Meet The Team

Laura Surace, PhD

Chief Executive Officer

I was always a very curious kid who loved searching for answers to my millions of questions. I was convinced that for every problem, there is a logical solution. Today that same feeling guides my life as a researcher. I am currently an immunologist, with a special focus on metabolism. I have also worked in other fields, such as HIV and cancer.

 

In my nine years as a researcher, I have always been passionate about communicating the beauty of science to everybody. I have enjoyed supervising PhD and master’s students in the lab and giving lectures as a tutor. I have spoken at and helped organize conferences in collaboration with international institutions. I have also delivered scientific lectures for high school and university students. As of today, I am collaborating with various associations with the goal of bringing science to the greater public. 

 

I believe science should be available to those curious minds who always want to know more. As a member of the scientific community, I see spreading knowledge as a responsibility we all have to our society.

 

During the past years, I have developed several skills that led me to start Naós Communication. This adventure is ongoing, and I am very lucky to have a great team working with me every day. Go Naós!

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Video and Design Group

Benjamin Thereaux

Chief Video Officer

Communication has been my full-time job since I started MorezanTV in 2014, but my career started off quite differently. After graduating with an engineering degree and a master’s in entrepreneurship,

 

I first worked at the boundary between the audiovisual and the web. I was a project manager and customer consultant for agencies, start-ups and major companies, with my main focus on e-commerce. I have also worked for the three largest broadcasting television groups in France.

  

I love working in video production because I can help anyone tap into the power of video. In the recent past, we were all subject to whatever was on television. Today, entire communities can emerge and converge around video content created for social media platforms.

When Laura approached me with the Naós vision, it resonated with me because I have seen first-hand how scientists and engineers are expected to communicate complicated concepts but rarely receive proper training in communication. 

 

Naós turns this situation around, giving scientists confidence, skills and media tools to bring their message to anyone.

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Sonia Aguera Gonzáles, PhD

Scientific Cartoonist

My passions are science and illustration. My science experience started in Madrid, where I studied veterinary and biological sciences. I then moved to Cambridge, where I did my PhD in pathology, focusing on immunology as well as cancer and microscopy. I continued working on these topics in Paris, first at the Pasteur Institute and then later at the Curie Institute.

All through my scientific career, I have been an independent learner in art and illustration. I have always known science and art were both my passions. My fondest memories are sitting in my favorite tree, observing nature and reading comics.  Today, I live in Cambridge and I help scientists to communicate science to children. I recently published two illustrated children’s books about vaccines and coronavirus in collaboration with VIB, KU Leuven University (Belgium), and the Babraham Institute (UK)

 

While in Paris, I also acquired excellent communication skills in science outreach and educational programs, developing an open online teacher-training course on a "citizen science" platform and animated workshops to encourage the use of DIY lab equipment. I think interdisciplinary learning through experience provides skills that are extremely valuable in any aspect of life. I am greatly interested in disseminating science, and this is why I have joined the Naós Team. 

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Acting Group

I am an actress, author and stage director. I started taking drama lessons when I was seven years old in an amateur theatre group, and I have not stopped acting since. I carried on receiving professional training in several schools in Paris and then specialized in stage direction. Meanwhile, I graduated in psychology and cognitive science, and realized how these fields can be linked to dramatic arts in many ways.

 

 

In 2014, I opened my own theatre company with the aim of creating innovative projects bridging arts and sciences. Together with Naós’s Odile Blanchet, I launched Les Sciences Cognitives en Scène—creative meetings between actors and cognitive scientists addressing overlapping topics, such as emotions and memory. I’m also part of the founding team of Neurotrucs, an entertainment series that debunks myths about brain sciences.

 

Watching scientists on stage, I developed a passion for science communication. I started collaborating with the University of Paris and the international Francophone competition “My thesis in 180 seconds.”

 

Building on my interest in pedagogy and the ways theatre can improve people’s skills and wellbeing, I’ve been giving drama lessons and public-speaking classes to a wide array of audiences and organizations.

 

My involvement in Naos perfectly aligns with my interests, and I’m especially eager to share my acting and directing skills with anyone who wants to improve their confidence and stage presence. I’m enthusiastic about what my expertise can bring to the team’s different projects and about what more I can learn through this new collaboration.  

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Clara Ann Marchetti 

Artistic Director

Odile Blanchet

Actress

I am an actress and stage director living in Paris. Acting is my whole life now, although I started my professional career in another subject that is very special to me: biology. I studied human biology in France and biotechnology in Quebec. While working at the Aquarium of Quebec after my studies, and I realized that despite my love for science, my true love was acting. In most cases, science is the job and acting the hobby. But I wanted it the other way around.

I attended acting classes in Vancouver and then continued my studies in France at Le Foyer school. While studying, I continued to be interested in various subjects from oncology to quantum physics. I find it especially enriching to learn about great scientists and their major breakthroughs.

Over the past few years, I was lucky enough to be able to share my time between castings, shootings, plays, and teaching. When I started coaching professionals from all walks of life, I thought, what about scientists? Having studied science and acting, I stand in the middle of these amazing fields. My aim since then has been to bridge them by helping scientists master techniques of verbal communication. 

 

I was lucky enough to meet Laura thanks to Clara, and my Naós adventure started! Having a platform to communicate with scientists and train them is exactly what I was looking for. Now the circle has closed, and I'm so excited for what's to come! 

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Writing Group

Andrea Falconeri, MD

Scientific Communication Director

Choosing the life of a healthcare worker implies the will to improve the lives of others using all the knowledge and skills at one’s disposal, but many paths can be taken to accomplish this task.

 

The study of biology and genetics has introduced me to the world of scientific discovery and has shown me the importance that applied research can have in people’s lives. Likewise, my studies have made me understand that scientific information is very hard to convey because it uses specific and very precise language. I felt the need to find ways to free this knowledge from the enclosure of the lab and make it understandable to the rest of the world.

 

This may be due to where we are born, the language we speak, the job we have, the people we hang out with, and so on. I realized that there is not a universal best way to convey a message or explain a concept; we always need to adjust the way we communicate to the people we speak to.  

 

Naos has given me the chance to challenge myself to be a better communicator. Today I work as a doctor, as an emergency medicine teacher, and as the scientific communication director of this company because I believe that the beauty of science is a gift that cannot be kept in the hands of the few people that make it. Scientific knowledge is real only if it is shared.

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Jeremiah Hendren 

Writing Coach

I am a science communication consultant based in Munich, but my journey began in Boston over a decade ago. I was the cliché of a humanities graduate with few job prospects. I asked myself what I could do, and the answer appeared: I knew how to speak, write and think, and I loved helping others find their voice. So I posted some flyers around Boston, and—to my delight—clients called.

Since then, I have provided communication consulting to companies and academics in the US, Europe, and Asia. A specialty in science communication has gradually sneaked up on me over the past decade. The minds of scientists and techies carry such a wealth of knowledge—I've made it my business to set it free and put it to use!

Complementing my consulting work, I was a lecturer in scientific writing at the Technical University of Munich from 2012 to 2019. With a BA in intellectual history and an MA in English, I am currently working on my PhD in linguistics and science communication.

I joined Naós because I was intrigued by this question: What happens when you bring insights from filmmaking, medicine, illustration, theater, lab science, and linguistics to the same project? The answer, I am discovering, is Naós’s unique set of services. It’s been great so far, and I look forward to seeing how this troupe of eclectic talent can breathe life into science storytelling across Europe.

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