The century that just closed saw extraordinary and terrible changes, inconceivable tragedies and achievements that had previously only been dreamed of.
Margherita Hack’s “long century” began in Florence in 1922 and her theosophical parents initiated her to the respect for life, justice and freedom.
In 1938 her Jewish science teacher was ousted because of the racial laws. Margherita grew out of her childhood and walked into the chaos of war as an adult young woman. While Florence was under siege, Margherita Hack discovered a passion for the sky and began moving her early steps in the world of research; a course that would take her away from home, but never from her deep self.
Spending the reconstruction and Cold War years among the international scientific community in Princeton, Berkeley, Moscow and Leningrad; the elation of the space race and the growing social awareness of the scientific world - this is the considerable portion of the 1900’s that Margherita Hack experienced in the front line.
Then she landed in Trieste - a city that was still stifled by the “poisons” of the War. There, she directed the Astronomic Observatory for over twenty years as the first woman ever to be appointed this position in Italy. She is still living and working there today.
The Long Century is a journey through the life of an extraordinary woman who with her charisma and her irony has been able to become not only a successful researcher - one of her several scientific contributions is the still seminal text Stellar Spectroscopy - but also a popular champion of a tout court ethic that encompasses ecology and politics.