Observa Seminars

Observa Science in Society periodically organizes meetings when in-depth assessments of particular issues are conducted and discussions are held on highly topical matters in the public debate on science and technology.

Through the presentation of research, case studies and testimonials the seminars provide an opportunity to unite researchers, experts and those who are merely curious in an informal and open context. Each monographic session starts with an introductory overview presented by the rapporteur which is followed by a debate among the participants.

Those interested may freely participate in the seminars, however as places are limited it is advisable to confirm one’s presence by contacting the secretariat of the association. In this regard it should be noted that Observa members have the right of precedence.

All meetings are held at the main Observa premises at 65, Viale Fusinieri (36100) Vicenza (unless otherwise indicated).

Anyone who wishes to receive notification via e-mail concerning activities that are organized from time to time should send a request to observa@observanet.it or contact us at +39 (0) 444 212525.

Thursday, 9 May 2019 – 5 pm

Platform Politics vs Content. ‘How We Communicate Science’ on YouTube

Andrea Geipel (Deutsches Museum, Munich).

YouTube, the leading video-sharing platform, is well known for music videos, various forms of entertainment content and tutorials. However, since 2015, the number of channels in the ‘Science’ category has risen from one million to 10 million (23/06/2016), revealing the growing interest in this niche topic. The question thus arises as to whether and how the YouTube platform policy influences the way science is communicated. In my research I have tried to answer this question by applying a mixed-methods approach.

During the course of the seminar, discussions will focus on ways in which video producers need to adapt to the YouTube platform to become visible, create a community and be successful. Visibility is achieved mainly through the rules imposed by the algorithm that decides which videos should be recommended to other users. Although they remain important, contents presented therefore seem to have a role that is not quite so relevant.

Andrea Geipel is a researcher at the Deutsches Museum in Munich, where she coordinates a project on virtual and enhanced reality in museums. For her doctoral studies at the Munich Centre for Technology in Society (Technical University of Munich) she is conducting research on science communication through web-based video platforms.

10 December 2018 – 5.00 pm

The ‘Figure di Scienza’ (Science Sketching) project.

Agnese Sonato (‘Accatagliato’ Association in Padua) and Andrea Fernandez Sanchez (Universidade da Coruña in Spain).


Those present at the meeting will learn about the activities of the ‘Figure di Scienza’ project, the main purpose of which is to facilitate an encounter between society, culture and science through innovative activities and languages. The first phase of the project takes place in various scientific laboratories in the city of Padua, where a group of participants, scientists and an artist can meet and use different ‘languages’, outlining various images of science in action.

In this perspective, a form of cultural production is used as a way to narrate science and its progress, allowing the public to interact with researchers through the figurative arts.

Agnese Sonato holds a degree and was awarded a doctorate in Materials Science. For a few years she was involved in research in the field of nanotechnology and innovative materials, and subsequently became passionately involved in the dissemination of scientific knowledge. She plans editorial series and activities for children, also in collaboration with the University of Padua and the Editoriale Scienza publishing house.

She is the founder of the PLaNCK! project, for which she manages activities, follows communication events and writes articles for the journal.

19 April 2018 – 5.00 pm

Food and related health risks covered by Italian newspapers

Andrea Rubin, Catholic University of Milano

The subject of food and nutrition has now become a highly relevant area of interest in the media agenda due to its overlapping with numerous  aspects at the social level. At the same time, attention dedicated to food by science and technology has also grown. In fact, there are many scientists and biotechnologists operating in the food sector and in numerous research projects on nutrition which have led to the emergence of many innovations in the food sector. These situations and facts have found ample space in the public debate and have attracted extensive media coverage, both in daily newspapers and in the specialist press. During the course of the seminar the results of comparative research conducted on the principal national newspapers and on the most important scientific dissemination journals will be presented in order to observe similarities and differences, the principal topics referring to the relationship between food and science and communication strategies and the rhetoric adopted.

