Chapter 24: Professor Martin Bizzarro


“While all the centers funded by The Danish National Research Foundation are interdisciplinary, Martin Bizzarro’s center is taking that to the extreme, and in fact, as he says, this is more than just important.”

“My main objective is to understand how the solar system formed and if it is special relative to all the other planetary systems in the galaxy. In other words, are there special circumstances which promote the formation of planets like Earth? To me this is an extremely relevant question for mankind in general, not only for the next 5 years but for the next 20 to 50 years. We want to lay the foundation, the first bricks, for answering that question. This requires that we work in a truly multidisciplinary manner. If we don’t interact with each other, everything breaks apart and we don’t make progress. So, engaging in this sort of synergy is required to get success.”

“Martin Bizzarro was not interested in a career in science from the beginning. He was interested in sports. Growing up in Canada, he played elite-level ice hockey throughout high school. At one point he realized that he was not big enough to become a professional player. So he quit and started fencing instead. He was on the national fencing team for Canada during the time he did his B.Sc. and M.Sc.”

“I didn’t have big ambitions in university, or rather, because I was putting all my time in fencing I was putting less time in university. When I realized that ok, fencing is interesting, going to world cups is interesting but I’m not going to have a career in fencing because there is no money in that, I made a critical decision. I decided to do a PhD, and I quit fencing, and all the energy that I had at that time – I was training 10, 15 hours a week – all this extra energy was put into my PhD. And I realized that I was getting the same sort of satisfaction when I got good results in the lab, as I got from winning in fencing or scoring goals in ice hockey. So, my career in science is an extension of my career in sports – in science, I get get the feeling of winning by achieving excellence.

You can read the full portrait of Professor Martin Bizzarro by downloading the chapter below.

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