December 8, 2022

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“Gender equality in science ensures a richness of knowledge”

She is a member of the Lazio Committee for the Astronomical Olympics, winner of the National Prize for Young Researchers GiovedìScienza2019, and a graduate in Astrophysics atLa Sapienza University of Rome Focusing on black holes and is one of the founders WeSTEAM Italy, a network of women scientists committed to promoting a pluralistic and inclusive science. But Edwig Bezzoli is above all a passionate woman who is convinced that “mystery is the primary passion that lies in the sources of true art and true science,” as Albert Einstein used to say. However, as a science professional, he knows that there are still gaps and black holes…

What is missing in Italy for women’s independence?

Interest in gender issues is growing, but this is happening in a culture that has kept women on the sidelines anyway for centuries. STEM (science, technology, mathematics, and engineering) students are on the rise, but in these sectors, as well as in those where women have always been the majority, gender inequality still exists. As science knows, complex and complex reality is also the answer. It is necessary to proceed from the culture of organizations, and from the gender stereotypes and prejudices that continue to pollute our society, both within and outside science.”

Why do you think it is useful to bring girls closer to scientific thought?

There is a phrase from Maria Skłodowska, better known as Marie Curie, which sums up the power of scientific thought well: “In life there is nothing to fear, only to understand. This is the time to understand more, so that you will be less afraid.” With these few words, the Polish scientist described very well how our strength is not transmitted so much knowledge, as the tools we must build for ourselves to understand, plan, model, and solve problems. Simply, understand. And these It is the capacity that we need to develop in order to liberate ourselves, that is, to become free individuals. Liberate ourselves and also escape from schemes and stereotypes, such as those we have about people who do science: men, white, old, lonely, intelligent. In short, it’s up to Always to Albert Einstein.”

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While that?

“Instead, science is a collective subject, made up of humans (not outside of humans, like Einstein), and freeing his face from the mask of the famous German physicist would allow more children, especially girls, to be able to imagine tomorrow. Above all if it was strong Since I learned to understand.”

It is in this spirit that he gave life to the first edition of the “Là fuori – Festival of Science and Art” from June 10 to 12 at Villa Lazzarone in Rome (via Appia Nova 522) which was promoted by the Association for Science and Science with Matteo Alparone: a path full of stimuli, to bring girls between 8 and 12 years to science thought between science, technology, engineering, mathematics, theater and music. Could a science and arts festival be beneficial?

“Science actually investigates, observes and analyzes nature with an additional eye, a conscious creative eye that generates models and descriptions. But it is not the only system to do so. The artist’s realization is very similar: he isolates the subject of study from the rest, focuses attention on interesting variables, investigates through practices shared by his own community and finds descriptions in the language of that discipline. This reflection was the spark that led to the birth, in the southeastern suburbs of the capital, of educational workshops to bring girls and boys closer to scientific thought through science and the exemplary self-experimentation of art.”

Where did the idea for the title “Là fuori – Festival of Science and Art” come from?

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« Marta Matza, the publisher who edited the edition of a book I wrote with five other astrophysicists, introduced me to a little guide to discovering nature called Là Fuori. It immediately seemed to me two key words, full and filled with everything you need. Science starts from the outside, with a capital F, to build a representation capable of transcending those who built it, and out of “we”. In the same way, art begins from the relationship between the outside and the inside, and seeks a synthesis to return the result, again, to the outside. There it is: the essence of human exploration of reality.”

What is the key to making science interesting and/or interesting?

“If we think about it, science is a children’s activity par excellence: we build up an idea of ​​how things are and that idea is constantly tested through empirical experience. Each time one gains knowledge – true until proven otherwise (and children know it well) – one continues to search for unexplored valleys, and again forms, notes, and questions. Problems never seen before have been resolved. In real science, a problem is something that often appears for the first time and that by definition does not really have a solution. There are no predetermined steps to get to the answer. There is creativity, imagination and fantasy, linked to prior scientific knowledge, that can lead us to small revolutions of knowledge.”

Have you ever experienced moments of embarrassment or professional difficulty in your work?

“There is a situation I have noticed in many of the men with whom I have collaborated, which is telling the truth mostly outside the real scientific context: every time I did not agree with what they said, their first instinct was to re-explain what they had just said. As if the point was that I did not understand, Rather than being different. These little details have always seemed so important to me.”

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What do you hope equality will bring to science?

“Gender equality in science not only has social implications, it can affect actual scientific knowledge. How many times have we heard about science as a set of neutral facts, regardless of the people who built it and the context in which it develops? The truth is that anyone practices science. He is human, and remains so even when he puts on a lab coat or writes down an equation.Being a human also means carrying with you a wealth of values, culture, beliefs, and sometimes biases, which can determine our observations, as well as the choices we make within the scientific community. daily “.

What does this mean?

“Therefore, gender equality in science plays an essential role not only in creating fairer scientific societies, but also in assuring us richer scientific knowledge: if the eyes of those who look and do science can influence the structure, methods, and contents of science itself, obtaining On as many looks as possible, it helps us build a “complete” puzzle describing the reality that surrounds us.”

Is Rome an unwelcome city for women?

“It is clear that the culture in which we are immersed is also in Rome which, however, being a large city, hosts more diversity and perhaps for this reason is more accustomed to dealing with heterogeneous realities, as well as in terms of gender.”