01 February 2018 – 5.00 pm

STEM education in the higher education system: a case presented by the Kaunas University of Technology

Prof. Dr Egle Butkeviciene and Associate Prof. Dr Egle Vaidelyte

The KTU is a pioneer in the Lithuanian higher education system in its application of various innovative approaches in study programmes and in teaching. One of these is the emphasis placed on STEM education. Application of the concept of STEM education mainly focuses on a new study programme and an innovative approach to teaching. The product development project is based on Stage Gate methodology and applied to university studies. Stage Gate is a business-oriented model. Adopting this method in a university-level system of studies and considering different academic fields (the sciences, technology, engineering, mathematics and also social sciences, art and the humanities) thus challenges answers that are given and raises various questions. We will discuss these challenges and responses in our presentation.

Dr Egle Butkeviciene is a full professor and vice-principal for research at the Faculty of Social Sciences, Art and Humanities at the Kaunas University of Technology. She has a doctorate in social sciences and sociology. Dr Egle Butkeviciene holds conferences and conducts research on issues concerning civil society, civic participation, citizen science, citizen education, social innovation, community development and social inclusion, environmental activism, public policies and social media. She has also acquired extensive experience at the international level as a visiting professor at universities in Switzerland, Italy, the Netherlands, etc. She has directed and participated in numerous national and international projects, such as ‘The changing pedagogical scenario – new ways of teaching and learning and their implications for higher education policies’.


Dr Egle Vaidelyte is an associate professor and head of the committee for the political science, sociology and public governance curricula at the Kaunas University of Technology. In recent years Egle Vaidelyte has joined and has directed various international research projects on the social aspects of public policy and governance, on civil society issues and on the development of the community and public services.

09 December 2016 – 5.00 pm

The concepts of science in the ‘Major Risks’ trial

Federico Brandmayr, University of Cambridge

Over the last twenty years, science and technology studies have devoted increasing attention to the ways in which individuals and groups attribute to science certain characteristics that define its nature and make it possible to distinguish it from other social spheres, such as politics, administration or the media. The theoretical objective of these studies is to explain why different groups select certain characteristics and ignore others, thereby engendering different conceptions of science, which are often in conflict with each other. The action taken aims to formulate some hypotheses, starting from an analysis of the ‘Major Risks’ trial and of the concurrent public debate that has developed. During the course of the dispute science was occasionally presented as an authoritative and influential institution and sometimes as a dimension of sets of knowledge that has no influence over the majority of the population. Some people have argued that science is or must be directly involved in the solution of concrete problems, while others have emphasized its theoretical and speculative nature. These differing conceptions have had various implications in decisions taken by the judicial authority, and thus constitute rhetorical instruments that may be strategically employed by the actors involved.

Friday, 13 May 2016

Revealing the truth to society? Scientific activism on the part of groups of experts and science from the public point of view

Riccardo E. Chesta

Disputes relating to infrastructure projects often become points of contention in which areas of competence are comprised in political and technical grievances. The plans of the Municipality of Florence for a high-speed railway line and station (the ‘TAV Tunnel’) and for the municipal waste incinerator at the Case Passerini site have encountered some of the most visible and strongly supported mobilizations of local citizens in Tuscany since the end of the 1990s. An examination of their political dynamics allows us to demonstrate how and under what conditions, in highly technical disputes, the various areas of competence come into play and to what extent the ‘black box’ of expert knowledge tends or fails to open up and facilitate the widespread participation of citizens. Focusing on the specific interconnection between local and national political contexts and observing the role of local associations and their connection with wider networks, Riccardo E. Chesta is currently engaged in doctoral studies in the field of Social and Political Sciences, under the supervision of Donatella Della Porta and Luigi Pellizzoni, at the European University Institute and is a member of the COSMOS (‘Centre for Studies on Social Movements’) Research Centre at the Scuola Normale Superiore in Florence.

Friday, 5 June 2015

Didactic approaches based on inquiry and the integration of scientific disciplines

Italo Testa and Valeria Poggi

Recent national-level indications illustrate the need for a profoundly innovative outlook in the teaching of scientific disciplines in Italian schools. During the seminar two proposals based on research in the field of didactic approaches in science education will be presented: the Inquiry strategy and that of an integrated didactic approach for the experimental and natural sciences. During the meeting, the results of the implementation of such methods on student learning will be discussed. Furthermore, emphasis will be placed on the role of the self-efficacy of teachers in the learning/teaching process.

Italo Testa is a researcher in teaching methodology in physics at the Physics Department of the ‘Federico II’ University in Naples. He is interested in the development of didactic phases in upper secondary-level schools and in the training of teachers, and considers laboratory methods in particular.

