2018 edition. Change.

Centuries and centuries ago Greek philosopher Heraclitus said 'Panta Rhei' ['all things flow']. The Universe we all live in dates back to 13.7 billion years; since its very beginning it has been perpetually evolving, creating galaxies, stars, planets… Stars are born, grow old and die since ever and it is from their ashes that new worlds have been arising. We are all made of stars, or, more precisely, of neutron star dusts, as gravitational waves recently revealed.

Born about 5 billion years ago from such ashes, the Earth has been incessantly changing since ever: the atmospheric chemistry undergoes dramatic changes and so do the climate and the weather. Slowly and yet inexorably the structure and the position of continents modify, mountains form and worn away. Three billion years ago life did arise on Earth and has been evolving in its manifold, complex forms. 
For millions of years different species were competing against each other to master the planet and survive while the rest was becoming extinct. Today as indeed in the past surviving is mastering the change: we all live and let live, in a constant evolution process, giving space to others, adapting to inner and external changes, investigating the universe, the society and the enviroment, trying to unveil the secrets of the world. Sometimes violent and unwieldy towards their enviroment, humans have had a remarkable impact on it and have driven radical, massive change, affecting their ecosystem and its climate severely and maybe irreparably.

New technologies drive social, cultural and intellectual innovation; knowledge and know-how, technicality and work organization, along with vision and social relations do evolve faster and faster. 
It is in fact the ‘Science & Technology’ pair that actually leads the change in our century and shapes the Global Age.

The current debate on climate modification and natural resources invites reflection on how science research and technology affect the essential relationship between the Man and the Envirorment: a true challenge envisaging risks and opportunities in an increasingly complex context.

In the EU year of Cultural Heritage we will investigate and discuss about the challenges we are to take to preserve, enhance and valorize at best such an immense, probably unequalled resource our country owns.

Along the road to inclusion, ‘Science & Technology’ help improving the life quality of people with disabilities, integrating them in the workplace, in sports and in social life. The artificial vision and the bionic eye, the latest robotics achievements, the elimination of architectural barriers and the current experimental research on artificial nervous systems and sensors are just some hints of this incredibly innovative and promising scenario.

Israel is the 2018 Guest Country: a true champion of change, for both historical and geographical reasons and a world’s leader in science research and innovation. Already remarkable in many domains, the cooperation between Israel and Italy has been recently strengthened by a new bilateral agreement granting for new important strides in the most advanced areas, from neuroscience to aerospace.

We learn from Science that, although inevitable and unstoppable, change can be oriented and driven by our own choice. To quote Socrates: “The secret of Change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new”. Personal, inner change is the most criticala s it requires a strong commitment to overcome psychological and cultural barriers in search of a renewed awareness which can make us better citizens.