A Pure Soul pp 137-145 | Cite as

Let’s Save Plyushch!

  • Andrea Parlangeli


The Great Hall was packed with people. There was a lot of confusion. The presenter was unable to speak. At a certain point, a man emerged from the crowd, walked toward the microphone, and began to speak: “My name is Ennio De Giorgi and I do not belong to any political party… I do not belong to any party… I do not belong to any party…” But his words were drowned in the cacophony of the crowd. It was 1974 and Italian political parties were in the middle of a campaign for a referendum on whether to keep divorce legal. Conferences with proponents of each side of the debate were invited to speak in the halls of the palace La Sapienza in Pisa, and De Giorgi had gone to listen to Sergio Cotta, who represented the Yes side. “Sergio Cotta was one of the people whom Giovanni Prodi often invited to Pisa for the Science and Faith conferences—explains Giorgio Letta.—On that occasion, there were a group of people who prevented him from speaking. They started to make such a noise that Cotta could not speak. I was there and so was De Giorgi. And De Giorgi was at first was surprised, and then, with his usual courage and candor, tried to intervene. He just wanted the speaker to be allowed to make his arguments, but even he could not make himself heard. He was in front of an audience that was scary. And then I saw him transformed. He became very indignant.”


  1. 2.
    Bassani, F., Marino, A., Sbordone, C. (eds.): Ennio De Giorgi (Anche la scienza ha bisogno di sognare). Edizioni Plus, Pisa (2001)Google Scholar
  2. 7.
    Dossier Ennio De Giorgi. In: Guerraggio, A. (ed.) Lettera Matematica Pristem, pp. 27–28. Springer (1998)Google Scholar

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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrea Parlangeli
    • 1
  1. 1.MilanItaly

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