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April 2023

In Favor of Pure Science A Global Report by the Aspen lnstitute Science & Society Program in Collaboration Among the 13 International Partners and 1 International Initiative of the Aspen lnstitute

The Aspen Initiative in Favor of Pure Science project unites Aspen Institutes around the world in the joint objective of placing science at the core of public and private policies and of raising political and economic decision-makers’ awareness of the importance of investing in this field.
The Aspen institutes, through the presentation of the global report In Favor of Pure Science on the status of science in each institute’s country, intend to provide a composite picture of current best practices and of ongoing and future projects. To that end, each institute contributed by collecting and sharing ideas and proposals within its network (scientists, academics, researchers and representatives of economic and institutional spheres).
Our belief is that today, an important part of the Aspen mission throughout the world is to make a plea in favor of pure science as a “public good”: a plea for more public and private funding, a plea for more freedom of research, a plea for more globalized research, a plea for a more open access to pure science for minorities of all kinds.
In the medium-to-long run, this project will have the objective to make the consciousness of the importance of putting pure science at the center of public and private policies a structural element of the “enlightened leadership” at the national and, ever more importantly, at the global level, for the general wellbeing of humanity.

30 March 2023

Aspen Award 2023 – The Winning Entry

A light-activated potassium channel for neuronal inhibition. This is the study that won the eighth Aspen Institute Italia Award for collaboration and scientific research between Italy and the United States. The work is the result of collaboration between the Ion Channel Biophysics laboratory of the University of Milan Department of Biosciences, led by Anna Moroni – where Laura Alberio constructed the new protein BLINK2 – and the Neuromodulation of Cortical and Subcortical Circuits Laboratory, led by Raffaella Tonini of the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia in Genoa – where Andrea Locarno demonstrated that protein’s functionality on neuronal activity.

  • Research
  • 23 February 2023

    The public perception of Italy – US relations

    The survey, commissioned by Aspen Institute Italia and conducted by the Laboratory for Political and Social Analysis (LAPS) of the Department of Social, Political, and Cognitive Sciences (DISPOC) of the University of Siena, shows that Italian/American cohesion regarding the Ukraine conflict and its implications has withstood the test of war.

  • Research
  • 13 October 2022

    Global Report – In favor of Pure Science

    Global Report by the Aspen Institute Science & Society Program in Collaboration Among the 13 International Partners and 1 International Initiative of the Aspen Institute

    When a catastrophe like a pandemic occurs, most people, understandably, desire practical and immediate solutions. People seek a vaccine that could save lives and end the spiral of recession and poverty that is trapping all countries in the world—consequences that do not distinguish between wealthy and non-wealthy countries.

  • Research
  • 24 June 2022

    Background Document – The Way to Venice

    As the second edition of the international conference on Ethics and Artificial Intelligence approaches (June 24-25, 2022), we are pleased to attach a Background Document that provides an update on the main trends and evolutions in the field since the first edition, in September 2021. The analysis focuses on four macro themes: AI as a strategic geopolitical lever; data driven and digital enabled business models; the twin revolutions (ecological and digital); and AI regulation. This document is our way of welcoming you to the conference’s second edition. We hope it both captures the spirit of the meeting and offers meaningful insights for future study of the crucial issue of “ethics and AI”.

  • Research
  • 24 September 2021

    Report – The Way to Venice

    Over the last two centuries, our societies have experienced an industrial revolution every fifty years or so. Very recently, however, technological revolutions have become much more frequent. Today, in particular, it is estimated that a revolution in the field occurs as often as every 3-7 years. The latest – and the one still in progress – is that of artificial intelligence.

  • Research
  • 8 September 2021

    HEALTH SYSTEMS: STRENGTHENING PREPAREDNESS, Policy brief, Task Force 1 “Global Health and COVID-19”

    The COVID-19 pandemic has increased pressures on health systems across the world, exacerbating existing resource and capacity constraints. To guarantee health quality and efficiency for all, it is necessary for health systems to substantially increase their preparedness capabilities to be able to respond to crises while strengthening their core primary functions.

    January 2017

    Beyond the migration and asylum crisis. Options and lessons for Europe

    Migration and asylum policies have long been a peripheral and low-priority field in the wider domain of European politics. Since 2015, this has fundamentally changed. The dramatic shortcomings in the management of cross-Mediterranean “mixed migration” flows have triggered a politically devastating governance crisis. The reduction in arrivals brought about by the signature of a controversial deal between the EU and Turkey has temporarily assuaged the sense of emergency. But the structural weaknesses and political contradictions that caused the crisis remain unresolved. Europe’s Achilles’ heel is more exposed than ever: after the Brexit vote and Trump’s victory, migration issues are far from having exhausted their potential to generate political shocks. Future rounds of political elections in France, Germany and elsewhere might bring further evidence.
    This ebook approaches this decisive set of issues in a timely way, though not in the spirit of an “instant book”. In Part I, it provides a broad reconstruction of the deep historical roots of the current situation, followed by a critical appraisal of the key drivers in European policy responses, and by some thoughtful recommendations on possible strategic adjustments. Part II brings together the authoritative and forward-looking voices of eleven renowned scholars and experts from different geographical areas (several EU countries, but also the South and East Mediterranean and North America) and disciplinary backgrounds (from political science to sociology and international relations). Each of them adds to our understanding of the complexity of such a multi-faceted crisis. All together, they provide the reader with a rich and original orientation toolkit in a tormented landscape that is changing fast but will not disappear soon.

    December 2015

    Bordering a new Middle East

    Borders are a fundamental yet tricky issue in international politics. Despite their seemingly static nature, shifting frontiers are at the heart of many historical changes, not just through war. The Middle East and North Africa are experiencing important transitions, some of which are traumatic. In the Middle East there is a “great imbalance”: power relationships are contested and far from clear and alliances, as well as the resilience of state institutions, are tested. Such a strategic outlook is especially conducive to violent conflict. One of the transitions currently underway has to do with state borders and their practical meaning.
    The chapters of the book cover (individually on in conjunction with other countries) Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Iran, Israel, Lebanon, Libya, Palestine, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf monarchies, Syria, Turkey