GUIDELINES DRAWN UP BY THE SCIENTIFIC COMMISSION
Coordinator of the Municipal Commission
for Rome's City of Science
order to draw up the guidelines for the project involving
Rome's City of Science, a commission of experts from the
world of science, together with representatives of the City
government and the Superintendent's Office, was formed under
a resolution of the Mayor's Cabinet.
The central effort of the Commission has been the formulation
of general guidelines for the organization of a project
on the basis of the most successful initiatives undertaken
in this field, in this way drawing on the storehouse of
knowledge which has accumulated during the years of delay.
Steps have also been taken to give a specific identity to
the project to be implemented in Rome: a structure which
must, in some way, reflect the City.
Study has been made of the idea of a project in step with
the new times which await us, but also possessing its own
As a result, three objectives are considered essential for
the City of Science.
The goal of the structure should be the dissemination of
scientific culture, meaning that it must house not only
memory and history, but also change and evolution. In other
words, not a museum in the traditional sense, a set of collections,
but rather a showcase for technological innovation.
is the balance which must be pursued, drawing inspiration
from a cultural vision of science and technology, without
neglecting - precisely because culture is involved - the
historical and critical dimension.
the approach must also take into account the on-going development
toward a society characterized a high degree of innovation,
meaning that the underlying concept must give precedence,
in a certain sense, to infrastructures over structures.
The balance between warehouses, workshops and exposition
space must guarantee a significant degree of flexibility.
The structure must be designed within a framework of dynamism
and continuous adjustment.
Finally, given that we are moving towards a society characterized
not only by a high degree of innovation, but also by completely
new methods for transmitting knowledge, as well as by the
changes generated by advances in communications technology,
the structure must make all-encompassing use of the new
languages. To this end, plans should include computer and
multimedia laboratories, plus experimentation with new languages,
in that we must remain aware of the transition under way
towards this new universe of communications. In other words,
steps must be taken to monitor and support the system's
capacity for adaptation.
For that matter, the activities must be formulated in light
of what the new communications technology already offers
for the transmission and reception, both local and remote,
information and knowledge. In particular, therefore, sites
for connection with telematic networks must be planned.
As regards the objective of finding a distinguishing characteristic,
work should begin from the fact that the City of Science
is to be built in Rome, a setting in which magnificent artifacts
of construction technology are preserved. In this respect,
an effort should be made to reach an understanding which
is not limited to the dimension of art, but extends to science
and technology. These considerations, which should be analyzed
and decided on in collaboration with the Superintendent's
Office, will offer the museum an opportunity for a deep-rooted
cultural interaction with the City, creating a sharply distinguishing
the choice of sectors is the need to complement the existing
heritage while keeping in step with the on-going development
of science and technology.
For this reason we have listed the following sectors in
the contract tender:
- space and its exploration, but also its utilization through
telecommunications and the observation of the earth, its
environment and its resources;
- the structure of material, at its various levels, from
crystals to atoms and molecules, to nuclear matter and quarks,
with the presentation of theories and means of investigation,
seen in both their scientific and technological aspects,
- the formation, structure and functioning of eco-systems,
from an analysis of the components to an examination of
the levels of organization, with a focus on bio-diversity;
- molecular biology, through a presentation of the basic
concepts and applications of molecular genetics, biochemistry
and techniques of cellular and genetic engineering; the
goal is to gain an understanding of the process of evolution
as well as innovations in the fields of health care, pharmaceuticals,
food and agriculture, and the environment; consideration
will also be given to the ethical, social and legal problems
raised by knowledge and modification of genetic resources
and the commercialization of new products;
- the neuro-sciences, from cerebral mechanisms to artificial
intelligence, in particular as regards the physics of the
mind and models of consciousness, on the one hand, and information
technology and communications, on the other; here again,
consideration will be given to the problems raised by the
virtual realm and the boundary between the concrete and
- in order to establish a cultural connection with the City
and its history, the fundamental aspects of the history
of the systems (aqueducts, baths, roads, agricultural organization
etc.) and the buildings (the Pantheon, the Coliseum, St.
Peter's etc.) which characterized Roman civilization; for
this portion, a framework of cooperation and complementary
efforts should be established with the Office of the Superintendent
of Cultural Resources of Rome and with the Museum of Roman
and cooperation with other structures in Rome
City of Science must integrate itself with the existing
municipal structures designed for the dissemination of scientific
culture, such as the Civic Museum of Zoology, the Planetarium,
the Museum of Mathematics and the Young People's City.
The structure must also cooperate with Rome's existing museums,
starting with the university facilities, as well as the
universities themselves and research institutes, plus all
the centers which perform activities of scientific and technological
research. An effort must be made to create a city network
of science museums, which, without interfering with the
specific make-up of the different institutions and their
independence, makes possible a virtual connection which
favors a broader use and exploitation of their resources.
With its infrastructures, its exposition spaces and its
multimedia production center, the City of Science can become
a gathering point and a hub for collaboration.
It must also serve as a European and international connection
for initiatives tied to the on-going development of scientific
thought and the boundaries of technological innovation,
as well as their cultural, social and economic impact.
In addition to this type of connection, the City of Science
must also establish working relations with schools and the
media. These entities, together with museum institutions,
form the triangle whose balanced development along all three
sides, together with its reciprocal interaction, determines
the effectiveness of initial and on-going processes of scientific
education. Contact with schools and the media will allow
the City of Science to function as the natural juncture
for such interaction. And it also provides a natural forum,
placed on the ridge separating the scientific system from
the mass public, for addressing the problems involved in
relations between science and society: relations which play
an important role in terms of the future, and which society
as a whole should rightfully influence.
The City of Science is both a cultural adventure and a challenge
that we are called on to meet.