Face of Silhouette: Luca Perri
Date of birth: 4 Jul 1986
Place of birth: San Giovanni Bianco
Place of residence: Cernusco Lombardone, Italy
Profession: Astrophysicist and Science Writer
Passion: Food, Theatre, Sailing, Books, Movies, Archaeology and Paleontology, Anecdotes
- Myopic or Hyperopic?
- Why Silhouette?
Because of the amazing comfort and lightness – they feel like you’re not wearing any glasses at all. And because when I forget about my glasses and accidentally drop them or something, they don’t break. Last but not least, they are the eyewear preferred by astronauts!
- Without glasses, I …
… feel lost. I have a little bit of a problem seeing colours. I want to have good vision and see things clearly. Especially when I look at the sky.
- I prefer to see…
I love to observe nature in all its forms, from the infinitely smallest to the infinitely largest things. I think nature is hypnotic. To me, there’s nothing quite like the awe-inspiring beauty of nature. Seems like a given since I chose to be a physicist, and ‘physical’ means ‘nature’ in Greek.
- Who or what I don`t want to see…
I would prefer to not have to look at those signs that show the lack of respect of mankind towards his surroundings, but unfortunately they are everywhere.
- Instagram and Facebook accounts I like to follow:
I usually visit facebook pages related to news and astrophysics research in general, but also the ones devoted to satire and movies.
- My glasses are …
I think my glasses are part of that ‘wonderful telescope’ that are the human eyes. We seldom think about it, but for someone like me, who builds telescopes for a living, the human eye is a formidable tool. Of course, I have a slight focus and colour vision problem, but then again, so does the Hubble Space Telescope. It can only take black and white images (colours are added later) and needs special glasses, so to speak, after it’s sent into orbit. And it also had a focus problem. Scientists had to arrange for a special space mission to fix it. But look at what it’s able to do now!
- Things I like …
I really like my glasses because they provide good vision, allowing me to assess and appreciate the things I see.
- Rimless or Fullrim?
Because they are so light and unobtrusive; it feels like you’re not wearing glasses. Of course, the subtle lines, the transparent quality, of the glasses make it hard to find them when you’re looking for them. Sometimes I look all over the place just to find them right there where they’re supposed to be – on my nose. I love ‘em, nevertheless.
- What do you like to see in your city?
I really love to see people lining up to attend cultural events, most especially my scientific events. I really enjoy getting them excited about science. It is the first step towards increasing scientific research, and getting support from the public is an important part in this.
- What role does your profession play in your life?
As a scientist, the creation of a spin-off project has played a crucial role. We built a telescope for space studies and placed it on top of a volcano. Then we realised that with some setting changes we could have used the telescope to monitor the volcano itself. It is a work-in-progress project that could become very important in the future, and I’m proud to be part of it. Also, when I do workshops at the science fairs, the expression in the eyes of the people I meet makes my job all the more pleasurable. Seeing a spark of curiosity or outright passion in their eyes is priceless, especially when children get excited about space and science. It’s also great to see the gratitude when I unmask some of the most dangerous scientific hoaxes.
- My favourite eyewear trend…
Whatever is not too flashy and doesn’t mask the eyes, but rather enhances them. After all, the glasses we wear communicate a lot about us.
- What makes you unique?
It’s probably my lightness, even in difficult situations (unfortunately, this doesn’t apply when it comes to what I eat). Lightness is above all a mental attitude. I like to, for example, think of my investigations of the universe as a great game full of mysteries. In science, you can’t always get to the bottom of all things or get definitive answers for everything; the questions are unending. If we had all the answers, we’d be done studying scientific phenomena. Searching for answers can be tedious, but it can also be extremely exciting, especially if approached with a bit of lightness and passion.
- My Silhouette is unique, because…
Because my Silhouette is a miracle of science: Even though I’m not exactly careful with my glasses, they seem to withstand just about anything. Maybe a scratch or two. But that makes them even more ‘unique’, like me.
- Your favourite artists or works
To me, scientists are artists. So I would probably say Richard Feynman, one of the fathers of quantum physics, a Nobel Prize winner, madman and bongo player. He was without a doubt a great artist in his own way. But I do like to refer to scientific work as a team effort, growing from generation to generation. Bernard of Chartres, French philosopher of the twelfth century, said, “We are like dwarfs on the shoulders of giants.” The first man to ever look at Paris from the top of the towers of Notre Dame saw things that its architect could not have never even imagined two centuries ago. But, without the architect’s vision, without the calluses on the hands of the man who laid the foundation or without the person who nailed the scaffolding beams, tourists today may have never be able enjoy the view from this magnificent feat of architecture. Similarly, we scientists build cathedrals of knowledge thanks to the efforts of those who preceded us. Having our name on one of the stones in edifices along the way is not what’s important; what really matters is to let our eyes travel further and further into the distance. Chasing the horizon has its limits, of course; it’s a long but wonderfully stimulating journey driven by our curiosity to discover the unknown, the hidden beauty.