The Galileo Galilei Science&Space Festival at ESOC


The Consulate General of Italy in Frankfurt presents the second edition of the “Galileo Galilei Science&Space Festival”.

The festival takes place on 10–12 June at ESA’s ESOC mission operations centre in Darmstadt – Europe’s Centre of Excellence for satellite operations and home to the engineering teams that control spacecraft in orbit, manage our global tracking station network, and design the systems on the ground that support missions in space and which are built by our industrial partners.

This year's edition is an important opportunity for science communication and a demonstration of Italy's leading role in the field of science and technological research. It has been organised by the Cultural Office of the Italian Consulate General in Frankfurt in collaboration with ESOC, ESOC’s Italian Cultural Club, GSI-FAIR and EUMETSAT, and takes place over three days with talks from the following expert guests:

Guido Tonelli (Professor at the University of Pisa and physicist at CERN in Geneva), Francesca Cipollini (Earth Observation Programme – ESA), Telmo Pievani (Professor at the University of Padua), Livio Mastroddi (Director at EUMETSAT – Darmstadt), Walter Tinganelli (Researcher and Group Leader at GSI-FAIR in Darmstadt), Paolo Ferri (retired Head of Mission Operations at ESOC, now author and President of the Italian Cultural Club of ESOC) and Alberica Toia (Professor at the University J. W. Goethe in Frankfurt).

The evening on Friday 10 June takes place in English. Guido Tonelli opens the festival with the lectio magistralis: “A journey through the discovery of the Higgs boson and its implications for contemporary physics on the latest discoveries in elementary particle physics”, before Francesca Cipollini presents ESA's upcoming Earth observation activities and the environment in her talk “ESA for Earth: an overview of ESA programs and activities in Earth Observation”

Among the topics covered in Italian on 11 and 12 June are synthetic hibernation, also in the context of travel to Mars, the role of EUMETSAT in the field of meteorological and climate monitoring, the presentation of Paolo Ferri’s latest book "Il lato oscuro del sole - L'esplorazione spaziale della nostra stella" (Laterza, 2022), and the relationship between science and literature through an imagined dialogue between Bertolt Brecht and Galileo Galilei.

The programme fits perfectly into the celebrations of the 800th anniversary of the University of Padua, where Galileo Galilei, the father of the scientific method, was awarded the first chair of mathematics and physics and taught for 18 years. This anniversary and the role of the unexpected in science will be discussed on Saturday evening by Telmo Pievani in his lecture in English “Eight centuries of Science in Padua: A History of Serendipity”, which focuses on Galileo's years in Padua and the importance of serendipity in scientific research (serendipità is also the title of his latest book published by Raffaello Cortina editore).

A special programme on Saturday afternoon, with lectures and a guided tour of ESOC, is dedicated to the students of the bilingual schools of Frankfurt. The goal is to introduce the younger generations to the physics of primordial matter and the world of space missions, as well as the study of science subjects. Sara Melloni from ESOC and Federica Capellino from GSI-FAIR will lead the two meetings and give presentations.

To participate in the festival, reservations specifying the event(s) you wish to attend are required by emailing:

The flyer and brochure with the full bilingual (English-Italian) programme of the festival can be downloaded from the Frankfurt Consulate website.