May 18, 2022

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CICAP, the festival of science and curiosity, returns to Padua from 3 to 5 June

CICAP Fest, the festival of science and curiosity, returns to Padua June 3-5 for its fifth edition.

The chosen topic this year is the science of the world to come. From sci-fi dreams to global challenges: what awaits us tomorrow? What role will science and scientific culture in general play in determining the future between utopian aspirations and the reality already in progress? What will be the discoveries and inventions that will change human life and the planet – from health to nutrition, from technology to space exploration? What seemed like science fiction became reality, and what would today look like science fiction will one day be real? How does science help us and how will it help us confront the tangible dangers facing humanity and the planet? These and many other questions that CICAP Fest will aim to answer during the 2022 edition, discuss the social, political and cultural aspects of science, needed to prepare society for scientific developments and direct science in a direction consistent with what citizens want. their future.

The CICAP Festival, promoted by CICAP in collaboration with the Municipality of Padua, the University of Padua, the Province of Padua, the Padua Chamber of Commerce and the Venice Promex, will open on Friday 3 June at 5.30 pm in Aula Magna, Palazzo del Po, with an event that is part of the celebrations University of Padua for 800 years: After the institutional greeting, Vicente Ferez Bencomo, director of the Cuban team that developed a vaccine against Covid Sopirana, will say: “The vaccine was made in Cuba: a success story,” a meeting moderated by Sergio della Sala, Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of Edinburgh. The festival will continue until June 5 with presentations, workshops, meetings and presentations, to end on Sunday, at 5.30 pm, again at Aula Magna, in Palazzo del Bo, with an intervention by philosopher of science and evolution Telmo Pievani on the topic of chance in science, to understand how discoveries are The great contingency of the past, and therefore future discoveries as well, depends not only on luck but also on the intertwining of cunning, curiosity, prudence, imagination, and accidents that have been discovered fly. A final message of optimism, to discover what we didn’t know we didn’t know.

Massimo Polidoro, Festival Director, explains: “This year we decided to dedicate the CICAP Festival to trying to understand and imagine the ‘science of the world to come’.” Science, with its ability to explain reality, can help us keep pace with the evolution of society.”

“We will also ask ourselves how citizens can give their fingerprint, or simply their opinions, to scientific progress,” explains Daniela Ovadia, Scientific Coordinator of CICAP Fest. “Scientific citizenship, along with citizen science, or participatory science, seems to offer the possibility of direct participation of citizens in research, but it also assumes that citizens are invited to discuss scientific issues and have their own space for training and debate: see how the community itself, therefore To contribute to the advancement of scientific research, and thus to the improvement of everyone’s life.”

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“Science navigates in uncertainty and often arrives at unexpected discoveries, yet it sometimes manages to make reliable predictions and above all to warn us of the dangers we face,” says Professor Telmo Pivani, Delegate for Communication and Scientific Publishing at the University of Padua. Climate change models have long predicted what is happening today. The epidemic was predicted in detail ten years ago, but we do not pay enough attention to this data. CICAP Fest 2022 returns with wonderful guests, in a special edition to mark the 800th anniversary of the University of Padua, to talk about the future, a future read through the lenses of science, rationality and curiosity.”

Building on the success of the 2020 digital edition and the 2021 hybrid edition, this year CICAP Fest is again anticipating a schedule of more than 120 meetings in Padua, which will be broadcast in part via CICAP social channels. festival.

As in every year, the festival is divided into different areas, which, in this version, will develop around the theme of the upcoming world. With scientists, promoters, writers, philosophers, personalities from the world of research, literature, culture, entertainment, topics related to health, environment, medicine, innovation, technology, space exploration and of course how to deal with the spread of misinformation and pseudoscience. Without forgetting what CICAP Fest has always distinguished, namely moments dedicated to intelligent entertainment, in the awareness that good publishing goes hand in hand with entertainment and entertainment.

Among the festival’s many international guests are: Sir Michael Marmot, Director of the UCL Institute for Health Equality in London, Simonetta Di Pippo, astrophysicist, former Director of Human Flight at the European Space Agency and Director of the United Nations Office for Vienna Otter. Space Affairs Michael Mann, Climatologist and Geophysicist, Director of the Earth System Science Center at Penn State Edith Widder, oceanographer and marine biologist, CEO and Chief Scientist, Oceanic Research and Conservation Society Mitchell Valdes Sosa, Director of the Havana Science Institute, Cuba , Susan Schneider, biological psychologist at University of the Pacific, California, Peter Godfrey Smith, philosopher of science at the University of Sydney, Australia, Sheila Jasanoff, professor of technology ethics at Harvard Kennedy School, Lee McIntyre, philosopher and scholar at Boston University’s Center for Philosophy and History of Science, and lecturer at Harvard University, Julia Galiff, founder of the Center for Applied Rationalism, and many others.

