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Issue no. 4 - 2003

by Redazione FGB [1], 30 June 2003

As announced in the previous Diary, on 14 May 2003 Piero Bassetti, as President of the Foundation, gave a lecture at the London School of Economics on "Innovation, social risk and political responsibility":
"(...) We rarely have a clear idea of the relationships between innovation, change, risk and responsibility. Only very occasionally do we consciously address the serious political problems that the management, or non-management, of innovation can engender. Far too often, the problem of the independence - and hence the responsibility - of research is erroneously confused with the independence and responsibility of innovation. These are two very different problems: research and discovery are not the same thing as innovation. A discovery becomes innovation only when the increase in "knowledge" implicit in every discovery becomes technology and actuating power (that is, social capital) that the discovery implements. As Schumpeter and Nelson have argued, it is only then that we obtain an increase in social power, which is in itself a factor of change and, thus, of social risk".

Page 10 of the Topics section is dedicated mainly to this event because the lecture (of which you can read the English and Italian versions and view the video on-line) is, in view its subject matter, a reference text on the issues normally covered in the site. For this reason a "Call for Comments" was published on 14 June, coordinated by Daniele Navarra, a researcher at the LSE. The Call for Comments makes use of the blog format (on which please refer to the previous issue), in which anyone wishing to take part can write directly.

The Topics page also contains highlights from the conference on "Science and Ethics", which took place on 5 June in the Abbey of Montecassino, and from "Copenhagen", a play (staged in Parma, in the version directed by Mauro Avogadro) in which Michael Frayn, the author, describes from various perspectives the enigmatic encounter between Heisenberg and Bohr in the Danish capital in 1941. A full page on the text and the principal stagings of the work that was put together in May 2002 by Tommaso Correale Santacroce can be found on the FGB site.

Finally, we would like to draw your attention to the Press Review, a section edited by Vittorio Bertolini that has always been present on the site and which acts as a "handle" that is always available for publications and articles that in many cases are in-depth analyses of the subjects we cover.

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