Volume 3 • Issue 02 • 2004


Jun 21, 2004 Editorial
Libertà vo cercando

by Pietro Greco

Free information works. In the sense that Open Access Journals, scientific journals which can be accessed at no cost, thereby guaranteeing free access to everyone, are at the same time able to guarantee the same quality as –or even better than- that of traditional journals, which can only be read by those willing to pay a price, be it the cover price or a subscription.

Volume 3 • Issue 02 • 2004


Jun 21, 2004 Article
Language change in scientific discourse

by Monica Randaccio

Halliday has demonstrated that changes in discourse function covary with changes in the grammatical resources a language makes available to construe discourse. Specifically, he outlined the ways in which nominalisation evolved as a resource for construing scientific reality as a world of logical relations among abstract entities. In the present article,

Volume 3 • Issue 02 • 2004

Jun 21, 2004 Article
The public's rapport with hands-on activities. An evaluation of "Explore-At-Bristol"

by Francesca Conti

In the summer of 2003, a survey was carried out at the At-Bristol Science Centre (UK) to determine the effectiveness of the hands-on activities of "Explore". The section evaluated included 43 interactive experiences divided into two themes. The first, "Get Connected", consisted of examples of the latest digital technologies, such as a television studio, virtual volleyball, and radars. The second, "Curiosity Zone", was dedicated to natural phenomena and subdivided into three additional groups: "Natural Forces" which presented various forces of nature, "Focus on Light", which dealt with the wonder of light, and "Sound Space", reserved for the science of sound. The survey was divided into two phases: the first consisted in observing the public's interaction with the hands-on activities; the second, in consulting the staff. The methods adopted helped determine the effectiveness of the exhibitdesign and the evaluation itself highlighted the role of a promoter of science as an evaluator.

Volume 3 • Issue 02 • 2004

Jun 21, 2004 Article
Images of madness. The end of mental hospitals illustrated through photographs

by Federica Manzoli

The use of photography in the field of psychiatry is an eloquent example of the complex evolution of the relationship between science, communication and society. The research that follows analyses the development of such a relationship in a crucial period of the history of psychiatry: the 1970s. That was the time that witnessed the revolution of a science which admitted the failure of its methods and "instruments", mental hospitals. That was also the time when a profound change took place in the communicative methods of photography related to this uncertain field of knowledge. A group of photographers, driven by the political situation of the time, covered the end of mental hospitals.

Volume 3 • Issue 02 • 2004


Jun 21, 2004 Focus
When the data isn't there. Disclosure: the scientific community (and society) at a crossroads

by Yuri Castelfranchi

The problem of accessing data is as old as science itself. Complete popularisation of scientific data (of a theoretical model), and even more so of the methods and materials used during an experimental process and of the empirical data amassed, has always been considered an essential part of the process of authentication, duplication and filing of scientific knowledge. It is also true, however, that this theory has always been a complex riddle with no simple solution. Strangely enough, in today's era of instant communication, the challenge of information access seems to be facing new, daunting obstacles, some of which have the same name and characteristics they had 100 or 300 years ago, but which have been intensified by new dimensions and unexpected corollaries. Others have a new core, an example being, the problem related to disclosure, which implies the (more or less) complete popularisation of the data, procedures, and tools used during research. This is a subject which, although ancient in form, has recently taken on new, far-reaching implications. The scientific community now has to face a problem which originated, first, with the sequencing of the human genome and, later, with that of certain types of rice; a problem which could redefine certain aspects of the epistemological practice and nature of science.

Volume 3 • Issue 02 • 2004


Book Reviews