Gerard 't Hooft new member of the Bologna Academy of Sciences

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L. Cifarelli   21-12-2018    Leggi in PDF

On the foreground, from left to right: Walter Tega, Gerard 't Hooft, Antonino Zichichi and Luisa Cifarelli. On the background, one can recognise Sergio Bertolucci and Federico Palmonari. (Courtesy of Massimo Matera).

The Accademia delle Scienze dell'Istituto di Bologna dates back to 1690, with the creation of the "Accademia degli Inquieti" by the mathematician and astronomer Eustachio Manfredi. Thanks to the support and boost of Count Luigi Ferdinando Marsili, a general and a multifaceted scientist (in particular, as geologist and oceanographer), the Academy joined the Institute of Sciences in 1711 and acquired an international role and fame.

It became one of the most important European Academies for the quality of its scientists, ranking among the world's most eminent ones. Among them were Luigi Galvani, Alessandro Volta, Laura Bassi, Mikhail Lomonosov, Anders Celsius, Georges Louis Leclerc Buffon and many great Italian and European scientists.

In the 19th century, after an initial decline in the Napoleonic age, the Academy resumed its activity and reputation in medicine, biology, mathematics and physics. At the beginning of the 20th century, it included international distinguished physicists such as Niels Bohr, Maria Skłodowska-Curie, Albert Einstein and Guglielmo Marconi. The Fascist era and World War II badly affected the Academy which had to go through afterwards a somehow difficult recovery phase.

At present the Academy can again boast large areas of excellence in both its "Class of Moral Sciences" and "Class of Physical Sciences". For the latter, these range from mathematics, physics, chemistry and geology, to engineering sciences, to life sciences and to medical sciences. Among its physicists and astrophysicists, today the Academy includes as "emeriti" members Antonino Zichichi, Giancarlo Setti and Jack Steinberger, just to name but a few.

On the occasion of the International Symposium "60 years of Subnuclear Physics in Bologna" (see the news appeared in the previous issue of SIF Prima Pagina), which took place at the Academy on 7 November 2018, the Accademia delle Scienze dell'Istituto di Bologna acquired a new entry: Gerardus 't Hooft, from the University of Utrecht, the Netherlands, world-famous theoretician and Nobel Laureate in Physics in 1999. Gerardus (Gerard) 't Hooft had already been awarded an Honorary Degree at the University of Bologna in 1998.

As Walter Tega, President of the Academy and of the Class of Moral Sciences, said: "It's a great privilege for the Academy to include a personality like Professor 't Hooft among its new members". While bestowing the medal and diploma to 't Hooft, Tega read the citation as phrased on the diploma: in Latin!

Recently, on 14 December, the 2018-2019 academic year of the Academy was solemnly inaugurated. The programme of the ceremony can be found here.

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