Between February and March 2017, we contributed to the organization of Cinescienza, together with the no-profit Association Scienza e Scuola, the University of Naples “Federico II” and other Institutions.
Cinescienza was conceived as a forum of four movies projections having fascinating elements of scientific content, followed by a free debate with great experts. Their contribution was devoted not only to answer scientific questions, that could have arisen in the viewer, but also to present their view about possible implications for the human society.
The audience was mainly made up of students, from high-schools and universities, though the access to the various events was free and open to everybody. Cinescienza was hosted at the Cinema Academy Astra, in Naples.
The first movie, projected on February 2nd, was Dante’s Peak, directed by Roger Donaldson (1997). It was the starting point for a discussion about eruptive processes, volcanoes risks, the possibility of foreseeing eruptions, and also to define which is the role of the scientific community with respect to public institutions. All these topics were developed thanks to the invited experts: Flora Giudicepietro (INGV – Oss. Vesuviano), Giovanni Chiodini (INGV – Bologna), Giovanni Macedonio (INGV – Oss. Vesuviano), Marcello Martini (INGV – Oss. Vesuviano, member of the “Commissione Nazionale dei Grandi Rischi”), Michele La Veglia (Deputy manager of the Fire Fighters) and Aldo Zollo (“Federico II” University).
The second projection, held on February 16th, was Interstellar, directed by Kip Thorne (2014). Together with Rosario De Rosa (“Federico II” University, INFN, member of the VIRGO-LIGO Collaboration) and Maurizio Paolillo (“Federico II” University, INAF, INFN, ASI Senior Scientist), a debate about Einstein’s Relativity theory and its implications, such as space dilation, paradoxes and big tide effects, was held. Astrophysical Black holes, multidimensional spaces, wormholes, interstellar travels and difference between science and science-fiction were also discussed.
On March 2nd, the projected movie was Gattaca, directed by Andrew Niccol (1997). In the story, humans have the possibility to decide the genetics of the new born babies, therefore the experts Antonella Prisco (Genetic and Biophysics Institute – CNR), Carlo Altucci (“Federico II” University), Marina Ciullo (Genetic and Biophysics Institute – CNR), Mario Nicodemi (“Federico II” University) and Carla Perrone Capano (“Federico II” University), first of all discussed whether it is possible or not to foresee someone’s personality from its DNA, then many ethical considerations were carried out on the topic.
The last movie, on March 16th, was The Martian, directed by Ridley Scott (2015), which allowed to talk about the state of art about the present technology for a human exploration on Mars, together with the scientific and technological aspects to be solved. The invited experts: Francesca Esposito (INAF – Capodimonte Observatory), Antonio Moccia (“Federico II” University), Gennaro Russo (Center for Near Space) and Vincenzo Torre (Center for Near Space) also explained what happened when the landing of the Schiaparelli EDM Lander did not succeed.
The events all had a good response from the audience, with an average number of participants between 80 and 200 for each projection.
Click here to view the event website.