After a university degree in Genetics, a Masters in Human Reproductive Biology, a PhD in Medical Genetics and post-doctoral research work on hereditary breast and ovarian cancer, Theo Anagnostopoulos realized he wanted to serve science from another perspective. The turning point came in 2007, when he participated in FameLab, an international competition organized by the British Council that aims to find the best new talent in science communication. Thus, he became President of the Non Profit Organisation SciCo (from Science Communication), which was founded with the support of the British Council in 2008, and comprises scientists, academics, educators, artists and people with an interest in everyday science.

When SciCo started operating, only a small fraction of the European Union’s funds provided for research and innovation went towards the communication of science. About six years later, this rose to one-fifth of the total budget, which shows that communicating science to the general public becomes more and more important. «There had always been such a need, but it hadn’t been determined yet when we started SciCo», says Anagnostopoulos. «As active citizens, we should all be able to comprehend scientific issues. We should know how to explain a child why one must not hold a plug with wet hands. We should have an opinion on whether we want to eat genetically modified food or not. We should be prepared to decide if we want our baby’s stem cells to be preserved when we become parents. What SciCo tries to do is show how science lies behind everything that goes on in our lives».

Approximately 30,000 young people have attended one of SciCo’s theatrical performances on science, while various other actions have been organized through the years. SciCo operates as a social enterprise, undertaking corporate social responsibility initiatives for multinational companies, and some of its actions have already been taken outside of Greece. Volunteerism and team work are highly esteemed, and Anagnostopoulos praises the importance of his collaborators.

In April 2013 SciCo organized the first TEDMED Live Athens, to be succeeded by Health Forward in September 2014. In 2014 SciCo, the British Council and the Onassis Foundation Scholars’ Association also organized the first annual Athens Science Festival. Apart from these, Anagnostopoulos is co-founder of the Green-Project (www.green-project.org, a non-profit organization aiming to raise social awareness on renewable energy resources allover the world) and presenter of the TEDxAthens.

 

 

Credits

Direction & Post Production: Alexis Skoulidis
Camera – Director of Photography: Fotis Zigouris
Production Sound Mixer: Sokratis Tzovanis
Grooming: Roula Lymperopoulou
Interview & Texts: Paris Kormaris
Project Manager: Agapi Tsakpinoglou

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