Rebuilding the City of Science. Back where it was.

Read time: 7 mins

It is so obvious, it appears trivial. The City of Science must be immediately rebuilt, back to there it was born. That same place where somebody was able to partially destroy the material structure – as explained by Vittorio Silvestrini – who was on the right track.
The reasons, which may seem trivial, prompting us – imposing on us – to rebuild the City of Science back where it was born, are two in number. They are both completely different.

One is political (yes, it it involves politics). This relates to the attitude that we must present to delinquents who set fire to the largest latest generation Italian science museum. We do not know their identity or their primary motive. One thing for sure is that they did not want (or want) a City of Science between Via Coroglio and the sea. We cannot let these people win. This would not be allowed to happen in any civil society. We cannot simply say: "Ok, they went about it the wrong way (causing a fire is a crime), however the underlying objective is founded: the City of Science is located in a place where it shouldn't be and it must be moved". It is a question of legality prevailing over illegality. Civility winning against incivility.
The whole of Italy, the whole of Europe and many worldwide were left extremely concerned when they heard that a museum – a stage for the science community – was deliberately set on fire. This has never happened on the continent before. Only the most cruel fundamentalists in the world have plagued cultural symbols. Even this, is rare. The seriousness of what has happened in Bagnoli should not be underestimated. On the contrary, we must react with maximum determination against this unheard of criminal attack on culture. We must begin rebuilding here and now. This is what managers and workers at the IDIS Foundation expect; this is what thousands of Neapolitans expect, whom have even physically displayed a sense of solidarity; this can be seen with all those people, scientists and non-scientists, in Italy, In Europe or worldwide who have wanted to be near the City of Science.

We cannot show them that we are doing nothing: that we have surrendered.
It would be a city surrendering, announcing to the world that it has been defeated.

The second reason why the City of Science must be moved from the place it was born is owing to ecological reasons. The philosophy of the environment and sustainability. Those, in favor of the move say, the former status of the location must be restored. Restoring Bagnoli to its natural state. This type of argument – even if we were to overlook any considerations in terms of rights – is completely unfounded.
Within an area which has been strongly anthropized over the last few thousand years, definition of the natural status of locations is required. The City of Science was not built 25 years ago, not at all. It was built using elegant industrial archaeological workmanship, providing form to the oldest building in Bagnoli. The City of Science represents (additionally) an example of intelligent preservation of the status of places. Made even more intelligent by the fact that it presents an interconnection– the immaterial value based upon knowledge – of the future. Demolishing the ancient LeFevre glassworks which has been there for over a century and a half, would be considered an unacceptable alteration of the ancient statuses of places.
We are only too aware that some require the demolishment of all relics (all traces of anthropization?) within a certain section of the coastline, in order to restore an older, natural status of places. However, this type of argument runs up against traps according to the logic of infinite regress: must we destroy Venice to restore the ancient status of the Venetian lagoon?
A balanced philosophy between man and the surrounding environment requires declining both the idea that man is the "worm in the apple" an element (individual) which pollutes, an otherwise uncontaminated nature; or that he is the “master of nature”, who uses the environment as he pleases.
Man forms part of nature. Man evolves as nature evolves. Man evolves in such ways which perhaps, other species, do not. Man has “great awareness of his presence in the world. He is aware that he is part of a collective. Man is equally aware that his actions may have favorable affects for himself and for (the rest of) nature. This awareness urges him to repel unconditional ethics (an action deemed as good or bad, based upon the environmental, historical and cultural content) and to embrace ethics of flexibility: carefully analyzing the context in which he operates. Physicists would describe the aforementioned as surrounding conditions.
In this light, preserving the ancient building in Bagnoli, LeFevre a stone's throw away from the sea to build a scientific city and cultural environment represents completely ecological work. A genuine operation to protect ecology. Whilst destroying it, represents the contrary.
All this notwithstanding the risk (Only God knows the extent) once the City of Science has been destroyed, that the area becomes a focal point for, what Benedetto Croce referred to as the "Camorra bourgeoisie", which lives under speculation.

In, reality: what would Naples, Italy, Europe and the entire world say if, within a few years time, the City of Science destroyed for reasons relative to environmental sustainability, found itself being used as a tourist port harbor surrounded by villas and/or homes, even illegal, built by the "Camorra bourgeoisie"?

The Idis-Città Science Foundation in Naples is organizing the following event:

"
REBUILDING THE FUTURE
of the City of Science to align with the scientific and cultural growth of the Country"

- 27 March 2013, at 18:00 Conference room at the Regional Natural Science Museum of Turin -

The meeting provides a response to the requirement to look beyond the events of Bagnoli, which on the 4 March past brought together an audience stunned by the terrible blaze within the City of Science, to turn it into a more encompassing opportunity for reflection on the necessity to provide new incentive for the scientific and cultural growth of our Country. The City of Science is born from a dream, the roots of which can be found at the scientific information event which took place in Naples in 1987, “Remote Future. A journey through Science and Science Fiction”, which drew inspiration from a “southern development model” proposed by Vittorio Silvestrini as an alternative to the northern one. At the core of this model, Silvestrini proposed, on the one hand, the value of the land and on the other hand, the need to appeal to culture (specifically scientific) to transfer the knowledge of research centers to all local production entities: crafts persons, small business owners, employees, right up to young people with high level qualifications which sadly form part of the waves of immigrants heading north. Immediately rebuilding this Future updating the "southern model" theorized over 20 years ago and which presently appears prophetic, is intended as part of a European prospective where Italy, part of Southern Europe, is of vital importance. The rebirth of the City of Science may, in this way, appear as a paradigm for a new civil, cultural, scientific and economic development model for the Country which could make Italy, once again, an international prospect center. The meeting, overseen by the journalist and scientific writer, Piero Bianucci, will begin with the statement by the Director General of the City of Science in Naples, Luigi Amodio, to be followed by an assessment of the Italian and European situation and a debate open to the public, during which time, there will also be time to speak about the role of the Piedmontese area in “rebuilding” the future. It is, in actual fact, the Institutions with the greatest say when it comes to science in Piedmont, acting as promoters, with their involvement at this event. Testimony of the urgency of reflection of these themes, the following have confirmed their presence: the Minister for Education, Universities and Research, Francesco Profumo, MP Luigi Berlinguer – Chairman of the Committee for the development of scientific culture and technology of the MIUR, the journalists and scientific writers, Piero Angela, Bruno Arpaia and Pietro Greco. Representing Institutions across the area, the Councilor of Culture for the city of Milan, Maurizio Braccialarghe will be present. Also participating will be upper secondary school students and, in light of the relevancy of the debate for civil society as a whole, the invite is extended to all citizens (free entry up until there are no more spaces).

The event s organized in collaboration with a Piedmont organization committee which includes: Accademia delle Scienze di Torino, Associazione CentroScienza Onlus, Museo Regionale di Scienze Naturali, InfiniTo Planetario di Torino, Museo A come Ambiente, Museo di Anatomia umana “L. Rolando”, Museo di Antropologia criminale “C. Lombroso”, Centro Interuniversitario Agorà Scienza (Università di Torino, Politecnico di Torino, Università del Piemonte Orientale, Università di Scienze Gastronomiche).

For more details:
E-mail: [email protected]
Tel: + 39 (0)116702737
Fax: + 39 (0)116702746

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