January 28, 2023

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Mattarella: “Man, culture and values ​​are at the heart of science”


(Adnkronos) – The culture of ideas is necessary to control technologies and “thanks to the centrality of the person and his values, the different branches of science rediscover the feeling of working together, expanding the horizons of each.” This was stated by the President of the Republic, Sergio Mattarella, on the occasion of his visit to Zurich Polytechnic, one of the most important university research centers in the world, the last stop of his trip to Switzerland.

Exchanging ideas and meeting young people from different European countries – as the head of state recalls – favors the formation of a true critical conscience and the exchange of experiences. Democracy and freedom, the basic values ​​of all European peoples, need knowledge fed by universities, and they cannot do without the exchange of ideas and knowledge, which arises and finds its impetus from universities, and they cannot do without research and precious and fundamental sciences, and at the same time the culture of ideas, necessary to control technologies To understand its impact on the organization of societies and on rights, to increase its positive effects in terms of development.

“In this sense, the attention that the Polytechnic attaches to the teaching of the humanities – together with the exact technical and scientific subjects – is of great value and reflects the attention paid to the human being in its complexity.”

“The words that Francesco de Sanctis used more than a hundred and fifty years ago in his first address as professor of Italian literature at this university evoke them well,” emphasized the President of the Republic. The words I read on the marble plaque placed at the entrance to this room: “Besides the engineer, in you is a citizen and a scientist And an artist… Before you become an engineer, you guys.”

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“This is an idea that takes on greater significance in the land in which Rousseau and Pestalozzi lived and worked, two personalities who believe in the fundamental role of education in the betterment of man, and who, I am sure, define your experience at this prestigious university. It is an exciting prospect.”

“The person – Mattarella included – constitutes the element that connects the various disciplines. Thanks to the centrality of the person and his values, the different branches of science rediscover the sense of working together, broadening the horizons of each. For, as Albert Einstein claimed, “the main scientific research, like art, is biography the subjectivity of humankind, i.e. history and insight into ourselves.

Upon his arrival, Mattarella, who had arrived by train from Bern with the President of the Swiss Confederation, Ignacio Cassis, was greeted by the Polytechnic’s president, Joel Mesot, and the university’s rector, Günther Desertori.

During the visit, the Head of State attended the illustration of a series of projects run by Italian researchers on “Technology and Innovation” (Stefano Brosoni), “Culture, Transport and Storage of Carbon Dioxide” (Viola Piccatini), “Biomarkers for Diagnostics of Parkinson’s Disease (Paola Picotti) ), rapid, reliable and affordable PCR tests (Michele Gregorini) followed by a demonstration of the bioengineering of neural prostheses.