I met Wojtek in Germany, more precisely in Borstel (Schleswig-Holstein) when admitted to a Marie Curie Early Stage Research Training Scheme in the Research Centre Borstel –Leibniz Centre for Medicine and Biosciences - Division of Structural Biochemistry. In between the 1st of February and the 30th of June 2010 I had the immense privilege of sharing my thoughts, my time and life with an incredible human being that not only proved himself to me as a great friend, but also as a very talented individual. Wojtek was by then undergoing his second masters degree, but the most incredible quality I could immediately spot on in this scientist-to-be was his humble nature, when he was clearly a very gifted member of the staff, with great initiative, constant control of all the tasks he had to manage and an unexpected tendency for easy/loud laughter, a King and a Joker.
Together, we caused fuss inside the spirits of all those who came across us as a group, after leaving the project we longed for that same natural and lively team spirit (composed of several nationalities); people to whom I honestly wish all the best. The constant gathering in Wojtek's apartment with a renown russian/canadian scientist for sharing some bottles of wine, a few slices of cheese, crazy acoustic stand-up singing and the certainty that science strengthens ties by sharing knowledge in a comfortable accessible atmosphere, and not by spitting incomprehensible dogmas and concepts that will ultimately put people off.
I invited this very talented PhD student, with two master degrees, for sharing his perspectives with all of us and prove that some economically modest countries are still producing extremely intelligent and capable brains; it is up to the local governments and local companies to give these people an opportunity in order to demonstrate the great things they can help the country achieve.
I hope you enjoy this interview, the second conducted by The Toxicologist Today.