Director: Professor Antonino Zichichi
Ettore Majorana Foundation and Centre for Scientific Culture (EMFCSC) is neither an academy nor a university like those familiar to us all. Bell, Blackett, Rabi, Weisskopf and Zichichi, signed the charter constitution that gave new meaning to Science and its culture. Every year since 1963, authors of new discoveries and inventions come to Erice; 76 of them were awarded the Nobel Prize after their participation to the EMFCSC activities and 49 were already Nobel laureates. These scientific world leaders teach to students from all over the world who are eager to receive the latest knowledge directly from the mouths of its authors, just as was done in the University of Bologna more than nine centuries ago. Over hundred thousand scientists from one hundred and forty nations have taken part in post-university activities that have rallied around the banner of a Science without secrets and without frontiers.
This scientific community has striven to break down ideological, political and racial barriers that were invented not by Science, but by its worst enemies. The very existence of a scientific community as vast as that of Erice serves as concrete evidence that the new role of Science has already become a reality. To conduct Science means to discover the Fundamental Laws of Nature. The applications of great scientific discoveries almost always slip out of the control of Science itself. This is why technological development almost always contradicts the values instilled by Science: love for Creation and respect for life and human dignity. “Science and Faith are both gifts of God”, said John Paul II. No Pope has ever before had the courage to put Science and Faith on pedestals of equivalent dignity, and it is out of this truth that the new role of Science is born.
This statement was written in ERICE, August 1982 by Paul A. M. DIRAC, Piotr KAPITZA, and Antonino ZICHICHI. During the subsequent three years (1982-1985) it has been signed by 10,000 scientists, the world over.
The 'Erice Statement' has attracted the attention of World Leaders such as Deng Xiao Ping (China), Mikhail Gorbachev (Russia), Olaf Palme (Sweden), Sandro Pertini (Italy), Ronald Reagan (USA), Pierre Trudeau (Canada) and stimulated various actions on their part for a Science without Secrecy or Frontiers.
It is unprecedented in human history that mankind has accumulated such a military power to destroy, at once, all centres of civilisation in the world and to affect some vital properties of the planet.
The danger of a nuclear holocaust is not the unavoidable consequence of the great development of pure science.
In fact, Science is the study of the fundamental laws of nature. Technology is the study of how the power of mankind can be increased.
Technology can be for peace or for war. The choice between peace and war is not a scientific choice. It is a cultural one: the culture of love produces peaceful technology. The culture of hatred produces instruments of war. Love and hatred have existed forever. In the Bronze and Iron Ages, notoriously pre-scientific, mankind invented and built tools for peace and instruments of war. In the so-called 'modern era' it is imperative that the culture of love wins. An enormous number of scientists share their time between pure science research and military applications. This is a fundamental source for the arms race. It is necessary that a new trend develops, inside the scientific community and on an international basis.
It is of vital importance to identify the basic factors needed to start an effective process to protect human life and culture from a third and unprecedented catastrophic war. To accomplish this it is necessary to change the peace movement from a unilateral action to a truly international one involving proposals based on mutual and true understanding.
Those scientists - in the East and in the West - who agree with this 'Erice Statement' engage morally themselves to do everything possible in order to make the new trend, outlined in the present document, to become effective all the world over and as soon as possible.