the first European festival on creativity

2014 Programme

Event #38

Amedeo Balbi, Antonio Pascale

Matter and Freedom: A Dialogue on Free Will

A writer in crisis, Antonio Pascale, and an astrophysicist enthralled by the wonders of the universe, Amedeo Balbi, discuss the topic of determinism and free will in a performance-encounter. Are the characters that a writer wants to put down on the blank page free, or are they subject to the laws of physics? Can their actions be described and calculated by equations? And if everything that takes place in nature, including the nervous impulses in the synapses and the deliberation of our mind, is determined by a chain of causes that goes all the way back to the Big Bang, where does our feeling of being free and of being able to change the future come from? By means of a philosophical, ironic and popular dialogue, Pascale and Balbi will try to provide some food for thought, in an attempt to sum up what we have until now understood about the link between mind, matter and freedom. 


Amedeo Balbi

astrophysicist and researcher at the Department of Physics, Università di Roma Tor Vergata. The author of more than 90 publications in international scientific journals, in the past, among other things, he has worked at the University of California at Berkeley with Nobel Prize winner George Smoot. Working for years on the front of scientific dissemination, he has his own blog (, he contributes to newspapers, periodicals, radio and TV, and he has written several books, the most recent of which is entitled Cercatori di meraviglia (Rizzoli, 2014).

Antonio Pascale

is a writer, essayist, playwright. His novels include: La città distratta, La manutenzione degli affetti, Passa la bellezza e Le attenuanti sentimentali, all published by Einaudi. His non-fiction includes: Scienza e sentimento (Einaudi), Questo è il paese che non amo (minimum fax), Democrazia cosa può fare uno scrittore (Codice). He contributes to Corriere della Sera, Il Messaggero, Il Mattino, Le Scienze and Limes. He has authored, with Amedeo Balbi, Dal Big Bang alla civiltà in sei immagini.

All theevents2014


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Elena Riva

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Marco Belpoliti

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Event #38

Amedeo Balbi, Antonio Pascale

Matter and Freedom: A Dialogue on Free Will

Event #39

Alessandro Barbero

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Daniele Novara

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