The VAST project organises a series of webinars in the following dates

1. Thursday 12 October @12:30 CEST – Conversing on Cosmic Shore. Kepler’s Dissertatio cum nuncio sidereo and the rise of modern science (in Italian) | Organising partner: University of Milan

The video from the webinar is available to watch here.

Webinar info: When Galileo published the Sidereus Nuncius in March 1610, what he claimed to have discovered with an improved telescope seemed too incredible to be true. Mountains on the Moon. New planets orbiting around Jupiter. A plethora of stars never before seen. All these were things so surprising, bizarre, unheard of, and unlooked for that they were hard to believe. Could Galileo be trusted? After all, he was a relatively unknown professor of Mathematics at the University of Padua with a limited publication record. In 1611, Jesuit Cardinal Roberto Bellarmino, consultor to the Holy Office, asked famed astronomer Christoph Clavius and his colleagues at the Collegio Romano. They answered in the affirmative: Galileo had been at the Collegio with his telescope, and the Jesuit astronomers had seen with their own eyes what he saw. Johannes Kepler, court astronomer to Emperor Rudolf II, who was also asked for an opinion, did not wait to get his hands on one of Galileo’s telescopes. As soon as he was done reading the Sidereus Nuncius, he sat down at his desk and wrote a lengthy open letter to Galileowhich was published in Prague in early May 1610 with the title Dissertatio cum nuncio sidereo.
The Dissertatio can be considered one of the earliest examples of scientific essay review. Refraining from the traditional models of reviewing literary works – the adversus, the apologia, the commentarius – Kepler sets out to start a “conversation” with Galileo’s Sidereus Nuncius, pointing out squarely its merits but also, when appropriate, its failings. In doing so, he touches upon some of the key features of the rising new science: the dismissal of the authority principle; the nature of operative and instrumental knowledge; the relationships between speculation and experimentation; the need for dialogue, cooperation, and a new attitude towards the past; the redefinition of the role and status of concepts such as evidence, objectivity, demonstrability, and truth itself. All these themes, which were implicit in Galileo’s Sidereus Nuncius, are brought to the foreground and discussed in Kepler’s Dissertatio, making the latter work an invaluable resource to understand how modern science was born, the problems it faced, and the issues it posed.

2. Saturday 14 October @16:30 CEST – Using fairytales as a tool for children therapy (in Greek)| Organising partner: FTM

The video from the webinar is available to watch here. 

Webinar info: Why is it that children don’t listen to us? How can we handle sibling rivalry? How do we talk about the phenomenon of violence, the value of self-respect and respect for others, success and failure, courage and kindness, friendship, diversity, and all these qualities that children need to develop in their lifetime during complex and chaotic times? Using myths and fairy tales, as a tool, we can influence behaviours and beliefs so that children can become more functional. Through the realms of the imagination, children can approach and process their own personal stories through the experiences of their favorite heroes. They can find the space, the time, and, most importantly, the freedom to discover through their own adventure the hero, the traveller, the wise one… to develop themselves and find their way to deal with arising problems and discover their solution… to find their way to living better, just as they do in fairy tales!

3. Thursday 19 Oct @15:30 CEST – Communicating values through Ancient Drama: the case of Sophocles’ Antigone | Organising partner: FESTIVAL

The video from the webinar is available to watch here. 

4. Tuesday 31 October @15:00 CEST – How the past becomes present in theatre performance. The role of spectator’s theatrical memory. | Organising partner: NKUA

The video from the webinar is available to watch here.

Webinar info: If the ancient Greek drama contains such a value and its effect to the formation of the modern international theatre is so determinative, this is not only because of the wide range and the quality of its intertemporal values and universal messages, neither because its aesthetic thoroughness that make it a representative sample of a “classical” literary text. It is also equally (and maybe more) because of its stage representation as a live spectacle of a complex artistic creation, within which the main goal is accomplished: i.e., its reception as an experiential reality by the spectators that are present at a special venue and time and participate in the action taking place on the stage, in order to realize their educational and entertaining psycho-cathartic communication of the performance The “past” of the values included in the plays, is enclosed in the live spectacle of the message presented on the stage and is re-signified as the “present” of the tragic text .In this sense, tragedy may equally function for the modern people in any part of the world, with any personal or collective educational experience, regardless of the special terms and conditions of “reception”.
The theatrical performance can become a ceremony of remembering and reproducing the past, an act of collecting and gluing together its elements, with which at the same time an attempt is made to impose an interpretation of the past and to shape the consciousness of the viewer and through them to design” a cultural identity.” This identity includes the set of aesthetic and artistic experiences that have been registered in the collective consciousness of the group and directly and indirectly shape the image that each spectator individually forms of the (theatrical) past .Because the mechanisms of creating the stereotypes and shaping the common perceptions operate in the theatre, as a complex form of art and a social phenomenon with an interactive character, the mnemonic recording of the past in the consciousness of the society, affects (consciously or not) the point of view that the particular viewer can utter.

