Meet Martina: one of our leading cognitive scientists 🧠
What does a cognitive scientist look like? An infectiously positive, kind, warm, smiley Wonder Woman! Science doesn’t have to mean men in white lab coats, and we are delighted that Martina has been recognised by the likes of Women In Tech as an inspirational woman.
Martina is from Italy and is one of Beingwell’s leading cognitive scientists. Her work is driven by the belief that a healthy cognition can help to enhance every aspect of your life, and that the world can truly be changed one mind at a time. Her work has already helped to improve the quality of life for over 25,000 people and we couldn’t be more proud to introduce her.
So Martina, tell us about your journey to becoming a cognitive scientist:
My passion for cognitive science was born from the desire to understand how the mind works and how we can use it at our best. It all started when I met an excellent research group at the University of Genoa while I was getting my BA and MA in Philosophy. This cognitive sciences group allowed me to meet a multidisciplinary landscape of experts which encouraged me to nurture cognitive psychology as the main focus in my curriculum, alongside analytic philosophy of science, mind and language.
In the meanwhile, I have explored additional disciplines such as STEMS, pedagogical and social sciences (in order to build a comprehensive expertise around the human mind). Joining the MyCognition team in 2016 allowed me to fully develop my profession in cognitive science, gathering further experience in neuroscience and clinical disciplines.
What made you want to join the Beingwell family?
I have been passionately working at MyCognition for four years and I see Beingwell as an excellent opportunity to bring the fruits of the MyCognition research to a broader community, in combination with other valuable wellbeing solutions that will empower people in their daily living. I love working every day with the fantastic people in the Beingwell team. It’s full of positive energy and empathy, as well as an excellent mix of different expertise.
What excites you most about Beingwell's vision?
I find the Beingwell's vision of supporting people to reach their everyday personal best really aligned to my personal and professional mission. I strongly believe that with cognitive science and evidence-based technology we can help individual people and organisations to reach their full potential. It does not matter where you start from, what your age, background or health condition is: everyone has got a large potential that could be fully developed. I am excited to be part of the process for making this happen!
Let’s learn a bit more about you! What are you up to outside of work hours?
I love spending time with my friends and loved ones and having restoring breaks in the fresh air - either walking by the sea or hiking the mountains. I have a passion for dance and performing arts, which I try to nurture in my free time, from contemporary theatre-dance to swing dances. I like playing board games, reading good literature, watching movies, listening to (almost) any genre of music, visiting art galleries and theatres. I am also passionate about learning, education and training, which I am nurturing professionally alongside my main job.
What advice would you give to other women wanting to get into science or tech?
I would say to trust in themselves and build their confidence upon their passion and expertise. You will always find people that will let you thrive, but you might also find people hindering you: just follow the lead of the firsts when you are lucky enough to meet them, and keep on leading your own way when you face the seconds instead. In science and tech, it is very important to maintain a research attitude towards your work in order to pursue innovation. You will never find yourself arriving at a final destination in science, but you will successfully achieve new steps on the path. That's why a curious and open mind is essential in science and tech! Finally, don't lose your female touch: if you have qualities such as empathy, emotional intelligence, good communication skills or artistic touch, those will be an incredibly added value into your career; not everyone is able to combine those skills together with analytical and tech abilities.
What's your favourite thing about helping people with their cognition?
I must admit I love working in this field because, while developing solutions to help people, you never stop to learn yourself. There is so much still to uncover around cognition and the brain, and every new person we can help, they are also contributing to building a further step in our knowledge of the human mind - which will allow us to be equipped better and better for any new person we are trying to help. Also, I just feel so gratified every time I see someone I have supported to be finally able to succeed, to reach their goals and have positive wellbeing.
What's your personal motto?
I have actually got three quotes which have always inspired me over the years.
The first one is: "Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler", by Albert Einstein.
It is very important to keep things simple and make sure to be understandable by everyone while you're communicating, but this must also be done without losing a rigorous approach and credibility. I think this is a good principle for any field of life, even when coming to deal with personal matters and social relationships - our approach to life should be as light as possible, but never superficial.
The second one is "Whatever you are, be a good one", by Abraham Lincoln.
This mirrors both the attitude I have towards myself and what I believe about anyone's potential to thrive. I am often aware I may not be 100% fit for a role or a challenge, but instead of stepping back in my comfort zone, I usually just try to do the best that I can within my own limits. This is also a leading principle in my vision that everyone has their own way to succeed in their life, it is just a matter of finding where that potential sits and nurturing it.
Finally, my third motto is "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing" by George Bernard Show.
This just fully mirrors my vision of lifelong learning and active ageing. Our brain has got the potential to change and improve across the entire lifespan with the right stimulation, which often requires to "play the game" and never stop to take up challenges and to maintain an open-minded and playful attitude.
Thanks so much for all you do Martina!
Want to meet more of the Beingwell team? We're delighted to introduce James, one of the UK's leading sleep experts (and one of our fabulous co-founders) here.