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Songs against fear: Mixing music and science to promote scientific citizenship

The relationship between science and citizens is a dramatic history of misunderstandings. Scientists and lay people speak different languages, they learn through different paths, they look forward to different goals, and the timing through which they achieve their objectives are very diverse. The present pandemic time has made explicit this divergence: citizens want immediate and effective responses to the healthcare emergency, while scientists need time, resources, and networking to accumulate the translational knowledge needed to provide citizens with effective solutions. Even when solutions are provided, their efficacy is more a matter of probabilties, rather than a solution that will never fail. Scientists face important issues and they are lost in translation when they try to adapt their language to explain research methodology and findings to citizens. Misunderstandings were the rule during the past pandemic two years.

We need to work at different levels and on both sides of this difficult relationship to promote a virtuous collaboration and partnership between scientists and citizens. The science of the future cannot neglect the importance of engaging citizens in any step of the research pipeline, from establishing goals to collecting data, from interpreting findings to delivering evidence-based solutions. In an effort to bridge the existing gap between science and lay people, we have launched a special series of even in Pavia (Italy) entitled "Canzoni contro la paura" - songs against fear.

"Canzoni contro la paura" is our movement out of the walls of the academic institutions and research hospitals to reach and meet citizens where they are. Thanks to a partnership with Libreria Ubik "Il delfino" and with the patronage of IRCCS Mondino Foundation and University of Pavia, we scheduled three science-and-music evenings. I will highlight scientific evidence of our social nature, presenting on exciting and intriguing new findings from neuroscience, psychobiology, paleontology, and behavioral sciences. The program has been developed together with a young neuropsychiatrist from IRCCS Mondino Foundation - Ludovica Pasca. A live-music band partner with me adding a music groove to science and helping me - a researcher - finding the best language to dialogue with citizens.

By mixing science and music in a wonderful place in Pavia we try to bridge the gap between science and citizens. The first meeting - entitled "Born to be wired" - was a success - despite the rain. So now we invite you to the next meetings in Piazza Cavagneria, Pavia:

June, 9th - The footprints of experience: From genetics to epigenetics
June, 30th - Embodied mind: From mirror neurons to the social skin

Know more on the event website.


by the "Songs against fear" crew


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