Science Communication and the "via Panisperna boys": the Role of Ettore Majorana


Enrico Fermi's work gave birth to a real cultural revolution in the Italian scientific scenario. His scientific studies concerned almost every field in physics and had far-reaching effects of which virtually everybody, above all in Italy, is still taking advantage. Two important "by-products" of Fermi's ideas and initiatives will be here taken into consideration: the new way of carrying out research and communicating science invented by Fermi and his group and his publications for the general public, which often stood for high examples of scientific popularisation. Then the focus will shift on Ettore Majorana's role to try to understand why his work in the field of communication within the School of Physics of Rome was basically non-existent despite the excellent communicative skills he demonstrated both during his university lectures ­ also published in this magazine ­ and in his article "Il valore delle leggi statistiche nella fisica e nelle scienze sociali", the only one which does not deal with pure physics issues and which will be also taken into account in this paper.


21 September 2002