Conservation and valorization of scientific instruments

A.Y. 2021/2022
Overall hours
Learning objectives
The aim of this course is to provide students with the basic knowledge related to the main aspects of conservation and valorisation of scientific instruments: history of various kinds of instruments, their functioning, their constitutive materials, main conservation problems, valorisation in museum or in other cultural contexts.
Expected learning outcomes
For the main kinds of scientific instruments: identification of their categories; description of how they work and can be used; historical importance; knowledge of the main problems about their conservation; knowledge of eventual activities of valorisation.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
Second semester
Lessons will be given in the classroom and online with synchronous mode in zoom virtual classrooms in the event of a health emergency. The virtual classrooms will be indicated on Ariel. Visits to museum might be suspended.
Course syllabus
The course will first focus on an introduction to the history and development of scientific instrumentation over the centuries, with particular reference to the role of instrumentation in the development of scientific thought and with some insights into the role of scientific instrumentation in the more general path of the history of man, from ancient times to today (for example the Enigma machine in World War II).
The course will therefore deal with providing a general picture of the types of scientific instrumentation, their action (expansion of the senses, measurement, representation, registration, model, replication) and location (research institutions and universities, museums, schools, private collections, ...). It will therefore develop the elements of safeguarding and conservation: identification, recovery, inventory, cataloging, acquisition, storage, conservative and functional restoration, with attention to the peculiarities, criticalities and methodologies currently in use at national and international level.
A section of the course will be dedicated to the various actions to enhance scientific instrumentation, which include traditional and unconventional methodologies, and to their scientific and cultural framework, with attention to contents and methodologies: scientific and popular publications of various types, museum exhibition, exhibitions, itineraries, scientific workshops and workshops for the general public, festivals, web, theatrical performances, videos and cinema.
During the course some case-studies will be treated, with an appropriate historical-scientific framework, of very well known and lesser known instruments.
Finally, we will focus on the professions connected to the conservation, safeguarding and enhancement of scientific instrumentation.
Visits to museums, collections and collections as well as laboratories in the sector and the possibility of meeting with various professionals in the sector are an integral part of the course.
Prerequisites for admission
There are no prerequisits.
Teaching methods
Frontal lessons in the classroom. Towards the end of the lessons, some visits to science museums are organized.
Attendance at lessons is strongly recommended.
Teaching Resources
The teaching material will be available on Ariel.
Assessment methods and Criteria
The exam is oral and consists of two parts:
1) three general questions with concise answers.
2) oral presentation in a maximum of thirty minutes of an in-depth resource, agreed with the teachers, on a topic chosen by the student. By resource we mean: a text, a catalog, an online collection, an audiovisual or scientific show. A written presentation including a summary (about 300 characters including spaces) and a text of 1/2 pages (between 2,000 and 4,000 characters, spaces included) must be delivered (via e-mail) one week before the exam) from which the salient features of the in-depth analysis carried out are deduced.
Score: the two parts of the exam compete equally in the final mark expressed out of thirty points.
FIS/07 - APPLIED PHYSICS - University credits: 6
Lessons: 48 hours
Professor: Gariboldi Leonardo