Formalised knowledge systems, including universities and research institutes, are important for contemporary societies. They are, however, also arguably failing humanity when their impact is measured against the level of progress being made in stimulating the societal changes needed to address challenges like climate change. In this research we used a novel futures-oriented and participatory approach that asked what future envisioned knowledge systems might need to look like and how we might get there. Findings suggest that envisioned future systems will need (...) to be much more collaborative, open, diverse, egalitarian, and able to work with values and systemic issues. They will also need to go beyond producing knowledge about our world to generating wisdom about how to act within it. To get to envisioned systems we will need to rapidly scale methodological innovations, connect innovators, and creatively accelerate learning about working with intractable challenges. We will also need to create new funding schemes, a global knowledge commons, and challenge deeply held assumptions. To genuinely be a creative force in supporting longevity of human and non-human life on our planet, the shift in knowledge systems will probably need to be at the scale of the enlightenment and speed of the scientific and technological revolution accompanying the second World War. This will require bold and strategic action from governments, scientists, civic society and sustained transformational intent. (shrink)
As COVID-19 emerged as a phenomenon of the total environment, and despite the intertwined and complex relationships that make humanity an organic part of the Bio- and Geospheres, the majority of our responses to it have been corrective in character, with few or no consideration for unintended consequences which bring about further vulnerability to unanticipated global events. Tackling COVID-19 entails a systemic and precautionary approach to human-nature relations, which we frame as regaining diversity in the Geo-, Bio-, and Anthropospheres. Its (...) implementation requires nothing short of an overhaul in the way we interact with and build knowledge from natural and social environments. Hence, we discuss the urgency of shifting from current to precautionary approaches to COVID-19 and look, through the lens of diversity, at the anticipated benefits in four systems crucially affecting and affected by the pandemic: health, land, knowledge and innovation. Our reflections offer a glimpse of the sort of changes needed, from pursuing planetary health and creating more harmonious forms of land use to providing a multi-level platform for other ways of knowing/understanding and turning innovation into a source of global public goods. These exemplary initiatives introduce and solidify systemic thinking in policymaking and move priorities from reaction-based strategies to precautionary frameworks. (shrink)
COVID-19 has revealed that science needs to learn how to better deal with the irreducible uncertainty that comes with global systemic risks as well as with the social responsibility of science towards the public good. Further developing the epistemological principles of new theories and experimental practices, alternative investigative pathways and communication, and diverse voices can be an important contribution of history and philosophy of science and of science studies to ongoing transformations of the scientific enterprise.
Leo Pardi was the initiator of ethological research in Italy. During more than 50 years of active scientific career, he gave groundbreaking contributions to the understanding of social life in insects, especially in Polistes wasps, an important model organism in sociobiology. In the 1940s, Pardi showed that Polistes societies are organized in a linear social hierarchy that relies on reproductive dominance and on the physiological and developmental mechanisms that regulate it, i.e. on the status of ovarian development of single wasps. (...) Pardi’s work set the stage for further research on the regulatory mechanisms governing social life in primitively eusocial organisms both in wasps and in other insect species. This article reconstructs Pardi’s investigative pathway between 1937 and 1952 in the context of European ethology and American animal sociology. This reconstruction focuses on the development of Pardi’s physiological approach and presents a new perspective on the interacting development of these two fields at the origins of our current understanding of animal social behavior. (shrink)
Plena are the characteristic properties of material thing, of the thing we perceive in our daily experience. According to Husserl, the attempt to explain their features into the language of Physics is the core of the modern science of nature. Colours and smells are not directly reducible to geometrical forms and algebraic functions. In order to explain natural processes using mathematical terms, scientists need to find out how it is possible to measure them. Galileo claims that the world is made (...) up of mathematical formulae, Husserl instead tries to understand the limits of the validity of this claim. In order to do this, the role of subjective experience must be taken into account. (shrink)
The main theme of this paper will be the elimination of the sensible features of our experience from the philosophical account of what it means to know something. The textual source on which we will focus our attention is Benedetto Croce’s Estetica come scienza dell’espressione e linguistica generale. Besides an epistemological dimension , what is sensible in our experience has also an ontological connotation . According to Croce, neither of them can be the basis of our knowledge. What we mean (...) when we say to know something is neither that we have impressions nor that we possess sensations, but rather that we have a representation of that thing. In this way, the sensible features of our experience are ruled out from its philosophical account and are replaced through spiritual activities pertaining to the practical realm of the Spirit. (shrink)