the first European festival on creativity

2011 Programme

Evento n.4

Edoardo Boncinelli

What is life? Can artificial life exist?

U.S. scientist Craig Venter recently announced that he has built artificial life. What he has done is inserting DNA that was artificially produced from scratch based on a sequence stored in a computer, into a very simple bacteria. He then observed how this bacteria changed into a being that had never existed before. So this life form is new and unprecedented—but is it artificial life? Before we answer the question we need to ask what life is in its essence. Prof. Boncinelli proposes a definition of life and its fundamental components—matter, energy and information. What dominates in living beings is information, that is, the ordering and controlling what happens in them. In this perspective, what Venter created can truly be called artificial life.


Edoardo Boncinelli

trained as a physicist and head of prestigious research institutes, he is committed to studying and teaching genetics and molecular biology. He contributes to Corriere della Sera and to Le Scienze. His writings include: Prima lezione di biologia (Editori Laterza, 2007); I nostri geni (Einaudi, 2008); L’etica della vita (2008), Perché non possiamo non dirci darwinisti (2009), Lo scimmione intelligente (con G. Giorello, 2009), Lettera a un bambino che vivrà 100 anni (2010), La scienza non ha bisogno di Dio (2012), Quel che resta dell’anima (2012) all for Rizzoli; Mi ritorno in mente (Longanesi, 2010); Come nascono le idee (2008) and La vita della nostra mente (2011), for the series «i Libri del Festival della Mente» published by Editori Laterza; Vita (Bollati Boringhieri, 2013). 

All theevents2011


Evento n.1

Chiara Saraceno

Too much inequality hinders everyone’s well-being

Evento n.2

Giuseppe Penone, Sergio Risaliti

Flowing in time like a river pebble

Evento n.3

Kinds of lies

Evento n.4

Edoardo Boncinelli

What is life? Can artificial life exist?

Evento n.6

Zygmunt Bauman

Reflections on the notions of community and network, on social networks and Facebook

Evento n.7

Alessandro Barbero

How did Middle Ages men think? The friar

Evento n.8

Francesco Piccolo

How to write a screenplay

Evento n.10

Maurizio Bettini

Mythological forms of memory in ancient Greece and Rome

Evento n.11

Almudena Grandes, Ranieri Polese

History from the viewpoint of women

Evento n.12

Adriano Prosperi

Crime and forgiveness

Evento n.14

Gian Carlo Calza

Different, eccentric, extraordinary: aesthetics and creativity between Asia and the West

Evento n.16

Marco Belpoliti

As you have seen it on tv

Evento n.17

Salvatore Veca

On philosophical imagination

Evento n.18

Vittorio Gregotti

City, metropolis and urban design

Evento n.19

Enzo Bianchi

Paths of humanization

Evento n.20

Patrizia Cavalli

Poetry knows everything first

Evento n.21

Edoardo Boncinelli

What is life? Life is communication

Evento n.23

Silvio Orlando

Diderot, Rameau and other paradoxes

Evento n.24

Alessandro Barbero

How did Middle Ages men think? The merchant

Evento n.26

Franco Borgogno

In other people’s hearts and minds. A psychoanalyst between tradition and creativity

Evento n.27

Giuseppe Bertolucci, Emanuele Trevi

In words and pictures: cinema and literature

Evento n.28

Michela Marzano

Mind and body: anorexia, or the enigma of desire

Evento n.29

Alfonso Berardinelli

Intellectual types, styles and powers

Evento n.30

Luca Scarlini

The power of images, the images of power

Evento n.31

Felice Cimatti

Mind, communication and language in animals, including Homo sapiens

Evento n.32

Gianpiero Dalla Zuanna

Regretting the families of yesteryear?

Evento n.33

Alberto Manguel

The Muse of impossibility

Evento N.34

Ennio Peres

Mathematics is the game of life

Evento N.35

Luce Irigaray

Saving human energy. Breathing: a source of universal sharing

Evento n.36

Edoardo Boncinelli

What is life? Life yesterday, today and tomorrow

Evento n.37

Sonia Bergamasco, Fabrizio Gifuni

A quiet sunny day. Attilio Bertolucci and Pier Paolo Pasolini, a friendship in verse

Evento n.39

Alessandro Barbero

How did Middle Ages men think? The knight

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