The Power List 2020 – Power List
Founder and Director of the Institute of Vision and Optics, University of Crete, Crete
Your three wishes?
I wish that the Institute of Vision and Optics would continue to be a referral centre for eye research worldwide.
I hope refugees can share their culture in a positive way, and that western societies do not lose themselves in a world "behind the screens.” I hope we do not destroy our culture, particularly our ability to relate to one another. We all need to follow the philosophy of Alexander the Great, not Attila the Hun.
Finally, I wish that we could reach a stage where we were able to communicate by thinking and not by speaking. Then the eye will be much more important, not for seeing... but for expressing.
Piece of advice you would give to your younger self?
Spend more time carefully listening to patients. Almost 90 percent of diagnosis can be achieved by analyzing the symptoms.
Most serendipitous moment of your career?
I was celebrating my PhD degree in Zurich. At that event, it was if the Greek Mythology had been revived – Prof Witmer was the Zeus, Prof Kloeti the Poseidon, Prof Martenet the Athena, Prof Pigar the Hermes, Prof Gruber the Hyphestos.
Most unexpected turn your career took?
I took exams to study as an architect at the Polytechnic School (my hobby was painting), but unexpectedly entered the School of Veterinary. But in the second year, I ended up in medical school!