January 28, 2023

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Support grows from Naples to the USA for recognition of Cyril as a member of the Franklin Academy

Expanding support for the recognition petition dDomenico Cirillonaturalist, physician and patriot of the Neapolitan Republic in 1799, as the first Italian member of the American Philosophical Associationthe academy he founded Benjamin Franklin In 1743 in Philadelphia.

On December 30th, we reported on A.Jinitiative a. Amedeo Arenaof the University of Naples Federico II, with the aim of correcting the records of the illustrious American Academy, Cyril being misreported as “Professor Famitz”. A petition ensuedwhich has received many statements of support both in Italy and in the United States United State.

Mayor of Naples, prof Gaetano ManfrediIn this regard, he declared: “The research that Prof. Dr. The Amedeo Arena moves forward with a design that offers the opportunity to bring order to an ancient issue, but of great value for Naples and for the entire metropolitan city. The enrollment of the Neapolitan physician Domenico Cirillo in the American Philosophical Society, as the first Italian member of this American Academy, marks the correct recognition of the international authority and role of Neapolitan scientific culture since the eighteenth century. Therefore, I strongly support the initiative which, in addition to correcting the transcription error, helps to emphasize the deep bond that unites Italy, and in particular Naples, with the United States.

Convincing support for the initiative of the Rector of the Federico II University, Professor Matteo Loreto“Sometimes a mere material error can deny fair and unanimous recognition to an entire scientific community. This is exactly what happened in 1768 with the election of our teacher Domenico Cirillo, an eminent Neapolitan physician, entomologist and botanist, who for obvious scientific merits (for example, introduced the binomial nomenclature of Linnaeus at the Neapolitan Academy to denote the types of organisms) as a member At a leading American academy, it had a reputation at the time for being particularly selective in including non-American scholars. The new partner was only mistakenly reported with an inaccurate and non-existent name, according to the recently reconstructed dynamics. Therefore, the academic community of the University of Naples Federico II supports the professor’s initiative. The Arena aims to correct this mistake of historical value, to restore to a great scientist of the past the dignity of an important recognition and to recover an important symbol of the ancient link between the two scientific communities operating in Naples and beyond.

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Of the same opinion, Dr. Arturo Armon Caruso, Member of the Cirilliani Study Commission and author of many articles and lessons on this intellectual from Campania: «Domenico Cirillo, in the panorama of international culture, played a role of remarkable importance in the dissemination of botanical, medical and social knowledge. Thanks to Cyril, it was possible to develop an adequate treatment against syphilis, which was practiced until the advent of antibiotics. Among other things, Cirillo was one of the first promoters of social and healthy humanism, through his academic sermons and his national philanthropic project. Thanks to his studies, Cirillo was welcomed in the Italian scientific community, in particular at the Accademia dei Quaranta and at the Florentine Botanical Society. Moreover, he had contacts with the scientific world outside Europe, especially with the United States. These reports were mediated by John Morgan, who suggested Cyril’s engraving to the American Philosophical Society, which does not seem to have been properly recorded. In light of what has been said, the recognition of Cirillo’s election within this prestigious institution is desirable.”

Support for the initiative also comes from the United States: In fact, professors and scholars from Harvard, Berkeley, Philadelphia, Chicago, and New York universities have signed the petition.

said Maria Sachs, deputy sheriff of Palm Beach County, Florida: «This initiative was intended to highlight the influence of important Italian personalities, and is in line with my proposal, approved unanimously by the Florida Parliament, to declare the month of October Italian and Italian-American Culture Month in Florida. For these reasons, I fully support this petition.”

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Attorney Paul Venezio of Florida is also backing him upand past president of the National Italian American Bar Association and attorney Antonella Brancaccio Balzano, Honorary Consul of Italy in Orlandowho declared that “the correction of the copying error of 1768 is necessary to give due esteem to the physician and naturalist Cirillo and to Naples, which has always played an essential part on the international stage. Let us remember that Naples has maintained strong friendships with the United States for more than two centuries, hosting one of The first diplomatic representatives of the United States in Europe.

Professor Arena, creator of the petition, said: “I am very impressed by the support the petition has received from Neapolitans and from Italian Americans who live more than ten thousand kilometers away. This post shows how strong a bond unites Naples and the United States today. The recognition of Cyril as the first Italian member of the American Philosophical Society would only be Confirmation of the longevity of this bond, which has its roots in Enlightenment values.This can be seen from the correspondence between Gaetano Filangieri and Benjamin Franklin, recently the subject of showroom at the Italian Cultural Institute in San Francisco, soon to be shown in Naples, Fico Equense and Cava dei Terreni.

The petition can be signed by everyone, by clicking https://www.change.org/CirilloAPS and on the link you will receive in the confirmation email. Both steps are required for membership registration. Instead, we invite you to decline any donation request because it does not come from this initiative.

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