Philosopher and evolutionists, he holds the first Italian chair in Philosophy of Biological Sciences at the Biology Department of Padua University
In the same Department, he also teaches Anthropology and Bioethics. Since 2016 he is the Chancellor for Institutional Communication of Padua University.Between 2001 and 2012 he has worked at the University of Milano Bicocca.
He is a member of the Ethics Committee and of the Scientific Committee at the Umberto Veronesi Foundation for the progress of sciences. He is a Board Member of the Italian Anthropology Institute, of the Editorial Board of international scientific journals such as Evolutionary Biology and Evolution: Education and Outreach. He has been on the Editorial Board of Rendiconti Lincei for Natural and Physical Sciences. He is also member of the editorial board for the Istituto della Enciclopedia Italiana Treccani and since 2020 he is an honorary member of the CICAP. He’s the editor of Pikaia, the Italian Portal for Evolution, and editor of La Mela di Newton [The Newton’s Apple], an online science magazine of Micromega. He served as Secretary on the Scientific Board of the Festival della Scienza in Genoa from 2003 to 2011. Since 2013 he has been in the Scientific Committee of Bergamo Scienza and since 2014 he has been on the International Scientific Committee of MUSE, the Trento Science Museum.
With Niles Eldredge he was the scientific editor of the encyclopedic project “Ecosphere – The Planet’s Future” by UTET Grandi Opere (2008-2010). Together with Niles Eldredge and Ian Tattersall he curated the Italian edition of Darwin 1809-2009 exposure (Roma-Milano-Bari 2009-2010), while with Luigi Luca Cavalli Sforza he’s been the curator of the exhibition project “Homo sapiens: la grande storia della diversità umana” (Roma, 2011-2012; Trento, 2012-2013; Novara 2013). In 2014 he curated the permanent exhibitions “Garden of Biodiversity”, inside the historical Botanical Garden of Padua. In 2017 he co-curated the International exhibition “DNA. Il grande libro della vita da Mendel alla genomica” (Palace of Expositions, Rome). He wrote several children’s books about the evolution of music and together with Banda Osiris and Federico Taddia he is both author and actor in science-themed theater and musical projects, like “Finalmente il Finimondo!” [Finally the End of the World] (2012) and “Il maschio inutile” [The Useless Male] (2015). Since 2019 alongside the musical collective Deproducers he has produced and brought to theatres the show “DNA”, made for AIRC. In 2018 he was appointed director of the University of Padua’s web magazine, Il Bo LIVE, and of the magazine Natura Viva. He is also a columnist for Il Corriere della Sera, and the magazines Le Scienze, Micromega and L’indice dei Libri.
He authored many national and international publications about the philosophy of science, including “La vita inaspettata” [The unexpected life] (Cortina 2011; finalist for the Premio Galileo; Premio Serono Menzione Speciale 2012); “Evoluti e abbandonati” [Evolved and abandoned] (Einaudi, 2014); “Il maschio è inutile” [The male is useless] (Rizzoli, 2014, together with F. Taddia); “Libertà di migrare” [Freedom to migrate] (Einaudi, 2016, together with V. Calzolaio); “Imperfezione. Una storia naturale” [Imperfection. A natural history] (Cortina, 2019); “La Terra dopo di no”i [Earth after us] (Contrasto, 2019; with photos of F. Lanting); “Finitude” [Finitude] (Cortina, 2021). Many of these are already translated in English or are being translated.
Human, cultural, technological evolution, science philosophy, Antropocene and bioethics are the main topics of his speeches.