Valeria Poggi is a professor of chemistry in Bologna. She has been granted special leave to allow her to complete her doctoral research on didactic methods adopted for scientific subjects at the University of Camerino in the Province of Macerata, where she is engaged in the study of integrated didactic methodology for science subjects and teacher training.

Friday, 17 April 2015 – 3 pm

Art and Science Today

Ana Daldon

This seminar offers an opportunity to reflect on recent trends in the relationship between art and science. For a long time the relationship has been referred to as a combination of two opposing elements: objective scientific knowledge and the intuitive nature of art as an effect of non-rational thought processes. Current orientations reveal the limits of this opposition, having reference to works produced during the Renaissance, when distinguished humanists were also scientists or, in any case, individuals who had acquired scientific knowledge that was used to create works of art in the various artistic dimensions, such as painting, sculpture and architecture.

Ana Daldon currently works as a curator at the Vienna Technical Museum and is completing her master’s degree in Art and Science at the Universität für angewandte Kunst in Vienna.

Monday, 20 January 2014 – 5 pm

Presentation of the book Scienza, Tecnologia e Nuove Generazioni

‘Os Jovens e a Ciencia’ – N. Bizzo, G. Pellegrini (Eds.) Editora Curitiba, Brasil.


Presented by:

Beatrice Peruffo (President of the National Association of Teachers of Natural Sciences in the Italian Veneto region), and Giuseppe Pellegrini(Observa Science in Society research centre).


Nelio Bizzo (University of São Paulo, Brazil) and Paulo Sergio Garcia(University of São Paulo, Brazil).


The interests, attitudes and opinions of students with respect to science and technology have long been the focus of attention of various international studies. Among these activities, the international ROSE (Relevance of Science Education) project involves more than thirty countries in the study of the level of interest in scientific subjects in the scholastic environment.

Monday, 25 November 2013 – 3.00 to 5.30 pm

Climate change and public opinion in New Zealand

Jean Fleming, University of Otago, New Zealand.

Discussant: Andrea Lorenzet, University of Padua.

The principal objective of the seminar is the presentation of the results of a research project carried out in New Zealand on the public perception of climate change. Professor Jean Fleming will present these results, indicating various interpretations which will facilitate a general comprehension of public attitudes.

Jean Fleming is a Professor at the Centre for Science Communication at the University of Otago (New Zealand), where she supervises the ‘Popularising Science’ strand of the post-graduate master-level course. She is also involved in reproductive biology studies at the Department of Anatomy, where she conducts research in the molecular field and studies that focus on the cellular origin of ovarian tumours.

10 December 2012 – 5.00 pm

‘Towards inclusive research programming for sustainable food innovation’ The initial results of the European INPROFOOD project

Discussant: Enrico Novelli

The seminar will be held at the ‘Centrale del Latte di Vicenza’ (via Faedo, 60 – Vicenza).

Enrico Novelli is an associate professor of Veterinary Medicine at the Department of Public Health, Comparative Pathology and Veterinary Hygiene of the University of Padua.

Thursday, 15 December 2011 – 5.30 pm

Scientific writing and running: parallel lives?

Introductory overview by Massimiano Bucchi

Massimiano Bucchi is a lecturer in the Science, Technology and Society department at the University of Trento. Some of his most recent publications include ‘Scienza e società. Introduzione alla sociologia della scienza’ (Raffaello Cortina Editore, 2010) and ‘Scientisti e antiscientisti. Perché scienza e società non si capiscono’ (Il Mulino, 2010). He edited the Italian edition of ‘Science, Religion and Politics’ by Robert K. Merton (il Mulino, 2011).

Monday, 24 October 2011 – 4.30 pm

Science and technology in the daily media narrative

Introductory overview by Emanuele di Buccio, Andrea Lorenzet and Federico Neresini (Science in the Media Monitor).

The Science in the Media Monitor (SMM) is an innovative project promoted by Observa with the support of the Compagnia di San Paolo. This initiative has the aim of analyzing the coverage of scientific topics on the internet through automated analysis procedures made possible by the most advanced computer technology.