Moreover, in a special “speaker’s corner”, planned in the historic Caffè Pedrocchi booths, researchers and scientists respond in 15 minutes to the “big questions” posed by the audience on CICAP social media about the science of the future: genetics, medicine, space and technology, sociology and science Nerves… in a chain of events run by the famous Marco Martinelli.

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The Culture Counsellor for the Municipality of Padua confirms: “The relationship between science, technology and imagination has always been very close: just think of the phenomenal success of the novels of Jules Verne, who were not considered the father of science fiction literature, surprisingly, they have dazzled generations of readers, they have also inspired scientists and inventors In later ages.Today, in the face of a world that is changing more rapidly, to think about the role of science and its ability to intervene and imagine the future is very exciting.But in parallel, for the contribution of science to build our future to be fully understood in terms of its importance and the opportunities it provides, It is essential that public opinion has greater knowledge of it. This is exactly what CICAP in its fifth edition does perfectly, and is keen to provide not only the tools to understand science, but also the tools to distinguish between “good” communication and fake news. So we thank the organizers who once again gave us a festival with excellent and rigorous contents proposed in a very interesting way.”

“In the history of science, many great discoveries have occurred in a completely random way thanks to the exploration of the world, perhaps during scientific research directed towards other areas of research – stated Fabio Bui, President of the Province of Padua – above all, chance arises from the interweaving of cunning, curiosity and prudence. This It is the meaning expressed by the title of CICAP Fest Edition 2022, which will make us reflect on the fact that science is not an absolute truth, but rather the continuous and systematic search for explanations. As a province, we participate enthusiastically in this new edition that will be able to convey a message that is always stimulating and full of food For thought for all generations.”

“The CICAP Festival is an unmissable opportunity for the Chamber of Commerce to favor – with the support of Venicepromex, the regional agency for internationalization – the recovery of the tourism sector and economic activities in the city center and to encourage the rediscovery of the territorial concession”, comments Antonio Santocono, President of the Padua Chamber of Commerce.

During the festival, the exhibition organized by the AIRC Foundation for Cancer Research will be previewed: “Ricercaalcubo – All Faces of Cancer Research”. An interactive exhibition that allows, through multimedia facilities and under the supervision of science communication experts, to discover stories ranging from first observations and attempts to treat oncology to the latest research by scientists and scientists in laboratories around the world. The almost never straight paths and stories of discoveries and research, which intersect and converge in laboratories conducting basic research, will lead visitors to discover some of the key stages of knowledge in the fight against cancer.

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In addition to more than 120 meetings hosted by the numerous and prestigious festival venues, there are also, as usual, various activities and workshops for families and children, in-depth workshops for teachers, enthusiasts and magicians, guided visits to scientific sites in the city, meetings in squares and courtyards, interviews flying in the street on a chair Animated, illusion demonstrations, comedy entertainment and much more.

Moreover, this year the CICAP Festival departs from Padua and also arrives in Rovigo: on the occasion of the exhibition dedicated to Giovanni Miani, in the Palazzo Roncal, two meetings were organized with the support of the Caribaro Foundation. Massimo Polidoro will accompany us in the discovery of the past, the mysterious places and structures on our planet that generate many questions and constitute a constant stimulus to research and the human need for knowledge; But the past that geneticist Guido Barbogani will tell us is within us: traces of various human forms, prehistoric migrations, starting in Africa, where our ancestors spread throughout the planet.

‘Thinking about the future’ notes Piero Angela, founder and president emeritus of CICAP, who will speak at one of the most anticipated events, ‘I can’t help but mention that the new century we live in belongs to young people. In 2050, the year that seems very far away, they will be At the age of 40/50. In 2090, which seems far-fetched, they will be less than my age today. It will be a century full of changes and I sincerely regret not being able to see all that is going to happen: big problems of course, but also great innovations and many opportunities.”

scientific Committee

Shaul Bassi (Director of the International Center for Human Sciences and Social Change, Ca’ Foscari University, Venice), Elisabetta Bernardi (nutritional biologist, historical author of the SuperQuark, Professor of Anthropometrics, Bari Aldo Moro University), Enzo Cropi (Professor of Logic and Philosophy of Science at the University of Turin , Director of the Center for Logic, Language and Cognition), Sergio Della Sala (Professor of Human Cognitive Neuroscience, University of Edinburgh – Great Britain – and Chair of CICAP), Lorenzo Montale (Professor of Social Psychology, University of Milan Bicocca, Vice-Chancellor of CICAP), Elisa Balzzi (Researcher at Institute of Atmospheric and Climate Sciences / ISAC at Cnr and Professor of Climate Physics, University of Turin), Antonella Viola (Professor of General Pathology, University of Padua, and Scientific Director of the Institute of Pediatric Research – IRP – Città della Speranza).

Image credit Roberta Barria