October 1, 2022

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Defending science as part of culture

Cosenza Giorgio Baresi talked about the Nobel Prize in Physics – This morning – During the celebrations of the fiftieth anniversary of the founding of the University of Calabria. Professor Lectio Magistralis gave the event closed.

The value of knowledge

“To speak of science, we need to start from the reasons for creating this great scientific project. Certainly the people who tamed fire long ago, who began to understand how food could be cooked, how seeds could be grown, and then those who learned to improve seeds through selection and crossbreeding, or even raise and improve animal breeds, after all they were all scientists, but they remained They are completely unknown to us and therefore difficult to talk about. I prefer to focus on the motivations and organization of science as we now know it and how it has developed historically,” says Parisi.

Science as culture

Defending science as part of culture It’s a very important thing. It is necessary to make the population, at least the educated, aware of what science is; It is necessary to clarify that science and culture are intertwined with each other, both in their historical development and at the theoretical level, as well as in everyday practice. It is necessary to explain in a simple (but not simplistic) way what scientists are doing today and what are the challenges of today. Even if this work of explaining the contents and meaning of science is not easy, especially for the so-called “hard” sciences, where mathematics plays an essential role, nevertheless, with a certain effort, excellent results can be obtained”, continues Parisi.

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the future of mankind

“There are some practical outcomes of science that are very important. Science is making great progress and many of the world’s problems can be solved using the tools of science at our disposal. These days, humanity must make basic choices; it must fight climate change. For decades, we have warned Science that human behavior is paving the way for a dramatic rise in the temperature of our planet. But science alone is not enough. Man warns in advance, as the saying goes, but only half. Political decisions are needed, especially by rich countries. We must go beyond shortsighted national interest To solve global problems in the spirit of “whatever it takes”. Covid has taught us that we are all connected and that what happens in the toy markets or in the Amazon rainforest affects us all.. Unfortunately, the actions taken by governments have not been up to this challenge and the results so far have been very modest. Now that climate change is starting to affect people’s lives, there may be a stronger reaction, but we need much stronger measures. From the experience of Covid, we know that it is not easy to take effective measures in a timely manner. We’ve seen the number of times that epidemic containment measures have been taken late, only when they can no longer be delayed. I remember the prime minister said: “We can’t close the hospitals before they are full, the citizens will not understand.” Our generation must go down a path full of dangers. It is like driving at night: the flag represents the headlights, but then the responsibility not to go off the road lies with the driver, who must also take into account the fact that the headlights have a limited range. In fact, even scientists do not know everything. It is hard work, during which knowledge accumulates one by one and pockets of uncertainty are slowly eliminated. Science makes honest predictions on which scientific consensus is slowly forming. When the IPCF predicts that in an intermediate scenario of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the temperature could rise between 2.1 and 3.5 degrees, this range is the best we can estimate based on current knowledge. We face a major problem that requires decisive action not only to stop greenhouse gas emissions, but also scientific investments: we must be able to develop new technologies to conserve energy by converting it into fuels, not technologies. On renewable resources: We must not only save ourselves from the impact of global warming, but we must avoid falling into the terrible trap of depleting natural resources. Saving energy is also a chapter that must be addressed with a decision: For example, as long as the internal temperature of our homes remains roughly constant between summer and winter, it will be difficult to stop emissions. Success in preventing climate change requires a tremendous effort on the part of everyone: it is a process that has a tremendous cost, not only financially but also socially, with changes affecting our lives. Policy must ensure that these costs are accepted by all: those who have used the most resources must contribute the most, to affect the majority of the population as little as possible; The costs must be distributed fairly and equitably among all countries: not only decency requires that the countries that currently affect the planet’s resources make the greatest efforts, but if this does not happen, it will be politically impossible to effectively combat climate change.”

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