Lectio Magistralis on Environment, Disasters, Food and Poverty by Professor Franco Siccardi
It was great and warm the tribute that the world of science, university and institutions has paid today to Prof. Franco Siccardi during his Lectio Magistralis - the last lecture - of a brilliant career as a lecturer at the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Genoa. At his Lectio Magistralis have participated many scientists, professors, former colleagues, students, researchers, officials and institutional figures who have had the opportunity to meet Franco Siccardi during his long and varied professional career.
Among others the event has seen the participation of the Regional Assessor for Environment and Civil Protection, Renata Briano, the Dean of the Faculty of Engineering from the University of Genoa, Paola Girdinio, the Major of Savona, Geraldine Basilicata, officials from the Department of the National Civil Protection and Italian Space Agency, as well as other representatives of major Italian universities and scientific research departments in the field of environmental engineering.
In his last lecture, Prof. Siccardi has surprised, provoked and created great emotion in the public. In a crowded theatre, with students and faculty colleagues, Prof. Siccardi has presented a scientific report rigorously supported by data, charts and satellite images, which have highlighted some examples of environmental disasters, not only by analysing it from a purely phenomenological and climate point of view but also by conjugating economic and social factors, which are often at the root of environmental disasters.
Siccardi's presentation has started with the example of the Niger Delta in which are destroyed huge amounts of fossil resources (oil) and wasted into the atmosphere damaging gases which could be easily recovered. He then presented other international concerns such as the gradual drying of the Aral Sea, located between Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, the sugar-cane exploitation in Mozambique and the growing mass-construction market, for touristic purposes in Marrakesh. In his presentation Prof. Siccardi has touched different environmental issues, geographically very distant from each other, to close up on those, no less serious in Italy.
At the end of this unforgiving route, between impoverished areas and populations there is often the exploitation of fossil resources, food, land and human resources.
Environment, Disasters, Food and Poverty: these are the four key themes for the future of our planet and civilisation. Four themes which constitute the links of a causal chain, whose effects and tight correlations scientists can't not to see, not to consider, not to face.
"The global financial greed destroys resources and often destroys women and men," recalls Franco Siccardi. But "not to see, not to hear, not to talk, would deny hope to our job as teachers and researchers. We must know how to react when the mediocrity tries to kill curiosity and the hope of helping to improve the world. Being able to see with the most advanced satellite technology, being able to read the processes with applied science, being able to apply the experience into actions - this is and should continue to be our job. "