“A galaxy of people refractory to science. But virologists be cautious”

“A galaxy of people refractory to science. But virologists be cautious”
“A galaxy of people refractory to science. But virologists be cautious”

The rationality of the science communicator never abandons it. Not even when he’s at home, away from the cameras. Piero Angela pronounces each word, selecting it carefully, with the calm but lively tone of someone who has many things to tell. And he knows exactly how to do it. “You have to be very specific, especially when it comes to sensitive topics“, observes the popular journalist, taking care that his statements are clear and not misunderstood. From the height of his 93 years, the dean of TV disclosure has a careful look at everything around him, from current events to most debated social issues. He also has a say in sexuality and relationships, he who has been married to the same woman for over 60 years, his beloved Margherita. But our conversation could only start with the topic that is most engaging the scientific community.

By now everyone has their say on Covid, but who does disclosure have always been up to their task?

“Let’s say right away that to be sure about any scientific discovery, you need to have verified it with a series of checks. The public must understand that one thing is ascertained, on which everyone agrees, but when asked to predict what will happen for a certain phenomenon no one is able to say with certainty. Therefore opinions are expressed, which must however be separated from the facts. What is known, can be demonstrated in a precise way, the rest are only hypotheses “

In unsuspecting times, she had also spoken of “oracle virologists”. In what sense?

“Scientists in debates are often provoked by journalists ‘questions. But we must make it clear that there are two different levels: that of things that are known and that of things that are still unknown. Many scientists rightly say:’ I don’t know this. , however, in my opinion … ‘. It should always be like this. Sometimes, however, it also happens that there are legitimately different opinions, which may or may not be validated by what will be discovered later “

But in this case, isn’t there a risk of generating confusion in the less equipped public?

“Yes, I understand. But then we should avoid asking the experts for their opinion”

What do you think of those who still today declare themselves no-vax?

“That’s a universe made up of different characters. There are some who are simply afraid of the vaccine and are not convinced by the scientific results. This I believe is the strong core of the no-vax and I think their reaction is similar to that of those who are afraid of the plane: it is a feeling that prevails over logical demonstrations. Then there are also people who recognize themselves in paranormal phenomena, and in my activity around the world I have known several. The problem is that these individuals they let themselves be convinced especially on the net, where messages of all kinds circulate. The trick is that, always, these messages want to make people believe that there is something hidden to reveal. ‘They didn’t tell you …’. Finally, there are people who infiltrate demonstrations only to bring violence breaker, sappers “.

Given this scenario, in your opinion, is it necessary to have a vaccination obligation?

“More than anything else I ask myself: if someone does not want to be vaccinated because they are afraid, do they go with the carabinieri to impose it on them? How do you do it?”

The pandemic, with the resulting restrictions, is often compared to a war. You have really lived the war: do you recognize yourself in this juxtaposition?

“When we were at war the conditions were much harsher. I suffered a hunger that I would have even eaten the tables. The curfew was continuous, you could not go out, and then there were the bombs. The soldiers were at the front, not the you could dance. Today there are limited things due to the pandemic, but the situation is completely different “

Another current and equally discussed issue is that of climate change. Are we really in an emergency phase?

“The speech is complex. What emerges from all the conferences on the subject, starting with the last one in Glasgow, is that things are preached but they are done only partially and very slowly. Many wonder if it is already too late. , because in reality there is no real mobilization to implement the proposed things. China itself, then, has said that it will continue to use coal. Perhaps, instead of preventing them, it is now time to face the changes, which would be however inevitable “

In history, how many times has the planet witnessed climate change?

“There have been several natural phenomena, real traumas also due to volcanoes or astronomical reasons. The Earth has gone through periods in which 90% of living species had disappeared. But man at that time was not yet there. Man has experienced very light glaciations compared to previous ones “

How do you judge the phenomenon of “cancel culture” and books banned in the name of politically correct?

“In history we have all been dominated and dominated. At this point we should take everything down, even the statues of the ancient Romans, of the emperors, of Julius Caesar … (ride, ndr). I don’t think these things can have a great extension “

Do you ever wonder what will be in the afterlife?

“I’m close to it: I’m 93, how much do I have left? But I’ve had a very rewarding life, that’s okay. But science never tries to answer things about which we don’t know anything. Science and religion are different things,” we must not mix them. Here we are in the field of opinions, of personal beliefs “

But when the planet goes extinct, can we imagine what will happen to man?

“No, it will depend too much on the circumstances. For us the problem is to live well now, but no one can predict with certainty that kind of future. There are too many variables”

Do you have any regrets?

“No, in general I have never let down the opportunities that were within my reach and achievable with commitment. I have seized them all. There are people who give up due to laziness or lack of initiative. But no, I don’t. have I ever done “.

Speaking of opportunities: 83-year-old former aviator Wally Funk went into orbit for the first time in recent months. If there was the opportunity, would you do it too?

“I spent a year in the United States to follow the Apollo space project. I asked a scholar if one day even ordinary people would be able to go to space; to his affirmative answer I asked if I could register. At the time I had already started waiting list! But it was a joke, it will never happen that they call me. But I would have liked. “

Meanwhile, on RaiPlay, he dedicated himself to explaining love and sex especially to young people. Do you think they need it?

“This program was intended to tell what science has discovered about the various aspects of love, psychological and biological. Other important aspects to be addressed were the relationship of the couple, why today couples break up more easily, and how to look for a partner. Many couples today have formed on the Internet, which is also a tool for disposable encounters. These are topics that concern young people in particular. “

Sexuality is still a taboo for many. Let’s say she tried to overcome it …

“I’ll tell you a funny episode. When I recorded the 10 episodes in the studio, the cleaning lady who worked on the staff finally approached me and said: next time, instead of going to the gynecologist, I’ll come to her. She had followed the whole program “

You have been married for 60 years. What is the secret of such a long-lasting relationship?

“Mutual respect. If one starts insulting the other, it all ends. And then understanding. Men often don’t listen to women and speak firsthand about themselves. Women, on the other hand, need someone to listen to them. So listen to them. and respect: this is the formula “

Today, however, some would like to deny that there are structural differences between men and women. We talk about gender fluidity …

“The difference is due to the fact that the woman can have children and the man cannot. But the superiority of the male, which exists in all mammals and is also given by the dimorphism, by the more powerful musculature, no longer has a value today. Today the brain counts. In the past women were in a dominant position, today they have shown that they have better results even in studies and rightly aspire to enter a career. But we also have a problem, which is a bit of my obsession: now they have more children. This is very serious and will lead to a completely unbalanced society, with social and economic consequences “

She has two children. What is your relationship with Alberto? In fact, he has already become his heir also on TV …

“It was a coincidence. He had graduated in natural sciences and did not think of doing this job. But even as a child he told his things very well, in an effective, convincing way. While he was working on other things, Swiss TV called him about a column called Albatros, which was then also bought by Telemontecarlo. Only later did he start working in Rai, although I was doubtful because I knew that someone would talk about nepotism. But in reality neither he nor I are employed in Rai. collaborators and our contract is renewed if the programs go well. Otherwise, goodbye and thanks “

Does she still give him advice every now and then?

“He is very good, I think he doesn’t need it now”

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