I graduated in Natural Sciences, giving exams in all fundamental disciplines, then obtained a PhD studying the behaviour and genetics of social wasps, and subsequently worked for two years as a science writer.
Now I study the nature of science itself, and the mis-behaviours of scientists.
I am one of the first natural scientists who specialized 24/7 in the study of scientific misconduct, bias and related issues, and have produced some of the largest studies assessing the prevalence of bias across disciplines and countries.
Some of these publications have become quite influential, and my 2009 meta-analysis on surveys about misconduct is one of the most popular papers published in the entire Public Library of Science, currently counting over 185,000 views.
My work and opinions are regularly cited in the popular press, and I have been involved at various levels with international conferences and initiatives. Most recently I became a member of the Research Ethics and Bioethics Advisory Committee of CNR (Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Italy), for which I led the development of the first CNR research integrity guidelines.
I have worked at the University of Edinburgh, University of Leuven, London School of Economics, University of Montreal, and am currently Senior Research Scientist at Stanford University.
I use advanced quantitative methods to help settle long-standing sociological and philosophical debates on the nature of science.
Is there really a hierarchy of the sciences? If so, what makes a science "soft"? Are all disciplines, fields and researchers equally objective (or non-objective)? Can we tell in advance which research findings are less likely to be true? How common are bias and misconduct in science? What are their main causes? How do the media contribute to such biases?
I try to answer these questions by examining patterns in the scientific literature, using meta-analysis and other statistical techniques.
- Laurea (2001) Natural Sciences, University of Florence, 110/110 cum laude
- PhD (2005) Ethology and Animal Ecology, jointly conducted at the University of Florence and University of Copenhagen, title: Evolution of reproductive altruism and social parasitism in primitively eusocial wasps.
- Master (2006) Science Communication University of Milan
- Quantum Mechanics for Scientists and Engineers (2015), Stanford University Online, final grade: 84%
- New England Complex Systems Institute Winter School (2013), Complex Systems Modeling, Networks, and Data Analytics
- European Summer School for Scientometrics (2012) University of Leuven
- Current: Senior Research Scientist at METRICS - Meta-Research Innovation Center, Stanford University.
- 2013-2014: Professeur invité at EBSI - École de Bibliothéconomie et des Sciences de l'Information, Université de Montréal, Canada, PI on various projects including the NIH-funded From countries to individuals: unravelling the causes of bias and misconduct with multilevel meta-meta-analysis; affiliated faculty at CIRST - Centre Interuniversitaire de Recherche sur la Science et la Technologie, Université du Quebec à Montreal.
- 2010-2013: Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at The University of Edinburgh, UK, on the personally conceived and developed project: Bias, misconduct and the Hierarchy of the Sciences: towards a unified science of scientific objectivity.
- 2012, February-June: Visiting fellow at the ECOOM (Centre for Research & Development Monitoring), University of Leuven, BE - bibliometrics training/research
- 2011: Visiting fellow at the Centre for the Philosophy of the Natural and Social Sciences, London School of Economics, UK - philosophical studies
- 2008-2010: Marie Curie Intra-European Fellow, The University of Edinburgh, UK, on the personally conceived and developed project: Quantifying objectivity in the natural and social sciences.
- Member of the Advisory Board of ENERI - European Network of Research Ethics and Research Integrity
- Member of the international program committee of the 16th Conference of the International Society for Scientometrics & Informetrics (ISSI 2017)
- Member of the Research Ethics and Bioethics Advisory Committee of CNR (Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Italy), chair of the Research Integrity Subcommitee.
- Member of the Council of Canadian Academies Expert Panel on Research Integrity, a 12-member group convened in 2010 upon mandate by the Canadian government.
- Member of the organizing committee of the 3rd World Conference on Research Integrity
- Member of the editorial board of Accountability in Research, Journal of Negative Results in Biomedicine, ScienceMatters, academic editor for PLoS ONE.
- Peer-reviewer for: journals Nature, Nature Human Behaviour, PLoS ONE, PLoS Biology, PLoS Medicine, PNAS, Science & Engineering Ethics, Research Policy, American Journal of Bioethics, New Ideas in Psychology, Archives of Scientific Psychology, Journal of Clinical Epidemiology,Journal of head and neck pain, Medical Law, Scientometrics, Journal of Medical Ethics, BMC Medical Ethics, Lancet, Accountability in Research, Behaviour Research Methods, Journal of Behavioral Decision Making, Behavioural Sciences & the Law, British Medical Journal Open, Social Epistemology, Sage Open, Journal of Economic Surveys, Acta Ophtalmologica, Conservation biology, eLIFE, Inquiry, PeerJ, Public Administration, Publications, Science & Technology Studies, Climatic Change, Transactions of the Royal Society of South Africa, Bmj Open, Science as Culture, Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, Social Psychology, Challenges; funding agencies US National Science Foundation, Swiss National Science Foundation , Croatian Science Foundation; book publishers John Wiley & Sons, Oxford University Press.
In those rare moments in which I am not thinking about science, I am often exploring other facets of the cognitive spectrum, such as the figurative arts. Here are some examples of my photographs and occasional pencil drawings.