Le dinamiche dell’informazione fra giovani

Carissime/i
sto seguendo un progetto di Citizens Science all’interno del progetto europeo BEES con le scuole superiori d’Italia. L’obiettivo dei progetti di Citizens Science e’ promuovere la scienza partecipata: i cittadini si trasformano in ideatori del progetto scientifico, raccolgono i dati, li analizzano e ne pubblicano i risultati. In questo caso il progetto vuole capire dinamiche dell’informazione dei giovani tra gli 11 e i 19 anni rispetto a gli adulti. I ragazzi hanno elaborato un semplice questionario ideato con la collaborazione di Walter Quattrociocchi*  e stanno raccogliendo i dati a livello nazionale fra i loro coetanei parenti ed amici di cui poi elaboreranno con il nostro aiuto i risultati.
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Potete darci una mano a chiedere a studenti, amici e parenti di spendere 5 minuti per riempiere il questionario e promuoverlo a loro volta? I dati saranno raccolti fino al 20 maggio.
Un saluto, grazie, Giovanni

(*) https://www.amazon.it/Misinformation-Guida-societ%C3%A0-dellinformazione-credulit%C3%A0/dp/8891742252

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Italiani poca gente

41MAZgZ5EyL._SX295_BO1,204,203,200_“Leggere questo libro è una operazione salutare per aprire la mente”. Cosi’ Piero Angela introduce questo libro di Antonio Golini e Marco Valerio Lo Prete sulla demografia italiana. Ed effettivamente la demografia è una scienza che la sa lunga sull’Italia, paese con il record negativo di nascite (1,17 figli per coppia) ed altissimo invecchiamento. E’ un libro che fa riflettere scientificamente chi afferma che siamo troppi, sull’immigrazione e quindi la politica estera, sui problemi di genere, sullo sviluppo economico, sul lavoro, sul welfare fortemente minacciato e compromesso da una società dove oggi abbiamo 2 pensionati ogni 3 lavoratori, rapporto che continuerà a crescere fino al 2045. Un libro fatto di numeri raccontati ed inquadrati storicamente cosi come attualizzati nel contesto italiano. Tutti numeri che anticipano o ci pongono in controtendenza mondiale.
Forse a tratti troppo quantitativo e poco qualitativo nelle soluzioni, proprio di una approccio scientifico liberale, questo libro effettivamente pone molti dei nostri problemi sotto una luce diversa e fondamentale. Se continua così, includendo gli immigrati e la loro alta natalità, fra 100 anni l’Italia sarà abitata da appena 16 milioni di persone e probabilmente dovremmo anche chiederci cosa questo significherà per “l’italianità” tanto amata di questi tempi.

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Science Communication a New Frontier of Researcher’s Job

Screenshot 2019-05-09 at 08.59.07.png

ArXiv: https://arxiv.org/abs/1905.02936

In the world of communication, nobody can be out of the fray! Since many years science communication and more in general the ability of a researcher to communicate his/her work to founding agency, policy makers, entrepreneurs and public at large, starts to be a fundamental skill of the researchers job. This skill is needed and requested to access funds and successfully disseminate the research outcome, as well as to engage society in understanding science and its benefits. Moreover, due to the large decrease of research funds and of people starting scientific carrier, researchers must be in the front line to promote the scientific culture in order to invert the dreadful trend of last years. Where are we and where are we going to? We try to answer such questions introducing successful models that can be used without huge overloads for our job. This paper reports on the experience of one of the largest and oldest project in Europe of the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions European Researchers’ Night and describes how this project followed the evolution in science communication.

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Science communication: a new frontier

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Pubblicato su CERN Courier Volume 59, Number 3, May/June 2019

Giovanni Mazzitelli describes the changing face of communication through the lens
of European Researchers’ Night.

In the world of communication, everyone has a role to play. During the past two decades, the ability of researchers to communicate their work to funding agencies, policymakers, entrepreneurs and the public at large has become an increasingly important part of their job. Scientists play a fundamental role in society, generally enjoying an authoritative status, and this makes us accountable.
Science communication is not just a way to share knowledge, it is also about educating new generations in the scientific approach and attracting young people to scientific careers. In addition, fundamental research drives the development of technology and innovation, playing an important role in providing solutions in challenging areas such as health care, the provision of food and safety. This obliges researchers to disseminate the results of their work.

