Second Project Meeting and Training Day - Report

The poet John Donne used to say “No man is an island”. We can apply this concept also to science: no one can advance in his research as an individual; everybody needs to tackle with other people eventually. This idea formed the basis of the Second Project Meeting of the Nano2fun project, that took place in Antwerp on 18-19 September and during which the early stage researchers presented the first results deriving from their efforts to their colleagues. They had the chance of conferring with each other for helping the development of new ideas and also of discussing with expert scientists about the future prospect of their research. During the meeting, the early stage researchers also participated in the Training Day 2, “Photophysics & Nonlinear Spectroscopy”, which led them to the discovery of the fascinating world of Nonlinear Optics through the lectures of experts in the field. The students had the privilege of learning about techniques such as Z-Scan, Stimulated Emission Depletion (STED, the technique that recently led its developer, Stefan W. Hell, to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry) and Hyper-Rayleigh Scattering (HRS).

The morning session of the Training Day opened with the touching words of those who had the pleasure of working with Prof. Olga V. Przhonska, one of the first Nano2fun associates, who unfortunately passed away recently. Those words also remark how cooperation between the partners is the building block of the project: it is not merely about collaboration between scientists but between people.

The meeting also offered the participants the chance of getting in touch with the culture, cuisine and history of the little precious gem of Belgium, Antwerp. The forthcoming meetings (one every six months) will also give them the opportunity of visiting and discovering the other countries involved in the Nano2fun project: India, England, Germany, France, Spain, Italy… What is clear by the end of this Second Meeting is indeed that cooperation between all this different countries is the essential and precious tool that allows the Nano2fun project and all the involved people to improve and progress.