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The ethics of science: Leonardo Sciascia and the majorana case

Farrell, J. (2007) The ethics of science: Leonardo Sciascia and the majorana case. Modern Language Review, 102 (3). pp. 1021-1034. ISSN 0026-7937

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Abstract

The enquiry into the unexplained disappearance in 1938 of the Sicilian physicist Ettore Majorana takes the form of an inchiesta, a quasi-historical genre devised by Leonardo Sciascia, whose nature is subjected to analysis. Sciascia acknowledged a twin debt to Voltaire and Pirandello, but the Voltairean element prevailed in ethical enquiries. The scientist's disappearance, motivated in Sciascia's view by his apprehensions over the direction of nuclear physics, becomes a metaphor for general discussion of the moral responsibility of scientists for their discoveries, a debate carried on by contrasting the conduct of Werner Heisenberg in obstructing Hitler's atomic programme and that of J. Robert Oppenheimer in leading the research which produced the Hiroshima bomb.

Item type: Article
ID code: 4915
Keywords: ettore majorana, inchiesta, voltaire, pirandello, scientists, oppenheimer, hiroshima, nuclear bomb, language studies, French literature - Italian literature - Spanish literature - Portuguese literature, Electrical engineering. Electronics Nuclear engineering, Linguistics and Language, Language and Linguistics, Literature and Literary Theory
Subjects: Language and Literature > French literature - Italian literature - Spanish literature - Portuguese literature
Technology > Electrical engineering. Electronics Nuclear engineering
Department: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences (HaSS) > School of Humanities > Italian
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Depositing user: Strathprints Administrator
Date Deposited: 13 Dec 2007
Last modified: 04 Sep 2014 17:39
URI: http://strathprints.strath.ac.uk/id/eprint/4915

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