A science marathon

Published on Friday, 19 June 2020

What better occasion than the summer solstice to symbolically greet the transition from one phase to another and send out a very clear signal that the recovery has begun? On Saturday 20 June a live science marathon will provide a fitting run-up to the 15th National Geographic Science Festival, which our Group is partnering once again this year. A six-hour live broadcast, from 4pm to 10pm, will involve more than 50 high profile guests from the worlds of Italian science, culture, economics and sports. These include the likes of Amalia Ercoli Finzi, Luca Parmitano, Vinicio Capossela, Chiara Valerio, Maria Rosaria Capobianchi, Francesco Cavalli-Sforza, Stefano Mancuso, Emma Dante, Nicola Lagioia, and Filippo Tortu. The eclectic line-up of speakers is designed to encourage us to reflect on the event’s theme: "Science Solstice: Rethinking the Future".

“Throughout these difficult months of lockdown and the uncertainty about how best to create and hold live events”, explained Festival director Vittorio Bo, “we began to focus more and more on our visitors and friends, starting with the youngsters, so that we could provide them with stimuli, ideas and tools to learn about the world of science and culture in an increasingly valuable and useful way. This event is the first step on an unprecedented and exciting new journey”.

Organised by the Fondazione Musica per Roma in collaboration with Codice Edizioni, the event has a packed programme, ranging from stories of scientific evolutions and revolutions to a journey of discovery through the mysteries of Mother Nature and an investigation of the potential of creativity in all its many forms. The live-streamed events will bring together scientific reflection, dialogue, lectures, and stories told through images as well as musical and poetry-based interludes. The audience will be accompanied on a journey of discovery to new locations, such as the Sila telescope, the perfect place to enjoy the summer solstice. 

The marathon, which can be watched live on the National Geographic Science Festival’s Facebook page, marks the start of a festival that is spread out, both in terms of time and space. It will continue throughout the autumn and will conclude between November 23 and 29 in the Parco della Musica Auditorium in Rome.

The theme of the 15th edition is “Optimism and Science” and it will broach crucial contemporary issues such as public health, global warming, new types of energy, the economy and sustainable progress, the water situation, the future of low-cost technology, the development of cities, and population growth and de-growth. Conferences, exhibitions, discussions and educational activities will alternate in line with the tradition of a festival that in recent years has become a benchmark for the successful communication of science to a broad audience.

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