclusion and exclusion, between integration policies and the creation of suffocating ghettoes.

Italy-Argentina: The Third Half

The Italy - Argentina test match was held at the Artemio Franchi stadium in Florence on 18 November 2017. After the game, the players from both teams met again for the traditional "third half" socializing. The dinner was at the Tepidarium of the city's Giardino dell'Orticoltura. This, the largest greenhouse in Italy, was built in 1880, in the style of Europe's great steel and glass structures. Originally designed to host exotic plants, it was gradually abandoned over the years, but after long and careful restorations, the Municipal Government “returned” it to the city so that it can be used as the venue for important events.


Florence hosted the second edition of Pellepiù Luxury Technology in the Leather Industry, a national fair dedicated to the leather goods production chain. The event clearly showed that Tuscany is home to 20% of Italy's manufacturers in the field; in fact, overall turnover showed a 10% increase in exports for 2017. High tech machinery was the event's main attraction, as it were, but there were also many technical meetings and seminars as corollary events to the fair. It was no accident that the event was conceived for Florence that is the heart of luxury goods production: the city is where the industry's most important multinationals - just think of Gucci and Prada - do their manufacturing as do many small and medium sized enterprises that share the spotlight with the big names.

Translated by Julia Hanna Weiss

foto enic

November 2018
Two scientific congresses were held in Florence during the last week in August. One was at the Fortezza da Basso, the other at the Palazzo dei Congressi and together they hosted a total 3,500 participants... (Read more)

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