Ruggiero Giuseppe Boscovich

Edizione Nazionale delle Opere e della Corrispondenza

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Boscovich Conference 2011

Università degli Studi di Pavia

Dipartimento di Fisica "Alessandro Volta"

Sistema Museale di Ateneo







 Call for papers 

International Conference for the tercentenary of the birth of

Ruggiero Giuseppe Boscovich (Ragusa 1711 - Milano 1787)

University of Pavia

Pavia, Italy

September 8th - 10th, 2011


The University of Pavia, together with the Scientific Commission for the National Edition of Boscovich’s collected works and correspondence (the Italian National Academy of Sciences, the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts, the INAF - Astronomical Observatory of Brera, the Pontifical Gregorian University), is happy to announce an International Conference to commemorate the third centenary of the birth of the polymath Ruggiero Giuseppe Boscovich.

The Conference is sponsored by the Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research (MIUR) and the University of Pavia (1361). From 1764 to 1768 Boscovich was professor of Mathematics at the University of Pavia, in a “golden” period that saw the flourishing of scientists like Alessandro Volta (1745-1827), Antonio Scarpa (1752-1832), Lazzaro Spallanzani (1729-1799) and Giovanni Scopoli (1723-1788). Today’s analysis of Boscovich’s work will take place in its appropriate context: the historic lecture halls of the University. On Thursday September the 8th an exhibition of Boscovich’s papers and books will be open in the Theresian Hall of the University Library (designed by Piermarini, architect of “La Scala”, in 1772), on Friday the 9th there will be a visit to the University Scientific Museums and Collections.

Boscovich was born in the independent Republic of Ragusa (today Dubrovnik, Croatia). At fourteen he left the local Jesuit school for the Collegio Romano, where he became a Jesuit and a Professor. The contribution of his ideas to the advancement of knowledge in every field of eighteenth century science, from natural philosophy, with his original unitary force and atomic theory, to mathematics, astronomy, geodesy, was acknowledged by his contemporaries. Recent scholarship outlines the relevance of his research in theoretical and practical optics, placing him among the founders of modern refractometry and spherometry, and starts to analyse his deep interest in the field of electricity, a discipline wich was soon to be quantified along differing lines by Volta in Pavia and Coulomb in Paris.

Boscovich had a deep influence on the European scientific and philosophical debate. Volta quotes him in his first and fundamental work of 1769, but so do Kant, Faraday, Kelvin, Maxwell, Nietzsche, Boltzmann. A crater on the Moon has been named after Boscovich and today he is also seen as a forerunner of the Theories of Everything (TOE). 

The Pavia Conference will be attended by the foremost international specialists on Boscovich’s studies and will enhance the results of other important conferences held in Dubrovnik (1958, 1961, 1987), Milan (1962, 1987), Rome (1988) and Vienna (2008). During the Pavia Conference the results of the Italian project for the digital publication of Boscovich’s collected works and correspondence as well the translation in Italian of some of his major works on natural philosophy will be presented. 

Invited speakers
Ugo Baldini, University of Padua
John Heilbron, Worcester College, Oxford
Edoardo Proverbio, Edizione Nazionale Boscovich, Rome-Milan
Hans Ullmaier, Forschungszentrum Jülich Gmbh, Jülich
Research on Boscovich’s primary and secondary sources
Boscovich as a philosopher of nature and science: theories of matter, space, time, causality, physical actions
Cultural, scientific and artistic context in Italy and Europe 
Boscovich and the Enlightenment
Boscovich as a Jesuit and the vicissitudes of the Jesuit Order
Boscovich and the development of Geometry and Mathematics 
Boscovich and the development of Mechanics (Statics and Dynamics)
Boscovich and the development of Astronomy and Geodesy 
Boscovich on Probability and the Handling of observational data
Boscovich and the development of Geometrical and Physical Optics
Boscovich and the development of Hydraulics and Fluid Dynamics 
Boscovich and the development of Meteorology: his work in the Physics of the Atmosphere 
Boscovich and the emerging sciences: electric, magnetic, chemical, thermal, geological and vital phenomena
Boscovich’s literary works in verse and prose
Teaching and institutional activity of Boscovich and his ideas on the reform of education in Rome, Pavia and Milan
Boscovich’s diplomatic activity: his relations with the Republic of Ragusa
Boscovich’s journeys and travel diaries
The contemporary reception of Boscovich’s works
The legacy of Boscovich in modern science 

Presentations can be given in any language but abstracts and papers for the proceedings have to be submitted in English
Scientific Committee 
President Tommaso Scarascia  Mugnozza, President of the Italian National Academy of Sciences
Vice Presidents Edoardo Proverbio, Department of Astronomy of the University of Cagliari; Milan Mogus, President of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts; Angiolino Stella, Rector of the University of Pavia; Gianfranco Ghirlanda, Rector of the Pontifical Gregorian University; Tommaso Maccacaro, President of INAF; Giovanni Pareschi, Director of Astronomical Observatory of Brera
Secretary Fabio Bevilacqua, Professor of History of Science – University of Pavia
Members Lucio Claudio Andreani, Elio Antonello, Ugo Baldini, Daniele Boffi, Vincenzo Cappelletti, Paolo Casini, Guido Cimino, Žarko Dadić, Alessandra Fiocca, Lucio Fregonese, Paolo Freguglia, Paolo Galluzzi, Livia Giacardi, Enrico Giannetto, Roger Hahn, Paolo Mazzarello, Giovanni Paoloni, Luigi Pepe, Clara Silvia Roero, Arcangelo Rossi, Giancarlo Setti, Rita Tolomeo, Maurizio Torrini, Pasquale Tucci
Organizing Committee
Chairman Fabio Bevilacqua
Members Lucio Claudio Andreani, Lidia Falomo, Alessandra Ferraresi, Lucio Fregonese, Enrico Giannetto, Franco Giudice, Luca Guzzardi 
Secretariat Patrizia Contardini
† Prof. Scarascia Mugnozza’s death on February 28. distressed all us and left a void in science and culture. The members of the Scientific and the Organizing Committees offer their condolences to his family.
InformationQuesto indirizzo e-mail è protetto dallo spam bot. Abilita Javascript per vederlo. ; Skype: marnisticky; tel. + 39 0382 987565 - Fax + 39 0382 987694
Conference fee: 50 Euros (includes coffee breaks and booklet of abstracts). A list of Restaurants will be provided by the conference secretariat.
Conference dinner: 30 Euros (Friday 10th).
Fees and accommodation*: University Colleges (< € 60) – Hotels**** (Single Room € 135 – 150 BB – Double Room  € 170 – 200 BB); Hotels*** (Single Room € 70 - 80 BB – Double Room € 90 – 110 BB). Prices are indicative.
*Registration and accommodation: please download the registration form (in WORD or PDF format) and send it to the Organizing Secretariat preferably by e-mail: Questo indirizzo e-mail è protetto dallo spam bot. Abilita Javascript per vederlo. , or by fax: +39 (0)382 304892.
Abstracts and papers submission: EasyChair Boscovich 2011
About Pavia and its region 
(with an audio-guide and a video).
All those intending to take part in the Conference are kindly requested to register through EasyChair Boscovich 2011 in order to be included in the official Conference Mailing List.
Abstracts submission (through Easy Chair)  2011, April 30 
Notification of acceptance  After two weeks 
Papers submission 2011, December 31
Conference  2011, September 8 - 10
Theresian Hall of the University Library.
Click here to take a tour of the Library (in Italian). 


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