Science history

AMS Prize to Bottazzini: "History of mathematics is modern"

Another international scientific award that speaks Italian. Umberto Bottazzini, Full Professor at the University of Milan and Fellow of the American Mathematical Society, was recently awarded the 2015 Whiteman Prize "For His many works in the history of mathematics, notably on the rise of modern mathematics in Italy and on analysis in the 19th and early 20th centuries."

Sir William Ramsay: Sustainable Energy Pioneer

The Scottish chemist William Ramsay (Glasgow, 1852 – High Wycombe, 1916) carried out the researches that made him famous in the last decade of the 19th century. He won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his discovery of the noble gases (1904). Thanks to his fame, his talents as a consult were in considerable demand in a variety of sectors. Ramsay chaired the British Association for the Advancement of Science. His opening speech at the Portsmouth meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science held in August 1911 was focused on the energy resources.

The solo flight of Hess (Victor that is)

Those amongst us, who, in the last year of secondary school, studied the Second World War, probably remember a rather dark and extremely controversial event: the flight of Hess (Rudolf Hess), in May 1941, from Germany to the United Kingdom, on board his Messerschmitt. The story of this flight is told in a book, The Flight of Rudolf Hess, published many years ago and before his death, in 1987, at the age of 93, in Spandau prison in suspicious circumstances.

Year of chemistry: some reflections

Chemical and physical sciences have profoundly modified the living conditions of mankind, in particular chemistry has played a central role. Its creative power has made available a range of new materials and processes for the transformation of matter. Somehow, however, these have often been perceived as unnatural and opposed to the natural ones. As a result the question of a control by society has become more and more actual. This requires that information be available to the public and to decision-makers for evaluating the potential impact of chemical technology on society.

Jesuits and Galileo: tradition and adventure of discovery

This paper investigates the tensions within the Society of Jesus, especially at the Roman College, at the time of Galileo and how they were resolved or not in a spirit of accommodation which was maturing at that time and which has entered into the Jesuit bloodstream. Jesuits at the Roman College confirmed Galileo’s earth-shaking observations, reported in his Sidereus Nuncius. Aristotle’s physics was crumbling. Would Aristotelian philosophy, which was at the service of theology, also collapse?