SHARPER Night in Italy, This Friday: Improbable Science Stories

There will be lots of improbable science story sharing in fourteen Italian cities this Friday night, September 30, 2022. Stories about real science. Stories filled with mystery, confusion, excitement, and lots of intriguing uncertainty.

This is a new part of SHARPER Night in Italy — Friday night, September 30. (What, you may ask, is SHARPER? SHARPER is an acronym for “SHAring Researchers’ Passion for Enhanced Roadmaps”. That’s what.) It’s all part of the continent-wide 2022 European Researchers’ Night. This part of it is happening in collaboration with Improbable Research. Leonardo Alfonsi is the prime organizer.

Students will get together with experienced scientists and science communicators. They will tell each other stories about unexpected science discoveries, and ask unusual questions. In other words: they will talk about the actual way science almost always begins. (Most people encounter a different, less human version of how science happens. Textbooks often have transformed the quirky, funny, real stories, cooking those stories until they became smooth, dignified, Disneyfied myths.)

Here’s the official SHARPER night description:

Improbable Research is an initiative developed in close collaboration with Ig Nobel laureate founder Marc Abrahams , which revolves around the following key message: While a research question may seem “strange” and unusual, it can be a source of innovation .

The activity involves the organization of a series of meetings in the schools of the SHARPER cities. Each meeting will last about two hours and will consist of a first part of storytelling – in which a researcher or researcher tells stories of “unlikely” research and discoveries, inspired by bizarre and original questions that are then translated into innovative ideas -, followed by a creative workshop in which students will be stimulated to ask themselves unlikely questions on a research topic.

It will happen in these cities: Ancona, Camerino, Cagliari, Catania, Genoa, L’Aquila, Macerata, Nuoro, Palermo, Pavia, Perugia, Sassari, Terni and Trieste.