APPEAL FOR CULTURE AND RESEARCH IN SOUTHERN ITALY
present trend, affecting even the ruling class, to underrate the important role
of culture and research risks to produce many bad consequences in the future of
our country. The most advanced and industrial nations grant a lot of resources
to research, and above all to basic research, that is not directly related to
practical applications, but it's decisive in the long term. Besides, it allows
to acquire competences that cannot be achieved in a short time and that can be
very important for the flourishing, the development and the independence itself
of the Country: pursuing its current way, as for what concerns the technological
influence of basic research, Italy is meant to become more and more tributary
to foreign Countries, with serious repercussions on the industrial system.
to the most recent economic theories, it appears obvious that the industrial societies,
based on the couple raw materials/workmanship, will be based on the alternative
pair knowledge/work, and depend on the continuous development of research.
Bernardini has asserted that: "the cultural value of scientific research
and its formative character (of the high-end specialization levels of competence)
have to be recognized by the State as a permanent common heritage, and object
of long-term investments and promotion".
Wealth and progress of a Country
are more and more dependent on the research's guidelines and wide-ranging support
in the field of humanistic and scientific culture. The true wealth of nations
is Intelligence. Encouraging and promoting the intelligence of the new generations
represent more and more the decisive factor of progress for the Peoples. If it
is true that public life must constantly be recalled to the highest values of
justice and education, considering them irremissible necessities, the same thing
has to be applied to culture and research. A worthy ruling class should always
keep in mind the warning pronounced by Erasmus, who stated that investing in culture
is the secret of the shrewdest societies, whose wealth cannot be satisfied with
the cash gold of coins.
It is difficult that a nation could save itself if
its fresher and generous forces are not brought up in the light of intelligence,
knowledge, and culture.
By the word "research" we don't refer just
to a naturalistic kind of study. It is more and more necessary to get a unitary
vision of culture that involves both naturalistic and humanistic research: all
scholars are constructors of science. Besides, it needs to point out that research
in humanistic disciplines, which involves the lowest costs, is necessary in order
to define the cultural and methodological premises for all kinds of research.
Research is not only the acquisition of brand new data but also the constant care
of the products of human talent that include both the works of men and the image
of the physical world within which men construct their history.
In a strategic
perspective based on a long-term outlook, the very life of a country, of its institutions
and citizens, gains new strenght and its universities, schools, enterprises, professions
can flourish if science and culture are enabled to play their irremissible guiding
role. Young people must be put in a position suitable to benefit from the national
and international cultural heritage, to exchange experiences at a high level,
and deal, confidently and safely, with the questions of contemporary research.
For its own wealth, its future, the national community, in its most organized
form, the State, must be far-sighted and support by every means, as an essential
factor of civilization and not as superfluous luxury, the worthier forms of science
and culture, both those cultivated in the institutions, and those that often develop,
among huge difficulties, within the Civil Society.
In order to measure the
disproportion in the distribution of resources destined to research between Centre
North and South Italy, it is necessary to remember the content of the Report produced
by the National Commission for Southern Italy, addressed to the Ministry for Research,
in which it is asserted that in Southern Italy, out of 100,000 inhabitants, there
are just 35 working researchers, against 243 in Centre-Northern Italy, with a
ratio of 1/7. It is also necessary to pay attention to the considerations contained
in the Report about the perspectives that are opened according to those data:
"If, for example, within 10 years, we would increase the amount of resources
affected to research from the current 1.45% of GNP to 2.5% or 3%, it should be
necessary to increase them by 5.6% per year and 7.5% in real terms. In this scenario,
if we would change the current disproportion between the areas of the country
(93% to Centre and North and 7% to the South) to get a ratio of respectively 70%
and 30%, we should concentrate in the South almost the whole increment of resources,
and the yearly increase would have to be equal to 3% in Centre and Northern areas
and 23% in the South".
The strong development of humanistic and scientific
culture could be the fundament of a new, modern and flourishing South. As a matter
of fact, the problems of the South have not been resolved, on the contrary they
have been, in the last decades of the Republic, increased because of the "monoculture"
of public works, that has often produced corruption and serious waste of money.
Besides, the continuous passing of acts in derogation of the existing laws about
public accountancy causes heavy burdens to national revenues.
A strong development
of culture and research in Southern Italy is moreover essential in order to give
Southern Italy a role and an important and specialized function in the European
integration process. The mentioned Report of the National Commission for the South
has pointed out that: "the Mediterranean Arab and African world would not
connect to the scientific system of Southern Europe if it were not of quality:
it would skip it. The choice of its specific vocations, as it could be the holding
of a new role in the Mediterranean area, is therefore connected to the quality
standard of the system itself and its ability to link to Europe ".
to these assertions, to preserve the Southern regions and prepare a European intellectual
class, a deep turning in favour of culture and scientific research represents
an irremissible necessity in Southern Italy, where the creative work has not seen
any interruption and a lively sense of history has referred to its memory of the
past to understand the present times and define future trends in a constant cooperation
in the unity of the Italian nation that was formed in the course of an agelong
historical process in which the South has been involved thanks to its contributions
in terms of thought and action. The civilization of Southern Italy and its great
islands is the civilization of the whole nation, in whose civil heritage some
differences can be recognized, but it is impossible to perform antihistorical
Therefore we call upon the President of the Republic, the Prime
Minister and the Parliament to give a strong signal in the demanded direction,
before the passing of the next financial act.
Naples, March 13th