Vedere la Scienza Festival

International Scientific TV, Film and AV Media Festival

Milano   30/3/2009 - 5/4/2009

Spazio Oberdan, viale Vittorio Veneto 2 - Milano


Hidden Harmonies. Federigo Enriques in the Culture of Europe

  1. Author: La Limonaia Scienza Viva (Pisa) - Associazione per la diffusione della cultura scientifica
  2. Director: Francesco Andreotti
  3. Scientific Advisor: Marco Franciosi
  4. Editor: Francesco Andreotti, Livia Giunti
  5. Photography: Francesco Andreotti
  6. Music: Claudia Campolongo, Bruce Borrino
  7. Sound: Roberto Fiorentini
  8. Production: Livia Giunti, SantiFantiFilm
  9. Italy
  10. 60 min.
  11. 2008

Federigo Enriques became one of the most important mathematicians in what between the 1800’s and the 1900’s was renowned as “the Italian geometry school”.
With his unique approach hinged on insight and vision, he opened up new vistas in modern geometry. On top of his mathematical merits, Enriques enjoyed world-wide appreciation also as a philosopher.
His personal style of interconnecting philosophical and scientific questions, his interest in psychology and perception by the human brain, and his aversion to dogmatisms, put him at the centre of the international debate on science.
However, in Italy it is still difficult to conceive that a great mathematician could also be a great philosopher. The irrevocable judgement pronounced by idealists Benedetto Croce and Giovanni Gentile confined science among the things that are useful but not necessary to the life of the spirit. A judgement that found fertile ground in Italy, the country of two cultures where the aristocracy had previously created a gap between the manual handwork of mechanics and the speculative work of free spirits.
In Italy, science is still often perceived as a separate entity from society – something also accepted by many scientists who wrap themselves in isolation, freed from having to account for their work.
Enriques never tired to counter this prejudice with his European-minded scientific and philosophical work and established journals, wrote for schools, organised international conferences, in the belief that the crux of modern civilisation lay in a dynamic quest for all possible syntheses between humanism and science.