Category Archives: 2019/1


This issue of Formamente, published near the days of Apollo 11 anniversary, 50 years after Armstrong’s venture to the moon, underlines the technological boost triggered by space missions, affecting almost all fields of knowledge and society.

In the Research section The metropolitan question in Italy is an emblematic case of a project that makes academic training interact with local social-economic realities and intermodal transportation. The evolution of the metropolitan city seems to be a problem concerning solely political relations between the central and peripheral authorities. However, it implements, according to 2014-2016 Cohesion Policy and 2016 Urban Agenda, a program that puts in relation all the actors involved in the knowledge of metropolitan economy that is characterized by dynamic transport technologies e.g.: airports, tram tracks, high speed, local and regional traffic.

In the Applications section, the paper The cyber security impacts on geopolitics tackles the cyber issue and especially how this is turning into a gradually more severe threat for nations, enterprises and citizens, on a daily basis. During the Cold War, in the 50’s, only a few countries had the economic and technological resources to increase their cyber warfare capabilities. Nowadays, a growing number of countries have offensive cyber technology and can likewise buy malicious software.

In the same section, there is another contribution, almost complementary to the latter, in terms of threatening political scenario they both deal with. In this, the transversal and interdisciplinary teaching approach, according to which different authoritarianisms and totalitarianisms of the 20th are addressed, is quite valuable.

The Highlights section hosts recent publications and conferences. It is an invitation to read that goes from Epistemic Game Theory and Logic to Creativity, and from the disorder deriving from a bad use of technology in Internet Mobile Phone addiction to the selection of Good practices in honors education.

Homage to Neil Armstrong

50th Anniversary of Apollo 11 Moon Landing

Fifty years ago on July 20th, the American astronaut Neil Armstrong
– b. August 5, 1930, Wapakoneta – d. August 25, 2012, Cincinnati –
was the first man to land on the Moon, along with his colleague Edwin Aldrin.

As he stepped out of the ship, he said with great emotion:

”That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind”.

The dream of Icarus came true: a new scientific era had just begun.

The metropolitan question in Italy

ABSTRACT. Starting from the nineties of the twentieth century, in Italy, the first specific tools have been developed to guarantee territorial agreements, in order to deal with the issue of local autonomies and to set the metropolitan areas, by the law 142 of 1990. In 2014, the most recent ‘Delrio’ Reform tried to list the categories of the metropolitan cities in order to build links and balances between central and local authorities. An effort that has gone hand in hand with that made by the European Union in the field of urban development and which found the principles of a collaborative and integrated Community policy in the 2014-20 Cohesion Policy and in the 2016 EU Urban Agenda for the implementation of a transformed metropolitan area, including various urban frames, namely the most marginal ones.

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The intertextuality in Latin epic poetry

ABSTRACT. This paper analyzes the use of digital resources in the Latin poetry study. The first part will examine the explanation of intertextuality applied in the studies of Latin epic poems, with a specific reading of the epic De Raptu Proserpinae of Claudius Claudianus (c. 370 – c. 404 AD). In the second section, I propose an example of the use of informatic tools for the research of the intertextual literary links between De Raptu Proserpinae and Achilleid of Publius Papinius Statius (1st century AD). The conclusions reflect on the new technologies that today can potentially facilitate the process of codification and representation of the sources of the ancient classical literature.

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Segregation, Stereotypes, and STEM

ABSTRACT. Scientific, technical, engineering, and mathematical (STEM) occupations are strongholds of gender segregation in the contemporary United States. While many Americans regard this segregation as natural and inevitable, closer examination reveals a great deal of variability in the gendering of STEM fields across time, space, and demographic groups. This article assesses how different theoretical accounts accord with the available evidence on the gender composition of scientific and technical fields. We find most support for accounts that allow for a dynamic interplay between individual-level traits and the broader sociocultural environments in which they develop. The existing evidence suggests, in particular, that Western cultural stereotypes about the nature of STEM work and STEM workers and about the intrinsic qualities of men and women can be powerful drivers of individual aptitudes, aspirations, and affinities. We offer an illustrative catalog of stereotypes that support women’s STEM-avoidance and men’s STEM-affinity, and we conclude with some thoughts on policy implications.

