Article ID: CBB601448284

Science Outside Academies: An Italian Case of “Scientific Mediation”—From Joule’s Seminal Experience to Lucio Lombardo Radice’s Contemporary Attempt (2021)


Starting from the seminal experience of James Prescott Joule, this paper aims to debate the possibility of “making” science outside universities and academies. Joule himself studied as an autodidact and did not make his own discoveries while following an academic path; on the contrary, at first, the associations and academic societies of the time tended not to recognize his works officially. All of this happened throughout the nineteenth century during the period of the first relevant tendency to science popularization. For example, looking at the second half of the England of the 1800s, we can refer to Michael Faraday’s open lessons for children like The Chemical History of a Candle. Following this perspective from a historical view, this paper explores the Italian attempts to communicate science—from the ‘50s to the ‘70s—to a larger public via television and other media, also considering the political and social backgrounds behind this choice. In particular, this paper also deals with Lucio Lombardo Radice’s work on TV programs and writings in social-political journals and daily newspapers, as a mathematician and pedagogist engaged on the importance of what he specifically called “Scientific mediation”, as a “method” to teach and popularize science to a larger public.

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Authors & Contributors
Bowler, Peter J.
Gass, Gillian Linda
Hirshbein, Laura Davidow
Sarvananda, Sharmalie
Dörries, Matthias
Herran, Néstor
Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences
Science and Education
British Journal for the History of Science
Annals of Science: The History of Science and Technology
History of Meteorology
Centaurus: International Magazine of the History of Mathematics, Science, and Technology
University of Pittsburgh Press
University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee
Communication of scientific ideas
Public understanding of science
Mass media
Popular culture
Dalton, John
Huxley, Thomas Henry
Melo e Simas, Manuel de
Lemos, Floriano de
Hogg, Helen Sawyer
Dickens, Charles
Time Periods
20th century
19th century
20th century, early
20th century, late
21st century
18th century
Great Britain
United States
Barcelona (Spain)
Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)
British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)

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