Italian Science

IT IS enough to retail the names of Galileo, Volta, anid Galvani, of Marconi, Spallanzani, and Morgagni, to realize that Italy has a long and un pressive tradition in the natural sciences. This tradition is being kept alive today in spite of the lack of large-scale financial aliv from Government, foundations, or industry, such as is found in some other countries. Then too, Fascism and the War forced the exodus of a number of our fittest scientists, among them Enrico Fermi, irinner of a Nobel Prize in 1938, who did some of his greatest work in the United States. Nevertheless, Italian science has kept abreast of the rest of the world, and is pioneering in carious fields.

In mathematics, important theoretical irork is being done in Home at the Institute of Higher Mathematics, founded and directed bg Francesco Severi, and at Mauro Picone’s Center for Applied Mathematics, which is eg nipped with the latest igpes of electronic com puling machines. Immediately after the War, groups of scientists joined in the National Institute for Nuclear Physics, and in 1952 a National Committee for Nuclear Research was formed.

Special mention should be made of the Schools of Organic and Inorganic Vhemistrg of Milan. The laboratories of the Health Institute in Rome hare achieved spectacular results in che mot herd pg (synthetic curares) under the direction of Panicle lloicf (Nobel Prize, 1957) and in biochemistry under E. B. Chain (Nobel Prize, 1945). This institution is an example of perfect modern scientific organ ization. Other research centers in Bologna, Padua, Milan, and Naples have made valuable contributions to postwar industrial development in Italy.

The financial limitations of our industrial structure hare restricted progress in engineering, but, even so, Italy boasts a number of during and hight qualified construction engineers. An example of their recent work is the power hue which now crosses the Strait of Messina, between Sicily and the mainland, in a single arch more than two miles long. In aerodynamics, the Center for Aeronautic Engineering in Rome has resumed the work of the Experimental Center of Guidouia, destroged during the War.

Biological research is carried nut at the famous Center for Marine Rodogg in Naples, and experimental work in genetics at Milan. Pavia, and Naples. Human phgsiologg has been advanced by the neurophystillogical research of Rossi, Moruzzi, and Spadolini, white Meueghetti has investigated the combined chemotherapeutic action of the sulphamids. Italian scientists hare gained world recognition for their research on cardiovascular disfunctions, goiter, and leukemia. As far back its 1938, Cerletti pioneered in the use of electric shock for mental diseases.

Silvestro Silvestri and Guido Grandi have each published major works in entomologg, while Elvio Borgioli and Arturo Maglione hare made notable progress in applied zooteehng, as has Bonadonna with artificial fecundation.

In the past year, the Fanfani Government has untroduced a courageous program of scholastic reforms which should eventually give our research institutions the muterial backing to match, and implement, the technical talents of our Italian scientists. C.T.