Incontri : Activities for the 50th Anniversary of ISES
Italian activities in preparation for the
50th Anniversary of ISES and beyond
by Cesare Silvi
Solar Energy History Group (GSES)
and Vice President ISES ITALIA
Dear Friends and Colleagues,
It is a great pleasure to be back in Mexico on the occasion of the ISES Latin America Regional Conference in Guanajuato and to participate in the ISES History workshop. However, as you can see, I am not back in person, as I was at the ISES Millennium Solar Forum in the year 2000.
In the year 2000 with Roberto Best and the organizers of the Millennium Forum, we held a workshop on "Solar Culture, History and Art." The aim was to bring to ISES new approaches in promoting solar energy.
Also the participation at the workshop was ensured in a new way. Four out of nine speakers at the workshop (Roberto Best, Cesare Silvi, Enrique Estrada, John Perlin *, John Duffie *, Jesus Galindo, Madanjeet Singh *, Juan Antonio Diaz Infante, Thomas Lindsey *) participated remotely (*).
I wanted to remind you all of this experience because many seeds of the ISES History projects that are being reviewed at this workshop were planted in Mexico during the Solar Millennium, including the possibility of remote participation. I am glad that I could make it!
In my power point presentation I wish to provide you with some information regarding activities in Italy on the History of solar energy use.
Interest in history started within ISES ITALIA in 1992, when a contemporary solar art exhibition was organized in one of the most prestigious and monumental complex in the heart of Imperial Rome, the Trajan’s Markets. This interest resurfaced in view of the Millennium Solar Forum and became a growing commitment when we started to prepare ourselves for the 50 th Anniversary of ISES.
Last summer, members and former members from ISES ITALIA and ISES as well as from Italian Scientific and Cultural Societies, Associations, Foundations, such as the Italian Society for the Progress of Science and Fondazione Micheletti, decided to create a "Solar Energy History Group" (GSES, www.gses.it).
GSES was created to promote in a more effective way the Italian participation in the ISES History Projects and to plan various activities, to be continued after ISES 2005. A brief summary of those activities is given in my power point presentation.
GSES has already held various meetings. For example, last May it organized in Rome a workshop on "Solar Energy and the Built Environment in Ancient Mediterranean Civilizations." This workshop was attended by archeologists and other specialists interested in looking at archeological sites from a new perspective - thinking of the energy use in the past.
Another example is a traveling exhibition, "L'Energia solare dal passato al futuro, Solar energy from the past to the future." This exhibition is being proposed to local communities in Italy to stimulate interest in the history of the use of solar energy, from the antiquity to today, and in envisioning a solar future.
Examples of various activities are also given. Collection and organization of archives and pictures of solar pioneers, solar machines and systems, solar ancient architectural complexes, like archeological remains of Baths in Rome.
The most recent event promoted by GSES was a conference held on November 3, on the occasion of the Science Festival in Genoa titled: "Can we learn about our solar future from the history of solar energy use?" At the workshop Sergio Los (former member of ISES and of ISES ITALY) spoke about ancient Mediterranean solar cities, Giorgio Nebbia (Director of SES 1969/1970, solar pioneer in the 1950’s and former member of ISES and of ISES ITALY) spoke about archives and history of Solar energy, Pier Paolo Poggio (Director of Brescia’s Museum on Industrialization) presented a project about a solar energy museum in Brescia. I spoke about GSES activities and programs, and past and future of solar energy.
As you can see from this brief overview, ISES History Projects initiated various activities in Italy, which are expected to be continued after ISES2005.
We look forward to cooperating with other solar energy history groups around the world and to building a common vision about a solar future founded on lessons from the past.
Thank you for listening and thank you for allowing me to participate from far.