It took almost half a century for the mafia phenomenon and organized crime in general to become the subject of study of the social sciences "on par" with dozens of relevant topics. The author recounts this half century in an autobiographical perspective, reconstructing cultural prejudices, efforts to change, mistrust and pro-gressive success. Moving from "niche" academic studies to the institutionalization of an entire interdisciplinary area. Up to the new uphill road in the European context.
Keywords: Social sciences; mafia; university; academic prejudices; Ph.D; Italy.