Flavio Del Santo

Flavio Del Santo

Affiliated institution

University of Vienna

Research & Interests

Foundation of Quantum Mechanics, Quantum Communication, History of Modern Physics; Fundamental differences between quantum and classical physics; Interpretations of Quantum Mechanics; Social and historical development of modern science.

Statement

Since my undergraduate studies I have always been engaged in activities aimed at sensitise student and researchers towards the fundamental problems of today’s academia. I have thus promoted events inside universities (before Florence, Italy, then Vienna, Austria) aiming at developing a more critical and aware approach to scientific research and teaching. In particular, the themes that i have always tried to emphasise are that science -and physics in particular- is nowadays largely conducted in a completely productivist framework (I always find very effective the expression "shut up and calculate!"), whereas theories are always presented as an ultimate (dogmatic) truth. Fundamental questions are still very far from being integral part of the study curricula and of research programs. To this extent, I think that scientific activity should drastically change in three major directions: (i) I think that physics (and all natural sciences) should be embedded in a critical approach, continuously
questioning its methodology itself, and therefore fundamental research should be a necessary part of scientific activity rather than being discouraged and negatively labelled as a ‘philosophical’, or even a futile side interest. Moreover (ii) I think that emphasising the social and historical context in which science developed in different periods and places can give an insight on the actual causes that brought science to undertake its current framework. Furthermore (iii) I believe that the arbitrary distinction in more and more specialised hermetically sealed compartment of knowledge should be overcome through a more interdisciplinary approach, which can find its common ground, for instance, on foundations of science.