June 26, 2022

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Telmo Pivani: This is the discovery you wouldn’t expect

The concept of chance on the basis of scientific revolutions arose from a Persian legend. In his new book, the philosopher of science recounts the great achievements of research made thanks to intuition, the ability to imagine and openness to the unexpected.

Never before has scientific research been in the focus of public attention as it has been in the past two years. It happened, unfortunately, because of the COVID-19 pandemic. But it was a historic event, with scientists from all over the world pooling their knowledge and knowledge to rapidly develop a vaccine. In a short time they achieved a great and unexpected goal. But then not everything went as it was supposed to. The most serious fact was the limited access to the vaccine in the southern countries of the world, due to the speculation of the big pharmaceutical companies. Meanwhile, incredibly, in that West who had and had access to a vaccination, negative limbs emerged. The minority, fortunately. But thanks to the mainstream media, they had great visibility and resonance. Beyond the hard-core, dogmatic, unorthodox, the pandemic has highlighted a much broader phenomenon of distrust of the scientific method, which demands investigation, the ability to keep asking questions even in the face of uncertainty, and study, but also courage, imagination. Telmo Bivani tells us, on the sidelines of a show coincidence. unexpected in sciencethe volume published by Raffaello Cortina, at the Book Fair in Turin (on May 29 the Philosopher of Science will speak about it in Pistoia for Dialogues on Man)

Biffany, wasn’t science communication always optimal during a pandemic?
Frankly, many colleagues who talk about science in public have forgotten a key point: when sharing knowledge, it is not enough to tell results, discover discoveries, out of democratic transparency. It is fundamentally necessary to explain science as a method, as a process, as a set of activities that can be both infallible and imperfect. But which leads us to reliable knowledge even if, at times, it can be reconsidered. It is also an important position from a democratic point of view against any authoritarianism.

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Should this knowledge process be adequately explained and disclosed?
Yes, that should be clarified. Instead, I saw too much narcissism, too much parenting, too many useless rivalries, and too many contradictions. Too many predictions when it wasn’t too early to make. Instead, it was necessary to communicate in a different way, because this pandemic surprised everyone, including the scientific community who was groping in the dark for the first weeks and then always had to deal with the uncertainty of the results. Instead of denying this suspicion, he went with embarrassment and the reason for this should be explained…

The interview continues on left May 27, 2022

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