disillusion #2 - presenting a poster in Italy

I've recently been to a conference supposed to network endocrine disruptor (ED) research laboratories in Italy. I got a poster aimed at explaining the opportunities to use in vivo reporter animals to better study EDCs. I experienced odd abstract submission that was initially refused by the scientific secretary.

We cannot accept your abstract in the present form.

The problem was that I submitted an abstract written in English language.

Please send us your contribution in Italian language.

I wonder how can be possible to effectively communicate scientific ideas in other languages other than English. Moreover I discovered one speaker getting accepted one abstract (Italian) about politics instead of science. He claimed that “it make not sense to speak about science when science is compromised by law”.

I recognize that scientists need to deal with political management of public money to get funded research. Anyway I hardly accepted that an english scientific abstract was refused and an italian political abstract was accepted in a so-called SCIENTIFIC meeting. But I'm a naive man.

I usually share the bench with foreigner students (from Chile, India and Poland). Do you guess they were surprised when they saw me getting back to reduce refine and replace the abstract and the poster? Actually not. They work every day with italian computers because the english license is not available in our University (ok, that's another disillusion story).

Disclaimer: even if I got again my yearly disillusion, I'm a satisfied italian scientist, the meeting was organized by the great “National Institute of Heath” of Italy and was finally helpful to network collaborations and expertise. Finally here it is a review I've been recently involved, that try to address why reporter animals may be important for environmental risk assessment as an alternative toxicology approach (written in english this time).