Perché l’istruzione

Credo ci siano principalmente tre motivi per cui è eccitante, oltre che necessario, occuparsi d’istruzione. Non mi riferisco alle motivazioni classiche, ormai trite e ritrite: la necessità di formare una coscienza critica, la conoscenza come strumento di libertà, indipendenza e autonomia, l’importanza per il progresso economico e sociale, il contributo in termini di uguaglianza. Motivazioni…

The 7 biggest problems facing science

“Science, I had come to learn, is as political, competitive, and fierce a career as you can find, full of the temptation to find easy paths.” — Paul Kalanithi, neurosurgeon and writer (1977–2015). Science is in big trouble. Or so we’re told. In the past several years, many scientists have become afflicted with a serious…

Two propositions for academic literature

It’s not a great time for science, I would say. I am not speaking in terms of advancement, of course. Science and technology are ubiquitous nowadays, and every day we make progresses we could only dream of a few years ago, in several fields (but see here). Medicine, AI, material science, data science. However, it is…

Ten Readings on Meritocracy

#1 –  Meritocracy and Economic Inequality Eds. Kenneth Arrow, Samuel Bowles, and Steven Durlauf –  Princeton University Press (2000) “This volume of original essays by luminaries in the economic, social, and biological sciences, however, confirms mounting evidence that the connection between intelligence and inequality is surprisingly weak and demonstrates that targeted educational and economic reforms can reduce…

La Nobiltà del Padre

È mattina, accendo la tv. Fuori, la nebbia nasconde tutto il quartiere. Sul primo canale si parla delle feste, di presepe e altre decorazioni. Sul secondo canale un’intervista, parla un giovane della “generazione Erasmus“. Sul terzo canale, invece, il dibattito politico, sui postumi del referendum costituzionale. Discutono col conduttore: Fabio Mussi – classe 1948, esponente…

Top Ten Ways to Lose an Audience

Going to university means coming across things like this. Dedicated to us: students, citizens, spectators. We, the public. Here it goes: 10. Avoid eye contact. For example, looking at the screen. Remember: you crafted slides to augment what you say, not to replicate it.  Puzzled faces and hands raised are more important than being obsessively exhaustive. Plus: they…

The Bachelor

“Living conditions in Spain, 1840-1919: evidence from standard budgets” is the title of my BA thesis, based on a research in economic history. Its purpose was to study years characterized, not only for Spain, by substantial political and economic transformations. To do this, I have focused on household budgets, building a database of standard budgets. The research has brought interesting…