I dunno… looking at the comment in context, it seems the Italian Minister for the Environment compared the ruling to the Galileo affair, and that is what led to her comment that the Italian psyche has an anti-science element.
[quote=Sylvia Poggioli]There’s been very little reconstruction. There’s huge resentment. I think another mistake was to hold the trial in L’Aquila with a local judge, local prosecutors. All these things have sort of built up an emotional momentum that, I think, it was - it’s a bad verdict. It’s a bad thing. And even the environment minister said it’s echoes of Galileo.
POGGIOLI: There’s - they’re not going to jail until there would be a third ruling, and that could take years and years and years. I think it’s important though, you know, to say that also, you know, there is a streak of anti-science sentiment in the Italian psyche. And there’s a lot of prejudice. There are a lot of superstitions. And I think it derives from, you know, years of Catholic doctrine. That’s why we get back to Galileo here. You know, he was sentenced by a church court for saying that the sun is - the Earth is not the center of the universe but that the Earth rotates around the sun. And that was a taboo at the time.
CONAN: And the church gone around to saying they were wrong only 400 years later.
POGGIOLI: Exactly, exactly. And, you know, it’s a famous line that he sort of bowed to the powers that be, but afterwards, he said this famous line - eppur si muove - and yet it really moves.
POGGIOLI: But that - so that kind of anti-science sentiment is quite strong in Italy.
I don’t find it hard to believe that an anti-science feeling in Italy might be related to religion. Certainly there is an anti-science sentiment in the US, and it can be traced to strains of Christianity. Those strains are primarily Protestant, but there is no shortage of Catholics here at CAF who insist on a literal interpration of the Bible even when it conflicts with science, and even when it isn’t required by Catholic doctrine.