In the April 1965, three directors of CNR (the Italian National Research Council) Laboratories in Naples and twoProfessors at the University of Naples issued to the press the first project for an “Area della Ricerca” (AdR – amultidisciplinary R&D establishment) to be created in Naples. The AdR was conceived as an interdisciplinary researchfacility with the double aim of fostering communication among researchers in different scientific domains (namelymolecular biology, cybernetics and polymer chemistry) and of promoting the development of and the interactionbetween basic research and industrial production.Within a larger governmental project of urbanisation and industrialisation in the Southern regions, the AdR embodied atwo-fold ambition. On one side, it was meant to facilitate the development of relatively new disciplines whoseorganisational needs sharply contrasted with the traditional academic establishment. At the same time, it aimed atmaking the city of Naples the “scientific capital” of the Country, as well as an innovative model of economic and socialdevelopment, based on capital- and research-intensive, rather than labour-intensive, enterprises.The project gained momentum in the years 1966-1967, thanks to the interest shown by some of multinational enterprises(most notably Texas Instruments and Mobil Oil) and the University of California at Berkeley (through an agreement forthe founding of an international PhD program in Molecular Biology). Also the Italian Government and the City Councilof Naples strongly supported the initiative.Despite the wide public appraisals, however, the realisation of the AdR proved an impossible task, and the project wasfinally abandoned in 1970. The reasons of its failure are manifold. The AdR firstly clashed with the opposition of mostof the Neapolitan Academia, which feared the competition of an international and well-endowed research centre.Secondly, political and bureaucratic forces contrasted the project on ideological grounds. The final blow, however, wascast by the student and worker’s movements in 1968-1969, pointing at the AdR as the expression of the capitalisticmodel of development they were fighting against.By analysing the brief life of this attempt at creating an innovative techno-industrial vocation for the city of Naples, wewill tackle a number of key issues in the relations among science, economics and politics in the shaping of an urbanenvironment (or, better, as it was said at the time, in “defining the vocation of a city”), such as the tensions between localinitiatives and grand central interventions, between opposing views of science (a pure endeavour vs. an advanced modeof capitalism) and between contrasting concepts of social and urban development (the utopia of “scientific capital” vs.the industrial city as the locus for social conflict).
|Titolo:||An Ivory Tower Downtown: The Rise and Fall of the “Area per la Ricerca” in Naples (1965-1970)|
|Anno del prodotto:||2009|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||4.2 Abstract in Atti di convegno|