My tribute to Danilo Mainardi (November 25, 1933 – March 8, 2017)

In 2014 I was a PhD student and one of the main responsible of PaiP Group. We used to organize an annual meeting before Italian Palaeontological Society Congress and that year I though to give a present to other students.
The idea was to associate the answers of two significant personalities for sciences, from two different branches of research and different background, far in terms of experiences and age. I suggested Danilo Mainardi and Luca Bindi, the old and new generation of professors of Earth and Natural Science, related to paleontological topics on diverse point of view.

The result was an extraordinary experience for me, Enrica and Antonio.
Danilo received us in a comfortable and familiar living room in Venice, and with Luca I had an informal conversation at the University of Florence. Both were friendly and opened with our simple questions and Antonio was able to edit the short speeches quickly, thanks to their ability to explain their ideas through simple concepts.
Since that experience, I have written again to professor Mainardi for share my publications, and I suggested professor Bindi for the TED speech, because in my opinion his research on cristallography show how many things are not yet discovered in our Earth.

This is my contribute to such scientists, and I can not explain how much Danilo influenced my generation and my personal sense of natural life and animal behaviour.
I have been really lucky to meet him, even though for just few hours. He inspired me and his example is an icon to follow for believe that science is the only answer to every aspect of life around us, today as well as in the past.

Watch the complete movie


I think that Danilo Mainardi doesn’t need presentation.
He was firstly an ethologist and then an extraordinary communicator.
In his carrer, he had been a teacher for the University of Parma and the Ca’ Foscari University of Venice. His research were focused on animal behavior and the relationship between parents and outcomes, focusing on the importance of imprinting.
He is an honorary member of LIPU and was the director of the Italian Journal of Zoology.
For long time, he was present in most of Italian houses at the evenings after dinner, with Piero Angela and the most important strictly scientific transmission in tv, Super Quark.