When I was facing the daunting task of recounting my approximately 70 years of scientific career and some aspects of my personal life, I decided to write this autobiographical piece in a “different” way. After a section on the almost bare facts of my life (Section 1), I include several other parts, loosely connected in time, in each of which I make an almost self-contained point, decreasing in this way the need for consistency and coherence in the whole article. I discuss, for example, the importance of original ideas, the independence of junior colleagues, and my work with molecular beams and in nanomedicine. I end by acknowledging those I was lucky enough to learn from in my intellectual development as a research scientist and with a couple of recommendations that may be useful to my junior and not-so-junior colleagues.


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