Evolving attitudes
Although science communication is becoming increasingly unavoidable, the skills it requires are not yet universal and some scientists are not prepared to do it. Of course there are risks involved. Communication can distract individuals from research and objectives, or, if done badly, can undermine the very messages that the scientist needs to convey. The European Researchers’ Night is a highly successful annual event that was initiated in 2005 as a European Commission Marie Sklodowska-Curie Action, and offers an opportunity for scientists to get more involved in science communication. It falls every final Friday of September, and illustrates how quickly attitudes are evolving.
In 2006, with a small group of researchers from the Italian National Institute for Nuclear Physics (INFN) located close to Frascati, we took part in one of the first Researchers’ Night events. Frascati is surrounded by important scientific institutions and universities, and from the start the Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development, the European Space Agency and the National Institute for Astrophysics joined the collaboration with INFN, along with the
Municipality of Frascati and the Cultural and Research Department of the Lazio region, which co-funded the initiative.
Since then, thousands of researchers, citizens, public and private institutions have worked together to change the public perception of science and of the infrastructure in the Frascati and Lazio regions, supported by the programme. Today, after 13 editions, it involves more than 60 scientific partners spread from the north to the south of Italy in 30 cities, and attracts more than 10,000 attendees, with significant media impact. Moreover, it has now evolved to become a week long event, is linked to many related events throughout the year, and has triggered many institutions to develop their own science communication projects.
Analysing the successive Frascati Researchers’ Night projects allows a better understanding of the evolution of science communication methodology. Back in 2006, scientists started to open their laboratories and research infrastructures to present their jobs in the most comprehensible way, with a view to increasing the scientific literacy of the public and to fill their deficit of knowledge. They then tried to create a direct dialogue by meeting people in public spaces such as squares and bars, discussing the more practical aspects of science, such as how public money is spent, and how much researchers are responsible for their work. Those were the years in which the socio-economic crisis started to unfold. It was also the beginning of the European Union’s Horizon 2020 programme, when economic growth and terms such as innovation started to substitute scientific progress and discovery. It was therefore becoming more important than ever to engage with the public and keep the science flag flying.
In recent years, this approach has changed. Two biannual projects that are also part of a Marie Sklodowska-Curie Action – Made in Science and BEES (BE a citizEn Scientist) underline a different vision of science and of the methodology of communication. Made in Science (which was live between 2016 and 2017) was supposed to represent the “trademark” of research, aiming to communicate to society the importance of the science production chain in terms of quality, identity, creativity, know-how and responsibility. In this chain, which starts from fundamental research and ends with social benefits, no one is excluded and must take part in the decision process and, where
possible, in the research itself. Its successor, BEES (2018–2019), on the other hand, aims to bring citizens up close to the discovery process, showing how long it takes and how it can be tough and frustrating. Both projects follow the most recent trends in science communication based on a participative or “public engagement” model, rather than
the traditional “deficit” model. Here, researchers are not the main actors but facilitators of the learning process with a specific role: the expert one.

Nerd or not a nerd?
Nevertheless, this evolution of science communication isn’t all positive. There are many examples of problems in science communication: the explosion of concerns about science (vaccines, autism, GMO, homeopathy, etc); the avoidance of science and technology in preference to returning to a more “natural” life; the exploitation of science results (positive or negative) to support conspiracy theories or influence democracies; and overplaying the benefits for knowledge and technology transfer, to list a few examples. Last but not least, some strong bias still remains among both scientists and audiences, limiting the effectiveness of communication.
The first, and probably the hardest, is the stereotype bias: are you a “nerd”, or do you feel like a nerd? Often scientists refer to themselves as a category that can’t be understood by society, consequently limiting their capacity to interact with the public. On the other hand, scientists are sometimes real nerds, and seen by the public as nerds. This is true for all job categories, but in the case of scientists this strongly conditions their ability to communicate.
Age, gender and technological bias also still play a fundamental role, especially in the most developed European countries. Young people may understand science and technology more easily, while women still do not seem to have full access to scientific careers and to the exploitation of technology. Although the transition from a deficit to a participative model is already common in education and democratic societies, it is not yet completed in science, which is likely because of the strong bias that still seems to exist among researchers and audiences. The Marie Sklodowska-Curie European Researchers’ Night is a powerful way in which scientists can address such issues.

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Notre-Dame è di tutto il mondo

c793d4f4-fd6c-44e2-8c72-bb59e40f7a07-AFP_AFP_1FO3QP.jpgNel Mediterraneo si contano in media otto persone disperse al giorno; quasi sei milioni di bambini muoiono ogni anno nel mondo prima dei 5 anni; metà della popolazione mondiale non ha accesso ai servizi sanitari di base; 100 milioni di persone ogni anno sono spinte verso la povertà a causa delle spese mediche; circa il 10 per cento della popolazione mondiale vive in condizioni di povertà estrema; più di due miliardi di persone non hanno accesso all’acqua potabile. Ma “il mondo intero è stato colpito al cuore e ha prodotto uno slancio senza frontiere di empatia e solidarietà” per l’incendio alla cattedrale di Notre-Dame a Parigi (Internazionale 1303). “Il rispetto per le opere offre un contraltare emotivo alla freddezza dell’universalismo: così come la libertà e l’uguaglianza ne sono lo spirito, l’amore per la cultura ne è l’anima, che va a completare, correggere e trascendere l’aridità della civiltà tecnica”, si dice nell’articolo. Rispetto e ammiro l’arte ma non questo ipocrita, pietista qualunquismo della nostra società.

posta@internazionale.it numero 1305

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Strane correlazioni

e8e567e1-ed91-4b27-8e2a-93faa0b77072_large.jpgNelle carceri ci sono il  33,8% di stranieri. Secondo l’ISTAT l’8,4% della popolazione residente in Italia vive sotto la soglia di povertà assoluta. Il 34,5% sono cittadini stranieri.
Nel frattempo anche se l’immigrazione cresce, la criminalità  scende da anni costantemente…

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A high resolution TPC based on GEM optical readout

https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/8532631

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