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The cybersecurity impacts on geopolitics

ABSTRACT. Cyber is the battlefield that nations, enterprises and citizens need to face in the next years. New paradigms and new threats are growing daily. During the cold war only a limited number of countries had the economic and technology capacity to build “weapons” to impose their role.The United States invented the internet, but the future of cyberspace and its leader is not yet defined. Now 29 countries have units able to provide offensive operations through cyber techniques and 49 have purchased malwares. The global connection and nature of internet, that provide itself instrument to hide who is behind an attack and determine whom to punish, will leave several questions open. This paper tries to provide an overview of these issues leaving some questions open to government and institutions.

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The world-systemic dynamics of knowledge production

ABSTRACT. This paper expands the framework of the Bourdieusian field theory using a world-system theoretical perspective to analyze the global system of social sciences, or what might be called the world-system of knowledge production. The analysis deals with the main agents of the world-system of social sciences, and it also investigates the core-like and periphery-like processes of the system. Our findings affirm that a very characteristic center-periphery structure exists in global social sciences, with a few hegemonic countries and distinctly peripheral world regions. Our analysis not just presents empirical data on power structures in global social sciences but it also offers meaningful typologies for analysis of the roles different world regions play in maintaining the world-system of global knowledge production. The paper also proposes a three-dimensional model by which both geographical and social/institutional center-periphery relations may be analyzed.

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Authoritarianism and totalitarianism – A case study of multimedia and interdisciplinary teaching

ABSTRACT. The purpose of this contribution is to present a highly significant case study where the operating methods and the finalities of a multimedia and interdisciplinary education path have been shown. It was necessary that the teaching staff and technicians at the Università degli Studi Guglielmo Marconi work in synergy to rise up to the challenge of the modern techno-didactics, in particular with the selection and application of digital and visual technologies that are especially effective for teaching in the humanistic and history of art field.

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Good practices in honors education

In the Special Issue entitled Good Practices in Honors Education, “The Journal of the European Honors Council” devoted its first number of the third volume to the pivotal topic of education, and in particular to its practices and honors programs in higher learning. The issue’s aim is aligned with EHC’s purposes. In fact, they both express a collaborative view about education, which is able to foster students’ professional development, and more generally, to share knowledge about these applications in order to support, inspire and inform all the actors involved in honors. Maarten Hogenstijn, Coordinating Editor JEHC, introduces us to the reading of nine examples of good practices, with a view to encouraging a mutual sharing of knowledge among different countries.
We are pleased to publish, for divulgation purposes, the Introduction to this Issue and sincerely thank the author for allowing us to reprint it (Note of the Italian Editor).

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Internet and mobile phone addiction

“The International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health” published, between 2017 and 2018, a series of articles about current issues of great relevance, such as Commuting, Life-Satisfaction and Internet Addiction, Problematic Smartphone Use: Investigating Contemporary Experiences Using a Convergent Design or A Phenotype Classification of Internet Use Disorder in a Large-Scale High-School Study. Olatz Lopez-Fernandez, Special Issue Editor, gathered such contributions, 20 articles, in a recently published Special Issue entitled: Internet and Mobile Phone Addiction Health and Educational Effects.
We are pleased to publish, for divulgation purposes, the Preface to the book and sincerely thank the author for allowing us to reprint it (Note of the Italian Editor).

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Epistemic game theory and logic

“Games” (ISSN 2073-4336), an academic peer-reviewed publication by MDPI, is
an international open access journal that is devoted to topics like, game theory,
strategic interaction and decision making.
Paul Weirich, University of Missouri USA, edited the Printed Edition of the Special
Issue Epistemic Game Theory and Logic, a collection of papers published online on
MDPI between 2016 and 2017. The issue is divided into four sections: Economics,
Computer Science, Philosophy and Psychology.
We are pleased to publish, for divulgation purposes, the preface to the Special Issue
and sincerely thank the author for allowing us to reprint it (Note of the Italian Editor).

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Creativity – Conference at Università degli Studi Guglielmo Marconi

Creativity is the art, the ability and the cognitive faculty of the mind to create and invent: to represent a forma mentis that takes on a particularly significant function in relation to our cognitive processes, such as intuition, perception, analogical thinking, simulation, integration of ideas, research in the context of a structured problem, reflection, personal reworking, critical thinking. Creativity involves not only the cognitive and meta-cognitive profile, but also the affective-motivational horizon of our subjectivity, represented by feelings, needs, emotions, impulses, interests, passions, desires. Everyone is a universe in which “unknown inner strengths sleep in the shadow like kings never born”.

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