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The will to support your ideas, coupled with the ability to listen to other people’s ideas in a group enterprise, is at the root of the birth of the great scientific theories and of memorable human experiences. Every innovator has to face the world and every particularly important figure holds a place in the history of humanity for works of genius that are different from everything else which had been made before. Fame and success in natural science as in economics, philosophy, ethics and history are always inseparably tied to the diversity of ideas.

Matteo Ricci – S – Show
A Jesuit scientist in Ming’s court
Target: +12

A co-production by the Science Festival, Promo Music, in collaboration with the Giorgio Cini foundation.

A faraway, practically unknown world, where men with slanted eyes speak an incomprehensible language, where the music seems off tune and the paintings lack perspective, where the religion does not conceive of a God that governs the universe. This is how China appeared to the Jesuit missionary at the end of the XVI century when he travelled alone to the Ming empire. The show is inspired by the book “Matteo Ricci. A Jesuit at the court of Ming (Mondadori, 2005)” by Michela Fontana, brings back to life the experience of the great figure from Macerata who, thanks to his education and intellectual open-mindedness towards the “different”, brought western culture and scientific knowledge to the Orient. He managed to integrate himself, picking up the traditions and customs of Peking. He took the Mandarin name Li Madou and was the author of one of the most extraordinary cultural mediations between the two civilizations, which had until then had been separate.

The Puzzle scientist
A different idea of the scientist
Target: 5-13

In the general imagination the scientist is indentified more often than not as a cross between Dr. Frankenstein and Albert Einstein, an unrealistic view which has always been proposed by books, movies, comics and cartoons.
The workshop is designed to allow every visitor to express their personal idea of a scientist and to compare it with the collective imagination and then bring it in line with reality through games and experiments. Why is the title “The Puzzle scientist”? The workshop, conceived of as an emotional crescendo, puts four different pieces together that, if assembled correctly, blend the same number of different ideas together to make up the figure of a scientist. The contents and materials of the workshop have been thought up for kids and is based on specific educational principles.

Social Tags – S – Workshop
Groups of social "animals"
Target: +15

Offered by: CNR-ISTC

Mister Syd, our expert on human societies, challenges you to take part in a simple and fascinating game: after asking you for some information on your life and profession he will show you a ten-minute video that most suits your interests. Impossible? No, because Mister Syd, our software, knows the society we live in very well and has plenty of things to show us. Just answer the questions asked by the scientific explainer and you will receive a personal badge that will enable you to enter an environment that you think you know. This workshop, thanks to the questionnaire which is then run through a special program, places people into certain social classes based on specific parameters such as personal interests, education and profession. Because we are all alike, but we are also all different.

Magisterial lesson and international dialogues

The application of science, as Fabrizio Lillo’s and Luisa Corrado’s talks show, can bear exquisite fruits: in the first case, the birth of econophysics, a relatively recent discipline which studies economics with methods and techniques that come from physics, in the second the discovery of the unexpected relationship between economics and happiness. Mark Buchanan will also explain how many collective phenomena are not the simple sum of the actions undertaken by individuals using the concept of the social atom. Continuing the line of macroscopic phenomena is Massimo Livi Bacci’s talk on the history and possible explanations of the extermination of Native Americas. The biologist Lewis Wolpert will concentrate on human beliefs and on their evolution from a biological viewpoint and, finally, staying in the ethical and anthropological field there is the conversation between Francesco Remotti and Simone Pollo, who will attempt to find an answer to the problem of moral pluralism.