The creativity of Chemistry and its perception through the general public

La chimica come scienza creativa e legame con la percezione della chimica nel pubblico generico. Questo è stato il tema di un incontro di due ore con gli studenti (dottorandi) del corso internazionale “Jozef Stefan International Post-graduate School” presso il Josef Stefan Institute di Lubiana dello scorso maggio. Il seminario è stato organizzato nell’ambito del programma ERASMUS PLUS per la mobilità dei docenti universitari grazie alla collaborazione tra il Dipartimento di Chimcia e Chimica Industriale dell’Università di Pisa e la scuola di dottorato del Jozef Stefan Institute di Lubiana.

Di seguito è riportato l’abstract del seminario.

Presentazione del seminario presso la Post-graduate International School at Jozef Stefan Institute di Lubiana (Slovenia)


The creativity of Chemistry and its perception through the general public

Valentina Domenici

Dipartimento di Chimica e Chimica Industriale, Università di Pisa (



Chemistry is a peculiar science, with a relatively recent history as “modern science” and strong and complex interactions with other disciplines, such as Physics and Biology. Among the particular features of Chemistry, philosophers and historians of science have identified its creativity as a distinct element [1]. The Chemists is able to create new substances, not existing in Nature, or to reproduce existing natural substances by using new synthetic paths. The continuous production of new knowledges and new materials has indeed characterized the history of Chemistry as any other science. However, this aspect is not always a positive, or neutral, feature, since it opened to several fundamental ethical issues [2] and it dramatically affected the image of Chemistry thought the Society.

In this seminar, the fundamental  features of Chemistry as modern science will be discussed, focusing in particular on its “creativity”. As suggested by recent studies about the perception of chemistry in the general public [3-5], the relationship between the creativity of Chemistry and its image in the Society will be shown and discussed.



[1] Luigi Cerruti, Bella e Potente, Editori Riuniti, Torino, 2016.

[2] Jan Mehlich – Frank Moser – Brigitte Van Tiggelen – Luigi Campanella – Henning Hopf, The Ethical and Social Dimensions of Chemistry: Reflections, Considerations, and Clarifications, «Chemistry A European Journal», 2017, vol. 23, pp. 1210-1218.

[3] Public Attitude to Chemistry, Technical Report, Royal Society of Chemistry, 2015:

[4] Giulia Chiocca – Valentina Domenici, Uno studio sulla Percezione della Chimica e sulla Cultura chimico-scientifica nei giovani italiani, «La chimica nella scuola», 2015, vol. 5, pp. 55-63.

[5] Valentina Domenici, Ethics of Communication of Chemistry, Communications at «Symposium of the EuCheMS Working Party – Ethics in Chemistry», Rome, 6th -7th  July 2017.