“You have destroyed the sanctity of science. But this way I make it clear to everyone” – Corriere.it

“You have destroyed the sanctity of science.  But this way I make it clear to everyone” – Corriere.it

If you look carefully, it is one of our first forms of interaction with the outside world, because as newborns we have two basic concerns: feeding ourselves and evacuating. New parents know this well and devote a large portion of their days (and nights) to these two tasks for their little ones. But if we can talk about food in any way, time and form, the same cannot be said about the other question. Even if it is a very normal and normal physiological function. A certain lexical modesty makes it difficult to talk about publicly. Until the Advertising Diapers, for example, are a bit wrapped around it and prefer to focus on the liquid aspects of it. Certainly mr Piero Angela, the admiral of scientific publishing, who brought science into the homes of Italians with his radio programs and his impeccably sober style, would find a “self-confident” way to say everything we wanted to know about the subject, but never dared to ask. But it was him. We also exaggerate it a little.

“So I’ll say it: Today we’re talking about shit.” Barbascura He is a writer, comedian – in this period he was busy in theaters with the “Amore bestiale Tour” – influencer and YouTuber (nearly a million subscribers to his channel whose main column is “Bad science»), TV presenter and many other things. If Piero Angela is the Admiral, complete with full uniform, he is a pirate covered in necklaces, bracelets, a sailor’s hat and hoop earrings. A hacker has a license to disclose in an unconventional way. In real life, Barbascurra has another name and another profession as well, a very serious one, as a result of his degree in organic chemistry and a doctorate in green chemistry and the production of materials from renewable sources. In short, a laboratory rat. But on social media, he is the captain of a sailing ship, or rather a “galionazzo” as he himself defines it using the conjugation to “azzo” which he really likes, and by which his crew can be identified. We met him in recent days in Luca comicsthe comics festival at which he has been a regular since 2018 and where he previewed the second volume of “Scientific satyr» It is a series that he edits, collecting his own texts and those of others, and focusing from time to time on a specific topic. The first was dedicated to sex and was entitled “Bad Reproduction,” because it told of all the ways in which animals (and not only) make sex strange. For the new edition – now available in bookstores from Mondadori – he has chosen to deal with “the uses and habits of fecal matter.” But that’s just the subtitle. “Okay, I’ll say the title again: Shit Stories.” Thanks for your help.

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The satyr is an attempt at assemblage Different forms of communication: The accuracy and seriousness of scientific publishing and the sarcasm of comedians. “I liked the idea of ​​merging these two worlds,” explains Barbascura. Those who write about science are generally not good at joking, and those who work in comedy are not familiar with science. I tried to combine the two forms and I really liked what came out.” In short, unity is strength. And even above all in topics that are not easy to deal with. “I address all topics that are still considered taboo but And it can’t be taboo when it comes to science – He adds – . “Feces have very important scientific aspects, and it is no coincidence that a lot of research and studies have been conducted on this subject.”

In nature, dung often has a role that goes beyond the simple function of getting rid of excess. there Bees In Asia, they cover the hive with buffalo excrement to confuse the scary giant hornets Vespa sister He urged them to fish elsewhere; There is theHoopoe Whoever throws his excrement to defend himself; Larvae Which covers itself in its poop to poison predators with toxic substances from nightshades obtained from the leaves it feeds on and which are then expelled through the intestines. there Black grilleInstead, the lark uses the faeces of farm animals to build the nest but also to prevent it from being trampled by herbivores, which are accustomed to avoiding clumps of feces. And again: females Cesena, a passerine bird, attacks other birds by shooting them with excrement, soaking their feathers to the point of making flight impossible, causing them to fall; there Theloderma aspergeraOne Tree frog Also called the “bird droppings frog”, it camouflages itself in bird droppings to escape predators; the cogiaThe dwarf sperm whale protects itself by spraying a kind of liquid from its anus like a squid does with ink, a curtain to facilitate escape. The case study could go on, as he details in his speech Jacopo De Lucaone of several contributor From the folder, and also among them, among others, YouTuber Willy Guasti,Digital Microbiologist Alessandro MostazzoloNutritionist Claudia Panzavecchiathe world of ethics Lorenza Paulistina Astrophysicists Luca Perry And Silvia Cunha is a dancer But also a comedian and TV presenter Dario Vergasola.

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“Sometimes we practice self-censorship when faced with certain topics, but the truth – emphasizes Barbascura – is that in the scientific world… No silly questionsL. However, the answers are important and the way they are presented is the stylistic code that everyone chooses. “From the beginning – continues the hacker – I wanted to demolish the excessively self-referential vision that often exists around scientific questions. I wanted to make it more popular, to make people understand “You can also laugh at it. Scientific satire did not exist in Italy, and I found it inconceivable.” Then to the latest version of International Prize for Political Satire Forte dei Marmi invented the custom category and the award went to him, needless to say. “They created this category especially for me – he points out with a touch of pride – even if my haters take advantage of it to say that I won because I competed alone.” But there’s another point: “We can laugh and joke about everything, from politics to religion, so why shouldn’t we be able to do so with science?” Hence the choice to tackle less traditional topics as well: “If there is a taboo topic I want to deal with it without leaving anything to the imagination. I want people to understand that, and then laugh about it. Because if you can laugh about it, then you really understand science.”

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