Biology and Utopia. Adriano Buzzati Traverso and Italian Science

Mauro Capocci


The paper aims at reconstructing the scientific career of Adriano Buzzati- Traverso, a prominent character in Italian biology after the Second World War. In the Fifties and the Sixties, he was able to introduce the new molecular approaches in life sciences. A great scientific manager, much ahead of his times (at least in Italy), he successfully organized the first postgraduate courses of genetics and molecular biology in Pavia, and later created the International Laboratory of Genetics and Biophysics in Naples. Between 1962 and 1969, this institution gained the greatest respect in the scientific community, but the political turmoil in 1969 abruptly ended this fascinating attempt to modernize Italian science. Buzzati-Traversos personal archive allows us to reconstruct the detailed history of his scientific enterprises, focusing particularly on the hard struggle to modernize management and policies of Italian science.


Keywords: ILGB (International Laboratory of Genetics and Biophysics)- Molecular Biology Genetics - Science politics - Italian genetics

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