My research themes in history of science are addressed to
investigate how astronomy, due to its interdisciplinary aspects,
never placed itself at a unique level of historical reality, but at
the point of intersection among the different levels, and how it is
not possible to follow its development without examining the
contacts with various disciplines and with various social and
cultural environments. Moreover I worked and I'm working on
national contributes to evolution of astronomical knowledge,
investigating on Professors of Astronomy in Bologna University and,
in particular, on Domenico da Novara, teacher of Copernicus in
Bologna; on Gian Domenico Cassini, astronomer in Bologna at the
half of the 17th century; on Eustachio Manfredi, first
Director of Bologna Observatory; on Italian contributes to the
beginning of astrophysics and on Italian Astronomical Observatories
in the 18th century; finally, I work on study,
restoration and exhibition of historical instruments of Bologna
Museo della Specola.
I'm involved in the study, restoring and exhibition of the historical instruments of the Bologna Museo della Specola, as well as in reordering, digitization and online publishing of the documents from the Historical Archives of the Department of Astronomy.
Wide archival and bibliographic researches
have been made addressed to the writing of the Catalogue of Museo
della Specola, which contains a history of astronomy in Bologna and
detailed descriptions of the instruments, and to the collecting of
the biographies of Professors of Astronomy in Bologna from
12th to 20th century. The latter work served
as a starting point for further studies on individual figures and
on their influence on evolution of astronomy, so producing some
biographies on Treccani's Dizionario Biografico degli
Italiani and on Kluwer's Biographical Encyclopedia of
Among the different activities carried on and
in progress, the following can be mentioned.
A conference on the seventh centenary of the
teaching of Astronomy in Bologna, dedicated to Bartholomew of
Parma, was organized and the proceedings edited.
A wide international archival research has
been made on Domenico Maria da Novara, teacher of Copernicus,
collecting for the first time all the existing Novara's writings,
with the aim to throw a new light on the origins of Copernican
Studies on the works by Gian Domenico Cassini
have been made, on his researches in Bologna and on some
unpublished teaching manuscripts, and on Giovanni Battista
Riccioli, a Cassini's contemporary in Bologna. I was in charge of
all the activities made on occasion of the 2005-Anno
The study of the evolution of astronomical instruments in
17th-18th centuries is in progress, paying
attention to economic, social and political reasons which
favoured the technological
growth of scientific instrumentation in Europe and the decline of
the Italian school.
Themes on cultural astronomy and on ancient
cosmologies have been conducted as well.
Some of these researches have been made and are carried on in
cooperation with national and foreign colleagues.