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Science in Naples

Science in Naples

The city of Naples, a scientific hub.

The CNR of Italy is distributed throughout the national territory with seven Departments and about 100 Institutes encompassing the field of humanities, life sciences and technologies. The Campania region, and Naples in particular, hosts about twenty of these Institutes, most of them operating in life sciences and technologies. Naples also hosts four large Universities (with a total of about 5.000 researchers and professors and about 80.000 students), and other major research institutions such as the Marine Biological Station "Anton Dohrn", and the "Telethon Institute for Genetics and Medicine" (Tigem). Thus, the city of Naples, known for its arts and history (often ignored in the international news, which favor the "glamour" of cuisine, sport or, unfortunately, criminality-related news) deserves also to be mentioned for its strong scientific presence and cultural background. For the Life Sciences, this becomes obvious from Figure 1, where the location of some of the relevant scientific Institutions are shown (for clarity, only a few examples of the CNR presence are indicated). In particular, the Research Area CNR-NA1 (the Castellino Campus, blue arrow in Figure 1) based on the hill of Naples (Vomero) in the central neighborhood known as the "Hospital Area", is at very close distance (less than 1 km)  from the "Federico II University" Medical School, the Cancer Research Hospital "Pascale", the "Cardarelli" General Hospital, the Children Research Hospital "Santobono", the Tigem and the "Center  for Genetic Engineering and Advanced Biotechnologies" (Ceinge)  (see yellow arrows in Figure 1). Other internationally known Institutions are in the Naples old city center. These include the "Anton Dohrn" Marine Biological Station, the Physics, Chemistry, Life Sciences and Humanities Departments of the Federico II University and of the Second Naples University, among others. Interestingly, the scientific tradition of this region goes a long way back in time. The Federico II University dates back to the XI century, and is one of the most ancient European Universities; moreover, the very first medical school was established in Salerno, with documents going back to the IX century. Women were also educated in the Salernitan Medical School: an important example of ancient wisdom, which we should regain!