Friday, 13 May 2011 – 10 am

Projects of the Médialab research centre at the Paris Institute of Political Studies

Introductory overview by Tommaso Venturini

Tommaso Venturini graduated in Communication Sciences at the University of Bologna. After studying at the University of California – Los Angeles (UCLA) and at the ‘Bicocca’ University in Milan he worked as a post-doctorate researcher at the Paris 1 University in the field of sociology of science and technology. Since 2008 he has been organizing and teaching ‘Controversy Mapping’ courses at the ‘Sciences Po’ institute in Paris, where, since 2009 he has also coordinated Médialab research projects. As a professional, he founded and directed Studio Ideaedi, a web design agency.

Monday, 14 March 2011

‘Young people and science in a land of sharp contrasts’: ROSE survey – Brazil

Introductory overview by Nelio Bizzo

Download material pertaining to the seminar: slides and an article on the ROSE project in Brazil (pdf format, for Observa members only).

Nelio Bizzo is a biologist and a full professor at the University of São Paulo (Brazil), where he holds courses on teaching methodology in science subjects. He completed his post-doctoral studies at the University of Leeds. He is currently a Visiting Professor at the University of Verona. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Biology (UK) and was president of the International Organization for Science and Technology Education. He collaborated in the introduction of the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) in Brazil and coordinates the ROSE project in that country.

Friday, 18 February 2011

Distributed architecture and Internet services: observations in Science and Technology Studies

Introductory overview by Francesca Musiani

Download material pertaining to the seminar (pdf format, for Observa members only).

Francesca Musiani is a PhD student and researcher at the Centre for the Sociology of Innovation (CSI) at the Mines ParisTech (CNRS) in Paris. She is currently working on a doctoral dissertation on the implications of peer-to-peer technologies for the evolution of Internet services. A graduate of the University of Padua and holder of a Master-level degree from the United Nations University for Peace, she is also the author of Cyberhandshakes: How the Internet Challenges Dispute Resolution (… and Simplifies It) (EuroEditions, 2009).

Monday, 20 December 2010

Has technology (or society) killed the pop stars?

Introductory overview by Massimiano Bucchi

In order not to forget the dramatic floods that occurred in the Caldogno area in the Province of Vicenza the OBSERVA research centre has decided to organize the year-end seminar at the meeting room of the local police station in Via Diviglio at Cresole di Caldogno.

Massimiano Bucchi is a lecturer in the Science, Technology and Society department at the University of Trento. His most recent publications include ‘Scienza e società. Introduzione alla sociologia della scienza’ (Raffaello Cortina Editore, 2010) and ‘Scientisti e antiscientisti. Perché scienza e società non si capiscono’ (Il Mulino, 2010).

22 November 2010

The gender dimension of scientific knowledge

Introductory overview by Alessandra Allegrini

Alessandra Allegrini carried out part of her university studies at the Department of Women’s Studies at the University of Utrecht (1996-1999). She graduated at the University of Bologna, presenting a thesis on the subject of epistemology, analytical philosophy and feminist perspectives (March 2000). Following her degree, she obtained a master-level qualification in Science Communication at the S.I.S.S.A. International School for Advanced Studies in Trieste, where she presented a dissertation on the theory of scientific communication from a gender perspective (2004) and subsequently attended a specialist degree course in Philosophy at the Cà Foscari University in Venice (2006-2007). As a researcher and consultant she has been collaborating since the year 2000 with various public and private bodies in the field of gender studies, focusing on her interest and principal area of competence in studies and issues relating to gender and science. She has also been a member of the Italian Orlando Women’s Association since 1999 and of the Women and Science Association since 2006. She has collaborated with Observa since November 2009, contributing to study and research activities on the subject of gender and science.

11 October 2010

From one wave to the next – Discussing scientific matters on the radio

Introductory overview by Elisabetta Tola

Elisabetta Tola is a journalist and scientific communicator. Following her degree in Agricultural Sciences at the University of Padua, she was awarded a doctorate in Environmental Microbiology at the University College Cork in Ireland and a master’s degree in Science Communication at the S.I.S.S.A. in Trieste. Although she has collaborated with print-based media and online magazines on numerous occasions her scientific dissemination activities occur above all via radio programmes. Since 2004 she has conducted the ‘PiGreco Party’ weekly programme dedicated to science and society for the popular Bolognese ‘Città del Capo Radio Metropolitana’ network and since 2005 the ‘Radio3 Scienza’ cultural programme broadcast by the Italian national RAI-Radio 3 channel. In 2006 she founded Formicablu S.r.l., a company that provides services for newspapers, radio networks and television channels, multimedia and online products and also audiovisual, radio-web and podcasting materials.

