Galileo Award assigned
The literary Galileo Award for science dissemination, now in its tenth edition, launched to spread scientific culture among young people, aims to promote Padua’s tradition of excellence in scientific research, as well as to encourage initiatives that support the spreading of a technical and scientific culture. Moreover, it aims at celebrating the prestige of this University that has always been the cradle of excellence in science, starting with Galileo Galilei.
The Award is promoted by the Department of Culture of Padua Municipality in collaboration with the National Association of Italian Municipalities (ANCI), Union of Italian Provinces (UPI), and University of Padua and under the patronage of the Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Ministry of Education, University and Research (MIUR), Galilean Academy of Science, Literature and Fine Arts, Regione Veneto, Il Campiello Foundation.
This year the award went to Paolo Gallina, Professor of Robotics at the University of Trieste, for his book “L’anima delle macchine”, which was ranked before “Contro natura. Dagli OGM al bio” by Dario Bressanini and Beatrice Mautino, “Che ora fai?” by Till Roenneberg, “Numeri” by Umberto Bottazzini and “Il fantasma dell’Universo. Che cos’è il neutrino” by Lucia Votano. These were the five finalists selected by the scientific jury chaired by psychiatrist, sociologist and writer Paolo Crepet. The winner was voted by almost half of the students who composed the jury of 67 secondary school classes from 67 Italian provinces, from Bolzano to Siracusa.
Journalists Marcello Veneziani and Elisa Billato presented the awarding ceremony, which was held at Palazzo della Ragione in Padua, attended by over 600 students from secondary schools from all over Italy. The event opened when Mayor Massimo Bitonci handed out the keys to the city of Padua to Piero Angela, thanking the journalist for his “excellent contribution to scientific dissemination, through the results achieved as a journalist, writer and TV host, forerunner of a particularly innovative communication approach”.
“Your mind is the only useful instrument to face the future – said Piero Angela to the students attending -. Technology has changed our life and society and, in the next few years, it will bring even more disruptive changes, asking you to stay always one step ahead. I envy you a little because you are entering the prime of your life and you will see extraordinary things”.
The honorary citizen of Padua, thanking the city for the recognition, has compared Padua to a diamond: «It changes the light according to how you look at it, presenting excellence in several fields, science, fine arts and religion ». He mentioned the figure of Galileo as the «first great disseminator of modern science ».
The winning essay “L’anima delle macchine” is about an unpopular assumption: we need machines and technology as much as we need love and oxygen. The author supports this assumption by describing the technological aspects of machines, which tend to become increasingly “similar to humans”, and the emotional relationship between humans and machines.
The Galileo Award is supported by Fondazione Antonveneta, sponsored by Fidia farmaceutici spa. With the collaboration of: APS Advertising, Auriga, Hotel Galileo, Morellato - Gioielli da vivere, Promovies, Noleggiami.eu, Cicap, Inaf, Planetario Padova, EF Education First. Media sponsors: Rai Radio3, Focus, Coelum, Bo, Vivi Padova, Radio Bue.it, Radio Company, Planck.