2009 - The Event of Discovery. Understanding the Dynamics of Human Advancement in Science and Culture.

University of San Marino, Ancient Monastery of Santa Chiara
August 28-30, 2009

International Symposium organized in collaboration with the Templeton Foundation and in connection with the XXX edition of Rimini Meeting for Friendship amongst Peoples.

The topic we propose for the 2009 Symposium is exploring the theme of discovery. In particular, the theme of scientific discovery directly connects to the 2009 Rimini Meeting theme "Knowledge is always an event", and provides a natural continuation of the 2008 focus. However, we intend to look at the dynamics of discovery in broader range of situations, seeking to understanding some dynamics of major stages of advancement in human history in both science and culture. Thus the program will include "discovery" (or "progress") in the religious and spiritual culture over significant episodes of human history, exploring the experience of faith in connection with a culture of discovery. Read More

The proceedings have been published on Euresis Journal.

1st session - The Event of Discovery

This session will provide accounts of significant examples of “discovery cases” in science, but possibly also in other domains of rational human knowledge. What are the distinguishing traits of a discovery? On the personal side, a significant discovery is undeniably an event of great psychological impact. Getting closer to the truth is an experience of satisfaction: why? We wish to promote a discussion on these questions contextualized by paradigmatic examples reported and discussed by the protagonists of major discoveries.

2nd session - Dynamics of Discovery

Discovery can happen as the expected result of a long-lasting focused effort or, at the opposite extreme, as a sudden and serendipitous encounter between human reason and reality. But discovery somehow always implies the submission of our thoughts to external evidence and the capacity to embrace and understand the unexpected. Does the degree of expectation matter to the relevance of the discovery? Can we speak of “discovery” in a non-scientific context? How do discoveries in science differ from those in other realms of human quest for truth? Which common characteristics can be identified for all kinds of discoveries, and thus for the generation of novelty in human knowledge?

3rd session - Discovery and the Intelligibility of Nature

he event of a scientific discovery discloses both the orderly structure of nature and, at the same time, the ability of human reason to recognize and grasp such order. Thus discovery is the continuous manifestation of the intelligibile character of nature. In particular, the remarkable ability of mathematical language to describe deeply and faithfully the structure of the physical world remains one of the greatest mysteries. What explanations do we have today for this striking situation? What is its relevance in the present scientific context? To what extent does a similar correspondence between “objective reality” and “rational understanding” also apply to domains of human knowledge other than science?

Tommaso Bellini
, Department of medical biotechnology and translational medicine, University of Milano
Marco Bersanelli, Physics Department, University of Milano
Giorgio Dieci,
Giorgio Petroni,
Elio Sindoni,
CEUR Foundation

Marco Aluigi, Meeting for Friendship Amongst Peoples
Tonino Ceccoli,
Euresis Association
Donatella Pifferetti
,  Euresis Association
Nicola Sabatini
, Euresis Association

A few photos of the Symposium are available.
Interview (in Italian) by to Professor Tommaso Bellini on the Symposium results.