04 May 2010

‘Neither here nor anywhere else! A negative response that came out of the garden’

A sociological exploration of (local) opposition to immense public construction works. The case of the urban-waste incinerator in the city of Turin.

Introductory overview by Giuseppe Tipaldo (University of Turin).

Giuseppe Tipaldo obtained his Ph.D. in Comparative Social Research (XXI cycle) in 2009 at the University of Turin, presenting a dissertation on oppositional phenomena relating to so-called ‘grandi opere’ or major, large-scale public works. His main areas of interest are the study of risk representations, the analysis of the dynamics of political and public communication which involve the media, public opinion and the political system in the establishment of major works, sociological reflection on science and the environment and content analysis in social research. He is currently a contract professor on the Content Analysis Techniques course and has been nominated as a ‘cultore della materia’ (an expert in the field) with respect to the the subjects of Methodology of Social Research and Territorial and Environmental Communication at the Faculty of Letters and Philosophy of the University of Turin. He is the author of a book entitled ‘L’analisi del contenuto nella ricerca sociale –  Spunti per una riflessione multidisciplinare’, published by Stampatori (Turin), 2007.

16 March 2010

Games, the Stars and Man: at the origin of the normal curve

Introductory overview by Barbara Saracino (University of Florence).

Barbara Saracino graduated in Sociology at the ‘Federico II’ University in Naples and was awarded a research doctorate in Methodology of Social Sciences at the University of Florence. She collaborates with the Department of Sociology in Naples, with the Department of Political Science and Sociology and the Centro Studi Minori e Media in Florence and, since October 2009, with Observa – Science in Society. She is particularly interested in methodology, history and the sociology of science. She is currently completing the research project which she began during the preparation of her doctoral thesis on the construction and use of the normal curve.

20 January 2010

Science communication, and what we might learn from ducks and rabbits’

Introductory overview by Brigitte Nerlich (University of Nottingham)’

Brigitte Nerlich is a Professor of Sciences, Language and Society at the Institute for Science and Society (Faculty of Sociology and Social Policies at the University of Nottingham). She studied French and philosophy in Germany, where she received her Ph.D. in French Linguistics. After three years as a Junior Research Fellow in General Linguistics at the University of Oxford, she moved to Nottingham, where she worked in the departments of linguistics and psychology. She has written books and articles on the history of linguistics, semantic change, metaphor, metonymy, polysemy and, more recently, the sociology of health and disease and social research in science and technology. She is a member of the Academy of Social Sciences.

24 September 2009

The forms of online science. The scientist’s work in an era of collaborative web platforms

Introductory overview by Davide Bennato (University of Catania).

Download material pertaining to the seminar (pdf format, for Observa members only).

Davide Bennato is a lecturer of Sociology of Cultural and Communication Processes at the Faculty of Letters and Philosophy of the University of Catania. His principal interest is technological innovation and society and, in particular, the relational and communicative dynamics of online social media. He is director of research at the Luigi Einaudi Foundation in Rome, a founding member of STS Italia – the Italian Society of Science and Technology Studies and a consultant on web 2.0 related topics for various training and research companies. He is also the owner of the Tecnoetica blog (www.tecnoetica.it).

22 June 2009

Personal identity and brain scanning with respect to science and society: what role may we ascribe to the visual arts?

Introductory overview by Silvia Casini (Queen’s University Belfast, UK).

Silvia Casini (Ph.D in Film and Visual Studies, Queen’s University Belfast, UK) collaborates with Observa – Science in Society in two international projects on methods of evaluating science and society activities and on the perception of nanotechnologies (‘Time for Nano’). Her research interests include the contamination of science and art, modern ‘neurocultures’ and curatorial work in relation to new media. Her doctoral thesis, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), examined the use of brain-imaging techniques in modern art practices.

04 May 2009

A tale of two processes. A socio-legal comparative survey on the construction of environmental knowledge in the Italian and US petrochemical industries

Introductory overview by Barbara L. Allen (Virginia Tech University – USA).

