Piergiorgio Spaggiari was born on March 17th 1940 - a Palm Sunday. According to tradition, the Cardinal chooses three children born on this day and baptizes them himself. Spaggiari was christened by Cardinal Ildefonso Shuster. Shall any of these three children choose to become a priest, the Ambrosian Curia will financially support their studies and preparation.
Spaggiari, anyway, did not follow this path.
His family was part of Milano’s middle class, despite his parents coming from Reggio Emilia; his mother was the noble granddaughter of the city’s prefect. During the second to last year of middle school, when Spaggiari was 13, his father died. As a consequence, his mother had to financially support both him and his elder sister.
Graduated in 1960, he started working as an employee, until he won a contest and joined the Italian air force to complete his military service. During these four years, he graduated in Physics without weighing on his family.
After leaving the air force in 1969, he was hired at Philips as a physicist. He was soon in charge of the Industry and Science Department, which managed the automatic collection of air pollution data. This system is still used across Italian cities, provinces, and regions: it is used by the light blue booths that can be found around the country; they monitor the air continuously.
While working at Philips, Piergiorgio Spaggiari studied and graduated in Medicine in 1978.
Video lesson, May 2020
Video interview with Filippo Romeo, chief editor of the Rei TV broadcast, May 2020
Here are his words when asked about this choice: “As a physicist, I realized that physics could play a major role within medicine. Thanks to research funds from Philips, we worked with the National Cancer Institute of Milan on a data collection system of cancer cells by marking them with radioisotopes”. Spaggiari developed this system and realized that graduating in medicine would be the next step.
At the same time, Spaggiari wrote under pseudonym articles and essays on environmental and ecological topics that were discussed in various gatherings, debates and congresses - also political ones - that between 1970 and 1975 started to be of great interest. This was especially true in a city like Milan, where pollution had already reached a high level.
In 1978, he entered the Order of Journalists as a publicist thanks to the long series of articles he wrote about the environment, as well as political-administrative topics around his activity at the municipality of Milan, where he worked dedicating his efforts to water, air, and soil pollution.
In 1980, he was asked to run for the DC party (Christian Democracy) in Milan for his political engagement in the environmental sphere. While “professional” politicians did not expect it, he won the elections and was nominated city councilman. He will be in charge until 1993.
During these years, he left Philips and joined the National Research Council (CNR), in particular the Institute of Advanced Biomedical Technologies as assistant to the presidency, where he will stay for ten years. During this time, he specialized in sports medicine, orthopedics, traumatology, and cardiology.
After finishing the 4-year mandate at the CNR, Spaggiari was nominated General Director of the prestigious Orthopaedic Institute ‘Gaetano Pini’, an important center for orthopedics and traumatology in Italy. He was now listed among the General Directors of Lombardy.
Afterwards, he joined the CNR for four more years and the Eugenio Morelli Hospital for five years (1998-2003). Later on, he was in charge of all the hospitals in Valtellina (Sondrio, Sondalo, Morbegno) and Valchiavenna; finally, he worked in Lodi for three years, before his last mandate as General Director in Cremona for three years.
Now, he works as a freelancer, a multi-specialized doctor, as well as a scientific consultant in different fields given his long and multifaceted experience in the biophysical and electric spheres.
…sometimes, we should be open to new knowledge trying to go past prejudices, and it’s not easy.
I hope I won’t sound trivial but the Professor was born on March 17th and is protected by the last angelic hosts, who provide him with a vivid intelligence as well as intuition, inspiration, and unmatched spiritual drive.
Often, those who were born under this protection miss common rationality, but not as a shortcoming, but rather because they are so forward-thinking that using the common language for them feels like going backwards.
It must be some kind of torture for him trying to explain to those who are too closed in their boundaries.
The Professor has done this step. He is used to making jumps ahead, again and again with extraordinary speed, restlessly.
But he knows what he is dealing with. He knows that other people spend their energies defending their rigid positions. They are many and they have power, so he talks with prudence so that he is not “put in a corner”, like he says himself.
These people, the “protected”, are used to being marginalized since school, when they were lost in their wonderful internal panoramas, identifying paths, ever since then.
But our Piergiorgio resisted and built all the necessary defenses (with great sufferings indeed), escaping that corner where everyone would have liked to see him since forever.
He has hung in there, now more than ever, but we are with him now.