The Transitions Marathon will be held on Wednesday, August 10 in Jersey to mark the Florence Astronomy Festival. There will be six entries in the programme, one of which will be led by the famous mathematician and former deputy Cedric Villani.
The Transition Marathon will take place on Wednesday, August 10 from 1pm-7pm at the Florence Cultural Center, as part of the Astronomy Festival. Six interventions by a climatologist, researcher, geographer, agronomist and mathematician, each of which will develop the fruit of his work in front of an audience for 45 minutes, followed by a question-and-answer or break. A subject expected in light of the flow of previous editions. Cedric Villani will speak at 5 p.m. on the topic of “The War of Suspicion,” and has also participated in the Science Marathon. He was kind enough to answer a few questions.
You have previously participated in the astronomy festival, what do you think?
The Florence Festival has established itself on the national scene as the most important festival for the dissemination of science. It’s the 32nd edition, and with longevity, almost everyone who has really invested in spreading the flag in France has been at the festival at one time or another. This is the reference. As for the flag marathon, it’s a symbolic moment, something very powerful in what a flag should be.
What is marathon transformations?
It is in tune with the times, it is over, and we consider the fact that among all the wonderful scientific questions of our time, one that dominates, and that is the environmental question. Because it is a question about the organization of the whole of society, and beyond: humans in relation to biology, and the environment in general. It is a perfectly natural progression, but here, there is something so important, so complex, so crucial that it should be given a special place.
What will your interventions consist of?
On the one hand, I have a presentation that aligns well with my mathematics course, with the idea of proofs and explanations, and on the other hand a presentation that talks about the interaction between science and politics, and more specifically about the process for harnessing science to resist environmental progress. Beginning with Oreskes and Conway’s bestselling book “The Merchants of Doubt,” I will mix quotations from the literature on the subject with my own experience that I may have in parliamentary political affairs. This is an offer that I couldn’t have made a couple of years ago simply because I haven’t yet had that kind of practice. To touch the moments when political maneuvering arrives to arouse suspicion, not to oppose science but to try to create an aberration, to use science against science. I will also mention one of the great recent environmental films: Goliath. There is really meticulous work, and absolutely wonderful honesty.