Thursday, September 26, 2013

Sardinia got ears!

Finally the Sardinia Radio Telescope (SRT) is ready to start its scientific mission, the inaugural ceremony will take place on September 30th (next Monday) in the presence of the Italian Minister of Education, University and Research, Prof. Carrozza.
The Sardinian Radio Telescope based in San Basilio

SRT is located in Sardinia near San Basilio, a small village about 35km from Cagliari, my hometown. SRT is the largest radiotelescope in Italy (diameter: 64 meters) and one of the most advanced in the world.

SRT will join the first Very Large Baseline Interferometer (VLBI) network in Italy, meaning that these 3 facilities will operate as a huge interferometer whose effective dimension is comparable to the size of our country! This allows to reach angular resolutions which would be simply impossible with a single instrument. As one of the most advanced radiotelescopes worldwide, SRT will also contribute as a node of the European VLBI Network.

But so, what is a radiotelescope

Thursday, September 12, 2013

The 2013 Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony Thursday

The 2013 Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony
Thursday, September 12, 12:00
Sanders Theater, Harvard University
(twitter: #IgNobel)

The 23nd First Annual Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony will introduce ten new Ig Nobel Prize winners. Each has done something that makes people laugh then think. The winners travel to the ceremony, at their own expense, from several continents. The Prizes are handed to them by a group of genuine, genuinely bemused Nobel Laureates, in Harvard's historic, largest theater filled with 1100 improbable persons, everything webcast live. The ceremony will include many other delights—see details below. (For the latest Ig Nobel news, see the blog.)
Previews: New York TimesHuffington PostLowering the BarSRF

The ceremony will as usual be webcast live. To watch, click below (or on other web sites!). Schedule:
  • 11:35 pm (US eastern time) — The webcast begins.
  • 11:40 pm —  Deborah Henson-Conant's pre-ceremony mini-concert.
  • 12:00 pm — The ceremony begins.

Live Internet Broadcast
The ceremony will be broadcast live via LiveStream. The webcast is available below. Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Opinions of an Exile

What follows is the English translation (mostly done by Google Translator, so don't blame me too much) of this post written by an Italian researcher living in NYC. I found it quite apt to describe the feeling of various compatriots abroad when they look at our country.

My name is Luca Cassetta, 32, from Milan , married, two cats, I am living in New York for almost three years and I am a scientific researcher.
Yes, I admit , I'm part of the brain drain!
I belong to that group of young (and not so young) people who have decided to leave Italy to seek their fortune abroad!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Rubbia to be nominated "Senatore a vita" in the Italian Senate of the Republic.

Summer has gone and with it also my excuses to avoid writing. As a new (academic) year resolution, I commit myself to write more often and also to cover some specific research projects I'm recently involved in.

Anyway, I'm glad today to restart my writings with this news: yesterday Prof. Carlo Rubbia was created "Senatore a vita" (lifetime Senator) of the Italian Senate of the Republic. According to the Italian Constitution, the President of the Italian Republic can create up to 5 lifetime Senators among Italian citizens who have outstanding merits in science, arts, or social life. 

Nobel Laureate Prof. Carlo Rubbia

Carlo Rubbia will share honor and responsibility together with architect Renzo Piano, Prof. Elena Cattaneo, and conductor Claudio Abbado. As Napolitano himself put it, these nominees are an ideal 'passing the baton' after some historic lifetime senator has recently passed away (like Prof. Rita Levi Montalcini). 

In Italy the news was followed by a flood of polemics: some advocated the fact that lifetime senators are yet another entry in taxpayers' bill, whereas the center-right-wing party [that is, Berlusconi's] pointed out that all new lifetime Senators were somehow center-left oriented and that this might be seen as a way to rearrange the equilibrium of the political forces within the Parliament.