We have known the world of Industrial Capital since the 18th century: it produced commodities, generated alienation, and made a lot of noise – the noise of factories. Then it was the turn of Financial Capital: it produced wealth, generated adrenaline, and still made some noise – the noise of trading sessions at the stock exchange. Today a new capital is coming to the fore, Documedia Capital: it produces documents, generates mobilization, and makes no noise. Its environment and condition of possibility is the Web, which has caused what can be called the documedia revolution, triggered by the encounter between an increasingly powerful documentality (the sphere of documents allowing for the existence of social reality) and a mediality (the sphere of the media) that is now ever more widespread and pervasive, both quantitatively (there are two billion mobile phones in the world) and qualitatively (thanks to social media, every receiver is also a broadcaster).
Understanding the Documedia Revolution is a political necessity and a philosophical opportunity that requires, two hundred years later, to rewrite The Capital, so as to describe a capital that reflects our age: the Documedia Capital. To do so, we need an institution that is able to recreate the global vision embodied by the intellectual figure of Umberto Eco: “Scienza Nuova”, which is dedicated to him.
“Scienza Nuova” aims to understand the ongoing transformation and to train elites able to manage it through the cooperation between the University and the Polytechnic of Turin in the framework of the memorandum of understanding signed by the two Rectors on 9 January 2019. Its project is based on the theoretical content presented in the books Università futura. Tra democrazia e bit (Codice Edizioni 2007) and Scienza Nuova. Ontologia della trasformazione digitale (Rosenberg & Sellier 2018).
Its working group is made up by the Labont – Center for Ontology (https://labont.it) and by the Nexa Center for Internet & Society (https://nexa.polito.it/). Since 1st October 2018 these two research groups have organized various encounters and initiatives, both academic and for the wider audience. Its physical headquarters will be the Casa degli Spiriti in Corso Montevecchio n. 38, Turin.
Scienza Nuova is articulated through the intersection of two research axes: (vertical) levels and (horizontal) lines.
Vertical axis: levels of research
“Scienza Nuova” will implement its program on five levels:
Level 1. Postgraduate Degree. Excellence of postgraduate education. Ferdinando Rossi School, high polytechnic studies. Courses shared by elite students of the Polytechnic and the University of Turin.
Level 2. Master’s Degree, developed in cooperation with companies (Ernst and Young, master’s degree in public administration) and institutions (National Institutes of Notaries, Fondazione 1563). The degrees are of two orders: professional ones and, on a higher level, ones aimed at understanding and anticipating the ongoing transformation through the interaction between professionals and scholars.
Level 3. PhD. A selection of the best PhD students from the two universities in Turin receives additional courses and training (Scuola Normale di Pisa), as well as a salary supplement, cooperating with the research of “Scienza Nuova”.
Level 4. Postdoc. Postdoc positions in the framework of the research lines implemented by “Scienza Nuova” and with the aim of acting as a research incubator, allowing postdoctoral researchers to access competitive European projects (with the commitment to carry out their research in Turin) or to be recruited by the institutions that have sponsored their research.
Level 5. Fellowships in the framework of a project of advanced studies. Senior fellows are invited on an annual basis to carry out their research and to bring their experience into one of the three-year research lines.
Horizontal axis: lines of research
On a three-year basis, a coordinator (an academic or manager) organises a plan that coordinates the various levels of research relevant to the given line of research. The plan can be confirmed for another three years, for a maximum of two terms.
The tasks of the research lines, in addition to their specific objectives, are
- To encourage the recruitment of candidates with an unconventional CV
- To establish long-term relationships on a European basis, and act as an incubator for ERC and ERC Synergy
- To encourage an exchange between universities, professionals and the business world.