Centro Linceo

The Centro Linceo Interdisciplinare was established on June 16, 1971 in order to stand  as a landmark for scholars promoting the interaction between disciplines. Thanks to the organisation of conferences, seminars and roundtables and the endeavours of seconded professors and research fellows, the activities of the Centre have been steadily developing and specialising. Today, they focus on the following research topics: biological evolution, interdisciplinary approach and models, mathematics, physics, Humanities computing, cultural heritage conservation.

Over the years, the relationship between Computer Science, as a discipline that studies information processing, and the Humanities has earned particular relevance, with multiple and fruitful benefits for both fields. A considerable effort has been made to objectively evaluate the methodological ratio between the two areas, without mixing up practical impact and proper scientific research. By perusing the titles of the books published in the series Contributi del Centro Linceo Interdisciplinare, one can follow the evolution of the themes promoted in Humanities Computing that in the 1990s resulted in the theoretical reflection on data integration and formalisation.

Since the late 1970s, with the pioneer conferences of Amilcare Bietti, archaeology turned out to be a subject of particular interest by way of its interaction with mathematical and statistical methods and information technology. In the 1980s, the interest was mainly centred on the classification of archaeological objects, such as Etruscan mirrors and Attic black-figure pottery. In addition, cultural heritage conservation gained the early attention of the Centre that, after the first conference dedicated to archaeometric research, convened in 1990 a symposium on the dissemination of scientific methods for the study, conservation and restoration of works of art in Italy. Attention was long-sightedly paid also to collective responsibility towards cultural heritage and its natural and historic environment.

Building on the seminal attention to the inherently interdisciplinary nature of scientific research, the Centre has recently developed the study of models, not only as an application of mathematics, but also as a method for the computational analysis of social issues. Actually, the role of modelling in archaeological research has always been the pivot of a fruitful discussion, from Bietti’s early contributions to the conference dedicated to the role of information technology in the relationship between archaeology, theoretical models and practical conduct of research, up to the recent François Djindjian’s notes on mathematical models, conceived as vehicles of knowledge and innovation for archaeology.

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