EVENTS Science and Society, between Rome and Jerusalem
Professors and researchers from Italy and Israel met and shared their studies on social, cultural and scientific transformations of the two countries in a conference at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem last week.
The conference was organized by the European University of Rome, the Pontifical Institute of Notre Dame of Jerusalem Centre, and Hebrew University, for the second consecutive year. Opening the conference was demographer, Sergio Della Pergola.
Among the topics discussed were issues relating to immigration and demography both in Italy and in Israel and environmental and energy aspects and policies.
“Energy policies in Europe have undergone major changes in the last 30 years,” noted Fabiana Di Porto, professor at the University of Salento and European University of Rome, and member of the Council of the Union of Italian Jewish Communities, who delivered a lecture on “Recent Trends in Legal Studies in the Framework of Energy Policies.”
“Simple disclosure of information on energy consumption, even if frequent and disaggregated is not sufficient alone to change consumers’ behavior. What regulation should do is to motivate a change in behavior (for instance, by setting specific objectives, not just by providing generic ‘do your best’ or ‘respect the environment’ warnings). Regulations could do so and thus change the ‘reference point’ of consumers by leveraging, for instance, social norms,” she argued. “My contention here is that in order for such measures to be effective, thus saving administrative resources, the regulator should test these in advance using cognitive experiments, such as lab or field or neurologic experiments. This investigation, much more than traditional audits or notice and comment, would allow the regulator to gather information on possible reactions of energy consumers,” (click here to download the full speech).
“The meeting was interesting and fruitful because it lead to the comparisons of different academic experiences in an extremely multi-disciplinary way, driven by different ethical and religious practices,” Della Pergola wrote in Pagine Ebraiche daily last Thursday.
He expressed his appreciation for the choice of focus on the continuity between the past, present and the future as well as the necessity of finding the right balance between new technologies and lasting values.