Barbara L. Allen is a member of the Observa Scientific Committee. She is a co-director of the Science, Technology and Society (STS) program at Virginia Tech (USA), where she teaches sociology of science and technology and holds courses on risk and environmental issues and on public participation in science.

23 February 2009

Whistleblowers? The role of denunciation in risk management

Introductory overview by Anna Buccio (L’École des hautes études en sciences sociales, Paris).

Anna Buccio is a PhD student at the School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences in Paris and at the University of Trento. An anthropologist, she graduated from the Université Paris VII presenting a thesis on the concepts of Natural Quality and Authenticity of food products. She obtained a Master ‘s research degree at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales with a thesis on the Italian Green Party and on the political transversality of issues regarding the environment. She collaborates with the Italian monthly journal Modus Vivendi.

12 January 2009

The economics of knowledge and innovative policies: what space may local dimensions aspire to?

Introductory overview by Giancarlo Corò (University of Venice).

Read the arguments presented in the contribution (pdf format, reserved for Observa members).

Giancarlo Corò is an associate professor of applied economics at the Faculty of Economics of the Cà Foscari University in Venice. He currently teaches Economics and Development Policy on the degree course in Foreign Trade at the Treviso branch of the Venetian university and Business System Economics on the degree course in Business Economics and Management. His most recent publications include a work entitled ‘I nuovi distretti produttivi. Innovazione, internazionalizzazione e competitività dei territori’ (with S. Micelli, Venice, Marsilio, 2006) and ‘Strategie di crescita delle medie imprese’ (Milan, Il Sole 24 Ore, 2007).

10 November 2008

Mapping disputes: challenges and issues in the study of techno-scientific hybrids.

Introductory overview by Andrea Lorenzet (University of Padua).

Andrea Lorenzet is a sociologist specialising in science and technology and an expert in science communication. He collaborates in research activities and the assessment of various European projects, including the ‘Mapping Controversies on Science for Politics’ (MACOSPOL) consortium.

15 September 2008

Evaluating the ‘science and society’ activities undertaken by research organisations. An experimental rating model.

Introductory overview by Federico Neresini (University of Padua).

Federico Neresini, president of the Observa Association, teaches Methodology of Social Research at the Faculty of Political Science of the University of Padua.

17 March 2008

Disputes, participatory democracy and scientific competence. The creation of domestic-waste incinerators in France.

Introductory overview by Christophe Voineau.

Christophe Voineau, who earned a degree in Chemical Physics at the University of Poitiers in France and was awarded a master-level degree in ‘Science, Technology, Society: History and Stakes’ at the Louis Pasteur University in Strasbourg, is a tenured professor of chemical physics and a doctoral student at the European University Institute in Florence (Italy). He has taught both in high schools and in secondary schools in France and in the United Arab Emirates.

25 February 2008

En-masse desertion and Circulation. Globalisation, competitiveness and the brain drain.

Introductory overview by Lorenzo Beltrame (University of Trento).

Lorenzo Beltrame has a PhD in Sociology and Social Research awarded by the University of Trento. He collaborates in the Science, Technology and Society project at this university.

18 January 2008

Misunderstood technology. The unresolved dispute over the high-water problem in Venice and the ‘MOSE’ project.

Introductory overview by Andrea Lorenzet (University of Padua).


Andrea Lorenzet, a sociologist specialising in science and technology and an expert in science communication, works at the CIGA, an interdepartmental research centre of the University of Padua which deals with the study of relationships occurring between nanotechnologies and society.

21 May 2007

Organic food, lifestyles and consumption: practices of consumers of organic food products.

Introductory overview by Federica Farinello


Federica Farinello, a sociologist, was a researcher at the Observa Association. She is occupied in studies and research related to the practice of purchasing and consuming organic foods and their social perception.

20 November 2006

Environmental justice and expert knowledge following a disaster. The Katrina case.

Introductory overview by Barbara L. Allen (Virginia Tech).


Barbara L. Allen, a PhD graduate in Science and Technology Studies at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (NY, USA), is an associate professor and director of the Science and Technology Studies Programme of the Virginia Tech Polytechnic Institute (VA, USA). Currently her research interests concern the issues of health and the environment and in particular she focuses on issues relating to risks and public participation in environmental decision-making processes. She is a member of the Observa scientific committee.

