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International Conference for the tercentenary of the birth of Ruggiero Giuseppe Boscovich

Dates: 2011-09-08 - 2011-09-11 9.9 (1 decade 1 month ago)

Where: Pavia, Italy Venue: University of Pavia


The University of Pavia, together with the Scientific Commission for the National Edition of Boscovich?s collected works and correspondence (the Italian National Academy of Sciences, the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts, the INAF - Astronomical Observatory of Brera, the Pontifical Gregorian University), is happy to announce an International Conference to commemorate the third centenary of the birth of the polymath Ruggiero Giuseppe Boscovich.

The Conference is sponsored by the Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research (MIUR) and the University of Pavia (1361). From 1764 to 1768 Boscovich was professor of Mathematics at the University of Pavia, in a ?golden? period that saw the flourishing of scientists like Alessandro Volta (1745-1827), Antonio Scarpa (1752-1832), Lazzaro Spallanzani (1729-1799) and Giovanni Scopoli (1723-1788). Today?s analysis of Boscovich?s work will take place in its appropriate context: the historic lecture halls of the University. On Thursday September the 8th an exhibition of Boscovich?s papers and books will be open in the Theresian Hall of the University Library (designed by Piermarini, architect of ?La Scala?, in 1772), on Friday the 9th there will be a visit to the University Scientific Museums and Collections and on Sunday the 11th a visit to the Brera Observatory in Milano, designed and completed by Boscovich in 1765.

Boscovich was born in the independent Republic of Ragusa (today Dubrovnik, Croatia). At fourteen he left the local Jesuit school for the Collegio Romano, where he became a Jesuit and a Professor. The contribution of his ideas to the advancement of knowledge in every field of eighteenth century science, from natural philosophy, with his original unitary force and atomic theory, to mathematics, astronomy, geodesy, was acknowledged by his contemporaries. Recent scholarship outlines the relevance of his research in theoretical and practical optics, placing him among the founders of modern refractometry and spherometry, and starts to analyse his deep interest in the field of electricity, a discipline wich was soon to be quantified along differing lines by Volta in Pavia and Coulomb in Paris.

Boscovich had a deep influence on the European scientific and philosophical debate. Volta quotes him in his first and fundamental work of 1769, but so do Kant, Faraday, Kelvin, Maxwell, Nietzsche, Boltzmann. A crater on the Moon has been named after Boscovich and today he is also seen as a forerunner of the Theories of Everything (TOE).

The Pavia Conference will be attended by the foremost international specialists on Boscovich?s studies and will enhance the results of other important conferences held in Dubrovnik (1958, 1961, 1987), Milan (1962, 1987), Rome (1988) and Vienna (2008). During the Pavia Conference the results of the Italian project for the digital publication of Boscovich?s collected works and correspondence as well the translation in Italian of some of his major works on natural philosophy will be presented.

Invited speakers
? Ugo Baldini, University of Padua
? ?arko Dadić, Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts, Zagabria
? Roger Hahn, University of California, Berkeley
? John Heilbron, Worcester College, Oxford (to be confirmed)
? J?rgen Renn, Max-Planck-Institute for the History of Science, Berlin
? Hans Ullmaier, Forschungszentrum J?lich Gmbh, J?lich

? Research on Boscovich?s primary and secondary sources
? Boscovich as a philosopher of nature and science: theories of matter, space, time, causality, physical actions
? Cultural, scientific and artistic context in Italy and Europe 
? Boscovich and the Enlightenment
? Boscovich as a Jesuit and the vicissitudes of the Jesuit Order
? Boscovich and the development of Geometry and Mathematics 
? Boscovich and the development of Mechanics (Statics and Dynamics)
? Boscovich and the development of Astronomy and Geodesy 
? Boscovich on Probability and the Handling of observational data
? Boscovich and the development of Geometrical and Physical Optics
? Boscovich and the development of Hydraulics and Fluid Dynamics 
? Boscovich and the development of Meteorology: his work in the Physics of the Atmosphere 
? Boscovich and the emerging sciences: electric, magnetic, chemical, thermal, geological and vital phenomena
? Boscovich?s literary works in verse and prose
? Teaching and institutional activity of Boscovich and his ideas on the reform of education in Rome, Pavia and Milan
? Boscovich?s diplomatic activity: his relations with the Republic of Ragusa
? Boscovich?s journeys and travel diaries
? The contemporary reception of Boscovich?s works
? The legacy of Boscovich in modern science

Presentations can be given in any language but abstracts and papers for the proceedings have to be submitted in English

Scientific Committee
President Tommaso Scarascia  Mugnozza, President of the Italian National Academy of Sciences
Vice Presidents Edoardo Proverbio, Department of Astronomy of the University of Cagliari; Milan Mogus, President of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts; Angiolino Stella, Rector of the University of Pavia; Gianfranco Ghirlanda, Rector of the Pontifical Gregorian University; Tommaso Maccacaro, President of INAF; Giovanni Pareschi, Director of Astronomical Observatory of Brera
Secretary Fabio Bevilacqua, Professor of History of Science ? University of Pavia
Members Lucio Claudio Andreani, Elio Antonello, Ugo Baldini, Daniele Boffi, Vincenzo Cappelletti, Paolo Casini, Guido Cimino, ?arko Dadić, Alessandra Fiocca, Lucio Fregonese, Paolo Freguglia, Paolo Galluzzi, Livia Giacardi, Enrico Giannetto, Roger Hahn, Paolo Mazzarello, Giovanni Paoloni, Luigi Pepe, Clara Silvia Roero, Arcangelo Rossi, Giancarlo Setti, Rita Tolomeo, Maurizio Torrini, Pasquale Tucci

Organizing Committee
Chairman Fabio Bevilacqua
Members Lucio Claudio Andreani, Lidia Falomo, Alessandra Ferraresi, Lucio Fregonese, Enrico Giannetto, Franco Giudice, Luca Guzzardi 
Secretariat Patrizia Contardini

Information: marni@unipv.it marni@unipv.it Questo indirizzo e-mail ? protetto dallo spam bot. Abilita Javascript per vederlo. ; Skype: marnisticky; tel. + 39 0382 987565 - Fax + 39 0382 987694
Conference fee: 230 Euros (includes two lunches, coffee breaks, booklet of abstracts, digital Conference Proceedings).
Conference dinner: 30 Euros (Friday 10th).
Fees and accommodation: Pragma Congressi. Please contact  marta.daffara@pragmacongressi.it marta.daffara@pragmacongressi.it Questo indirizzo e-mail ? protetto dallo spam bot. Abilita Javascript per vederlo. .
Abstracts and papers submission: EasyChair Boscovich 2011.

here the poster of the Conference.

About Pavia and its region 
(with an audio-guide and a video).