December 3, 2021

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“Learning science to understand the present”

Maria Chiara Carusa visits research centers on the island, and today she is in Sassari’s critical words about communication with the epidemic and on the “school” on the Internet

Cagliari. Not only was communication absent in the acute phase of the epidemic, the crisis of relations between citizens and science is also connected with the problem of understanding citizens and teaching methods, because learning cannot occur alone. On Tik-tok and on Instagram: Clear and in some ways final words by Maria Chiara Carusa, President of the National Research Council (Cnr) who was visiting the Cagliari offices yesterday and will be today in Sassari, as part of Le Ponte’s research. Next to director Giuseppe Colpani, the president faced the university and political leaders at an important stage of scientific research, invoking the administration of the nine billion that the government had allocated in European funds from the PNRR. However, unlike projects under development in all disciplines (“We are working on every front, the selection is taking place in Sardinia”), however, it is difficult to walk away from the topic of the pandemic, which has put the structures to a severe test for two years. National Health and the World of Science: “In some ways, the pandemic has increased citizens’ confidence in science – explained Carusa – because a large part of the citizenry recognized the importance of a scientific approach, I’m also referring to personal protective equipment, to Covid treatments. The virus was dying, today in addition to Vaccines, useful treatments have been developed. However, it is undeniable that there has also been confusion, because sometimes scientific communication has not been managed in the best possible way.” The reference is blunt: “In other countries there hasn’t been this rush to meet virologists, with different opinions and factions … These things should be avoided, Covid has taught us that it is important to communicate the science well, and that it is not. It gives certainty but is evidence based on numbers and not biased, it is based on experience.”

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At the basis of critical issues, which today provoke protests and violence in every corner of Italy, there is also limited understanding on the part of citizens due to insufficient basic preparation: “On the one hand, scholars must learn to communicate. It is better to never engage in personal attacks – warns the president of CNR – On the other hand, the school should plan courses of study and prepare citizens to read contemporary science. We need to update, all students should know what viruses are, they should study molecular biology, principles of vaccines. They are the rules of science, they are necessary knowledge. In At that time, we realized how important it is to study languages, and today the new language to be learned is molecular biology, DNA, and new languages ​​for understanding contemporary.” Behind the misunderstanding there can also be a problem with method in teaching, as well as in publication: “In Pnrr will be There are investments in teacher modernization.However, concept fatigue remains key, as learning involves a cognitive effort, the web and social networks are not enough and the school must direct the proliferation of online resources.It is essential that even know The jurists teach the basics of biology so that those who say meaningless things will not make fun of it. The basic background serves the business but also for the exercise of citizenship.”