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2 publications found

Mar 21, 2011 Commentary
Popularizing science in Italy: a historical perspective. An interview with Paola Govoni

by Paola Govoni

The interview concerns the role of scientific books in the Italian society from the 19th century until today. Having played an important role in the formation of a national scientific community, science popularization has offered a ceaseless high-quality production during the past two centuries. On the other hand, even today scientific publications do reach only a narrow élite. In the author’s opinion, only the school system has the power to widen the public for science in Italy.

Volume 10 • Issue 01 • 2011

Mar 21, 2005 Article
Historians of science and the "Sobel Effect"

by Paola Govoni

In 1995, journalist Dava Sobel's Longitude caused an earthquake in the history of science community. The present article analyses how only recently historians of science have fully realized the novelty the book represented. In the meantime, the international success of popular books by journalists on the history of science has become a well-known phenomenon. The author suggests that the huge publishing success of Sobel's book ­ the "Sobel Effect" ­ has provoked three main kinds of reaction among historians: rejection, detachment, and imitation. Which of the three strategies is the best, for both public and authors?

Volume 4 • Issue 01 • 2005