5. Thursday 2 November @15:30 CET – Promoting values through education: presentation of the VAST Handbook | Organising partner: NCSR-D/IMSS/FTM

The video from the webinar is available to watch here.

How are (moral) values communicated nowadays and what should be our role as educators/museum curators to communicate them?

Webinar info: VAST project envisions to study the dissemination of the (moral) values (such as freedom, democracy, equality, tolerance, dialogue, human dignity, the rule of law) in space and time through the use of digitized materials and intangible cultural artifacts as well as to explore the communication, reception and perception of these values in the modern era. For the purposes of this research, three pilots have been described concerning: 1. the theatre/ancient drama, 2. the scientific texts of the 17th century, 3. the fairy tales. This webinar aims to present the VAST educational materials designed focusing in the educational methodology and approach followed. According to the Council of Europe and the principles of democratic citizenship and human rights education, the educational process must, beyond imparting knowledge, aim at highlighting values, as well as cultivating attitudes and skills aimed at raising awareness and to motivate young people for further thought and reflection. The VAST Handbook includes values oriented educational activities designed by the three partners of the Consortium (NCSR-D, Museo Galileo and Fairy Tale Museum) based on the principles of experiential learning and an interactive teaching approach, where the active participation of young people is encouraged through dialogue and practice.

6. Thursday 9 November @15:30 CET – What are values and why are they so important? Insights from philosophy and science | Organising partner: NCSR-D/NOVA

The video from the webinar is available to watch here. 

Webinar info: What is important to you? It is a simple question but one with profound consequences for how we live our lives. Essentially, whether we choose between consumer goods, whether we decide whom to marry or which political candidate to elect, whether we ask ourselves what is morally right, or beautiful, or sacred, value plays a crucial role. But what are values and why are they so important? Above all, what is the role of values in our well-being? Building upon the knowledge of philosophers and scientists about values we may infer on how to reach the audiences and develop strategic and efficient communication programs. The importance of values for Marketing Communication is discussed providing cues on how to communicate across European societies. 

7. Thursday 16 November  @15:30 CET – Once Upon a Value: The Cultural Significance of Folktales in a European Context | Organising partner: NOVA

The video from the webinar is available to watch here.

Webinar info: This webinar offers a critical examination of folktales’ cultural significance, navigating between their historical roots and the debate over the universality versus cultural specificity of their embedded values. It will chart the importance of storytelling, the evolution of folktale and fairy-tale studies, the Grimms’ influence on the genre’s classification, and how the subsequent ‘Disneyfication’ may have contributed to a flattened perception of these narratives. Often dismissed as mere children’s literature, folktales serve as complex repositories of societal norms, and reflect varied cultural values across time and space. Engaging with various scholarly perspectives, the session seeks to unravel the intricate tapestry of meaning woven into the fairy-tale tradition and its enduring impact on our collective consciousness.

8. Monday 27 November @15:00-17:00 CET – Distilling values: from people to AI and back | Organising partner: NCSR-D 

The video from the webinar is available to watch here.

Webinar Info: What do we know about the values of people? What are the values distilled in an AI system and how are they licensed? How do we ensure trust in the AI lifecycle? This webinar explores current activities and practices that aim to align the values of people in AI systems and in the society at large.

Invited Talks

Dr. Katie Evans – IEEE
What’s in a Value? Understanding the Normative Structure of Ethics in Technology.

Dr. Nicolas Stefanovitch- Joint Research Centre of the European Commission
Experiments on automatic extraction of values from texts

Mr. Alexandros Nousias, NCSR Demokritos
From Open Source to Values Based Responsible AI licences.

Dr. Maria Dagioglou, NCSR Demokritos
Talking about values to AI professionals. Why and how?

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