04 September 2006

When knowledge implies know-how: the political and legal representation of cloning

Introductory overview by Giuseppe Testa (IEO).

Giuseppe Testa is a biologist who works at the European Institute of Oncology. After completing a PhD in Molecular Biology and Genetics at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg he received the Roche Prize for ‘Leading Bioscientist of the Next Decade’ in 2003. He is one of the first four scientists in the world to receive recognition from the Branco Weiss Fellowship – Society in Science. He has published numerous articles in such journals as Science, Bioethics and Nature and he is a member of the Observa scientific committee.

12 December 2005

The precautionary principle – intrinsic uncertainty and bounded rationality

Introductory overview by Gavino Zucca (University of Bologna).

Gavino Zucca graduated in Physics at the University of Pisa, presenting a thesis in the field of Laser Spectroscopy, and in Philosophy at the University of Bologna, where he presented a thesis on the Precautionary Principle. He worked for over 16 years at EniData, an IT company of the ENI group, as a Project Manager and expert in simulation and optimization models. He currently teaches physics at upper-secondary school level and is interested in issues related to the governance of technological innovation as an independent scholar.

02 May 2005

Communicating science in a court of law

Introductory overview by Licia Gambarelli (INFN).

28 January 2005

The importance of involving citizens in research and innovation policies

Chamber of Commerce, Vicenza.

The seminar, which Observa has organised as a preparatory meeting before the first Italian Science and Society Forum, has the purpose of involving individuals active in the world of research, associations of entrepreneurs, educational institutions, consumer associations and nature-protection organisations, and will allow them to discuss the possibility of promoting at the territorial level surveys and the participation of the public in research and innovation.

17 May 2004

‘Publish or Perish’. The crisis in the market of scientific publications and the use of electronic media

Introductory overview by Fabio Marzella (University of Trento)

Fabio Marzella, who recently graduated in sociology at Trento, has completed a thesis on the crisis of journals and changes occurring in the manner in which scientists communicate with each other.

26 April 2004

What does ‘communication’ mean? Lessons learnt from the case of genomics

Introductory overview by Massimiano Bucchi (University of Trento).


Massimiano Bucchi, head of the scientific committee of Observa, is a lecturer in the field of the sociology of science at the University of Trento. The author of numerous articles and four monographic works, he received the prize for research on mass communication (1996 and 2000) from the RAI, the national public broadcasting company of Italy, and the international Mullins award for the best paper on the sociology of science (1997).

23 February 2004

A Society subject to Electromagnetic Risk. The case of the Padua committees that oppose ‘electro-smog’

Introductory overview by Paolo Crivellari (University of Trento)

The sociologist Paolo Crivellari is a PhD student at the University of Trento.

19 January 2004

Public re-definitions of science. The debate occurring in Italian newspapers on biotechnology in the food sector

Introductory overview by Andrea Lorenzet (University of Trento).

Andrea Lorenzet has a degree in communication sciences.

01 December 2003

Movements and protest in Italy in the 1990s

Introductory overview by Francesca Forno (University of Padua).

09 May 2003

Scientific controversy in the public sphere. An analysis of arguments on biotechnology presented in the media

Introductory overview by Francesca Matteucci

07 March 2003

From journals to open archives: scientific communication in the Internet age.

Introductory overview by Mauro Scanu (SISSA, Trieste).

07 February 2003

The cognitive impact of visits to particle physics laboratories (IN3B project).

Introductory overview by Federico Neresini (University of Padua).


Federico Neresini, who is the president of the Observa association, is a lecturer in Methodology of Social Research at the Faculty of Political Science at the University of Padua and the author of numerous books and papers.

24 January 2003

The participation of citizens in the decision-making processes in field trials with GMOs (PARADYS project).

Introductory overview by Giuseppe Pellegrini (University of Padua).

Giuseppe Pellegrini, a  sociologist, is one of the founding members of Observa.

13 December 2002

Biotechnology and public opinion in Italy.

Introductory overview by Massimiano Bucchi (University of Trento).

Massimiano Bucchi, head of the scientific committee of Observa, is a lecturer in the field of the sociology of science at the University of Trento. The author of numerous articles and four monographic works, he received the prize for research on mass communication (1996 and 2000) from the RAI, the national public broadcasting company in Italy, and the international Mullins award for the best essay on the sociology of science (1997).