October 4, 2022

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Barbero & Bros. From Scientists to Web Stars

Professor Barbero is not historically famous. He is a famous historian. While on first reading it might seem like a subtlety — even just a lexical inversion — or a simple pun, it isn’t. Instead, these phrases represent two different ways of telling the story, in his own case. Moreover, Barbero tells about that part of history that does not even have a name “of its own”: the Middle Ages, middle age, among two others. The revolution in the historian model that Professor Barbero promotes is radical because it does not bring analysis, research and studies for years into university classrooms, nor does it just “fill” – in pre-Covid times – the classrooms for his seminars. Enter people’s homes, actually right in their ears thanks to a podcast recorded in an amateurish fashion during its conferences. With the personality of the celebrity there is a chasm that cannot be bridged.

Alessandro Barbero is perhaps the most emblematic example of a famous educator/academic figure who is establishing himself, or rather, reaching everyone, thanks to digital tools such as YouTube or podcasts. Transfer of scientific skills and the subject from the university halls to all.

The academy’s most advanced research and studies, from classrooms to bluetooth headphones
It is useful to continue to talk about the Barbero case, because it is necessary to understand how the professor is not just a celebrity “loaned to history”. The academic from Piedmont is not a historian who abandons the “guidelines” of his profession to approach the public and become popular. Alessandro Barbero is a history teacher who explains to his podcast listeners how history works.

Its grammar and lessons can also be extended to other areas: but that’s a difference made by whoever listens in headphones later, not who suggests it. As well as his work Fact Check and address fake news relating to the Middle Ages. It is a symbolic example ius primae noctis (from the Latin, oath of the first night) attributed to medieval feudal lords who lay down on the first wedding night with the bride because the latter, like everything else, from land to cattle, was theirs.

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Barbero explains in a scientific and disarming way how there is no evidence of the existence and spread of this right in medieval Europe, neither in the sources of the age of secular authorities (kings and emperors) nor by ecclesiastical authorities. In fact, every known reference dates back to later times. Here is the historical method applied to generalization that teaches and explains the Middle Ages.

I’m facts, medical facts
Virologist Roberto Burioni conducted a specialized fact-checking and extensive medical science publication on his “Medical Facts” blog, long before the (excess) epidemic was exposed. Burioni has been active for years as a researcher in the development of human monoclonal antibodies against infectious agents. In terms of medical facts, other than sections devoted to explaining the epidemic and vaccines, it is interesting to note how the method of broadcast maker and historian Barbero is similar to that of blogger Burioni: they are both a teacher/academic activist who reach everyone, with clicks, they do not stay within an academic audience. In audio and writing, they make available all the tools of their subject to read a past historical time such as the Middle Ages – through historical sources – in the case of Barbero, or disease, pain and the limits of research into treatment therapies. , in the case of Burioni, who, in Italy, was one of the first to talk about an mRNA vaccine, before the arrival of the anti-Covid vaccine, arguing in an understandable way and with the support of scientific and textual sources, the revolutionary importance of this research.

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When spider-man is in the kitchen as a chemistry professor
Recently, the latest Marvel movie, “Spider-Man: No Way Home”, became the best cinema in the time of the epidemic, and at Rotten Tomatoes it broke a historical record on the site of the review aggregator: with 99% positive reviews from fans, “Spider” -Man: No Way Home” became the highest-rated movie. If the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man, as Peter Parker likes to call himself, penetrated the screen after he did so in the comics, then “Living Chemist” Dario Bressanini after invading the academy was also a hit on YouTube. Chemist and university lecturer, Bressanini is a successful writer and influential Thanks to the principles of chemistry, he dispels false myths about cooking and explains with science how to improve one’s performance in the kitchen. In between, he heads up social networks to deconstruct the “nonsense” that fills the web, deconstruct scientific axes and with a blanket of humor, all the worst that has made us believe in vitality, zero miles, diets and detoxing. It counters false news about the world of food, and shows how this issue can also be political, creating factions and exposing human fragility.

Information disclosure
The well-known academic “Dresses” character is also the creator of the “damned genius”, the damned genius. This is the name of the podcast created by physicist Massimo Temporelli that talks about innovators and innovations, from Einstein to Jobs, from Leonardo da Vinci to Marconi, passing through Ragazzi di through Panisperna all the way to Elon Musk. The physicist has created an underrated but respected podcast, which tells the great figures in history who are able to change our evolution. Talents who in their time faced the ideal environment to change the course of culture and civilization, which led them to find solutions that, rightly, make them “ridiculous” geniuses.

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“Bad” disclosure and “Beautiful” disclosure
Rules of use: Forget about the self-confidence and style of Piero Angela. Barbascura X, PhD in green chemistry and academic researcher, actually uses the method stand up comedy And Pirates of the Caribbean outfits for the Ugly Science crew. This is actually the name of his YouTube channel followed by more than 720,000 followers, as the researcher from Taranto (who doesn’t want to reveal his real name) reveals the science. In inexhaustible parody – bringing many young people together – he tells lesser known aspects of the natural sciences, and evolution in particular, and debunks myths and legends rooted in the collective imagination.

Then there’s the woman who can be defined as the “Queen of Science Communicating,” who orchestrated the false truths and myths about cosmetics: Beatrice Mautino. Mautino is a graduate in industrial biotechnology, a researcher in neuroscience at the University of Turin, is a scientific publisher, and organizes the “Occam’s waxing” column at Le Scienze. He reaches 205 thousand followers on Instagram with a “mobile” page, and he also has a YouTube channel.

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