A memory of Piero Angela
Knowing how to disseminate science is knowing how to carry out a task of essential relevance for the whole community, especially when the dissemination attitude can be addressed to several generations, while at the same time nourishing the curiosity and enthusiasm of young people towards science and the awareness of their relevance and effectiveness in adults, in both cases going in the direction of a social resilience towards what Nature and Scientific Progress can entail for Man. In Piero Angela, who passed away on August 13 of this year at the age of 93, the combination of an informative attitude aimed at the youngest and the transfer of scientific knowledge to adults was certainly happy, refining himself in 70 years of dialectical and bibliographic experience and media.
Piero Angela is, therefore, an excellent example of how science needs communication and how the dialectic of scientific communication, which knows how to touch the strings of curiosity and wonder towards what Nature and Scientific Progress are, is lifeblood for scientific community itself, so that young people can look forward to the study of scientific disciplines with enthusiasm and can choose their academic training in these disciplines. The Earth Sciences have been Piero Angela's broad dissemination object, starting with the documentary series "The Living Planet", which he brought in the 1980s by the BBC to RAI in the program "Il Mondo di Quark", illustrated by the great science writer and British naturalist David Attenborough, who focused on the role of Geology in the birth and evolution of life on our Planet, up to the most recent RAI documentary series such as "Il Pianeta dei Dinosauri", dedicated to the Mesozoic evolution of the great reptiles that dominated our Planet, or the numerous “Pillole di Quark” and the thematic services of “SuperQuark” focused on the physics of our Planet's processes, from atmospheric to volcanic ones to those at the base of plate tectonics.
This Department had the honor of hosting Piero Angela on April 2, 2015, in the presence of the Rector Eugenio Gaudio, the Director General Carlo Musto D'Amore, the Mayor of Rome Ignazio Marino, the Director of the Department of Earth Sciences Prof. Gabriele Scarascia Mugnozza and the president of the II Municipio Giuseppe Gerace in a scientific-informative meeting on the theme "“Dinosauri e…altre storie dal passato " on the occasion of the inauguration of the exhibition "Dinosauri in carne ed ossa" at the Sapienza University of Rome.
The Department of Earth Sciences still remembers the enthusiasm and the usual passion with which Piero Angela met his scientific and student community on that occasion and expresses its gratitude to his figure as a high professional in the scientific dissemination of geological disciplines with the conviction that this action is very relevant and substantial not only for the culture of our country but for the future of the Geological Sciences itself. The scientific community of the Department is now ready, precisely on this path, to "play its role" (citing the invitation of Piero Angela in his posthumous greeting left to the "SuperQuark" social networks) as a communicator of the Geological Sciences to a wider and wider audience, perhaps to the same one that is now the orphan of one of its historical popularizers. (by Salvatore MARTINO)