The Italian Almanac

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Margherita Hack

Italian News - August 26

Top Italian and international experts will help the public satisfy its thirst for learning at Pavia's festival of knowledge next month. The debut edition of the 'Festival dei Saperi' takes place September 6-10. It has a packed programme of exhibitions, debates, shows, concerts, literary readings, conferences and lectures on subjects ranging from art to anthropology and astrophysics.

American scientists Evelyn Fox Keller and Diane Paul and Italian astrophysicist Margherita Hack are among those coming to illuminate visitors' minds. The theme of the festival, which is organized by Pavia University and the city council, is "Man and his double - the identity of contemporary man in science and humanism".

It is split into sections devoted to science and to the humanities.

The science section is centred at venues around the city's historic Piazza della Vittoria square and focuses on DNA-related discoveries. One of the highlights will be Fox Keller's reflections on the "Innate Confusions" of the eternal debate about nature versus nurture. University of Massachusetts Professor Paul will give a lecture on "Controlling human heredity eugenics", while NASA scientist Hack tackles the meaty subject of the origins and development of the universe.

The humanities section takes place at Castello Visconteo and Piazza Leonardo da Vinci at the heart of the city's highly esteemed university. It features public debates on the art, philosophy and ideologies of the 20th century in the evenings.