Di Natacha Fabbri (*), Museo Galileo. Istituto e Museo di Storia della Scienza (FI)
L’articolo esamina se e in quale misura la presenza della musica nei musei di storia della scienza possa contribuire a veicolare un insieme di concetti più vasto della sola descrizione delle caratteristiche fisiche e funzionali dei reperti esposti, presentandoli non tanto come oggetti quanto come res, ossia “cose” cariche di significati intellettuali, estetici, affettivi, etc. Prendendo in considerazione alcune attività svolte al Museo Galileo di Firenze, verranno illustrate le soluzioni adottate per creare o ricreare filologicamente – mediante l’impiego di video, esecuzioni dal vivo e registrazioni – narrazioni che consentano alla collezione del museo di ampliarsi in termini spaziali, temporali, tematici e sensoriali.
A tal fine sarà indispensabile tratteggiare alcuni degli strumenti digitali che permettono di creare una continuità tra il pre e il post-visita, oltre che sistemi integrati di consultazione della biblioteca, della collezione museale e del contesto storico, filosofico e artistico-musicale a cui gli strumenti scientifici del Museo Galileo afferiscono.
The article examines whether and to what extent the presence of music in science history museums can contribute to conveying a wider set of concepts than goes beyond the description of the physical and functional characteristics of the exhibits, presenting them not so much as objects but as res, namely “things” endowed with intellectual, aesthetic, and emotional meanings. Taking into account some activities carried out at the Museo Galileo in Florence, I will sketch out the solutions we adopted to create narratives that, through the use of videos, live performances and recordings, enable the museum collection to expand spatially, temporally, thematically, as well as with regard to sensory perception.
In order to do this, it will be necessary to outline some digital tools that allow to trace a continuity between pre- and post-visit, as well as integrated systems for consulting the library, the museum collection and the historical, philosophical and artistic-musical context to which the scientific instruments of the Museo Galileo pertain.
Key words: music, museum, narrative, instrument, digital tool
1. MUSIC IN HISTORY OF SCIENCE MUSEUMS
Over the past decade, the increasing pervasiveness of sound and music in museum settings has contributed to conveying a different idea of both the sonic dimension of museums and the transmission of cultural heritage through multi-sensorial languages and inter-disciplinary fields. It has been noticed that the presence of music, even in those museums that do not have sound or music at the core of their collection, gives prominence to the visitors’ interactive experience, rather than to the static display of cultural artifacts. Despite the great interest aroused by this topic, the interplay between historical museum collections and music, as well as the opportunity to design interactive narratives containing sonic elements and musical compositions have not yet received the attention they deserve.
Ever since ancient Greek thought, music has always been valued also for its capacity to arouse and express emotions, as well as to stimulate personal and collective memories. More so, the connection between memory and music, and the unquestionably evocative power of music, play an important role in museums, as they help reduce the distance between visitors and exhibits. Recreating the sonic dimension and culture of an epoch or event indeed holds both a cognitive and an emotional function, given that it facilitates public fruition of a cultural heritage in terms of understanding and dissemination.
This article aims to present the results of a project on music and science that began in Florence four years ago at the Museo Galileo. Institute and Museum for the History of Science and was carried out in collaboration with the Conservatory of Music of Florence, which granted scholarships and ad hoc financing for musical performances and recordings. I shall focus on the use of music in museums of history of science, taking into account only the collections where sounds, acoustics and musical instruments are not a part of the permanent or temporary exhibitions. Leaving aside the sounds produced by visitors, random noises, loudspeakers, and audio guides, but rather focusing on music alone, this preliminary survey intends to address the following two core questions.
Firstly, it aims to analyze the role played by music in defining the frame of the MUSEUM RESonance mentioned in the title. In that case, it is not so much about presenting the museum-displayed artifacts as material objects described in their concrete qualities but rather to turn them into res, namely “things” imbued with intellectual and emotional meaning. It is a matter of fact that music plays a primary role in creating an “atmosphere” and can also communicate an array of information to museum visitors that goes well beyond the visual description of the collection. We could argue that to some degree this approach leads to the dissolution of the object’s material nature, and therefore confirms the difference traced by Gernot Böhme between Realität (reality) and Wirklichkeit (presence), thus causing the latter to gain greater prominence. However, as we will see in section 2, music can also put emphasis on the materiality of the objects described in narratives and virtual contexts.
Secondly, this survey intends to assess whether there are the grounds to create a permanent collection – or rather, a number of recommended playlists – of compositions that must be regarded as musical artifacts, and that can constitute the permanent sonorous dimension of the collection displayed in a museum. In so doing, we could even realize a dialogue between intangible and tangible cultural heritage. It is therefore worthwhile to evaluate how the sonic dimension can be integrated into the museum’s educational program and dissemination plan, as well as to determine the level of user-friendliness when accessing these activities and narratives.
To address these two topics, the preliminary question I would like to consider is what leads us to assume that music can become a new means of communication conveying values and concepts within a history of science museum – thus recognizing music’s capacity to unveil the history of an artifact and to transform it into a resonating res. History of science museums are linked to music by several bonds. Firstly, music and science have been strongly intertwined since ancient Greek thought, as was underscored by many philosophers, mathematicians, astronomers, and theologians, such as Kepler, Mersenne, Galileo, Descartes, Kircher, and Newton, all of whom marked the beginning of modern science. The idea of music, which embraced both the science of sounds and the research on the concepts of harmony, order and proportion, played a pivotal role in a huge array of topics: from macrocosm-microcosm correspondences to the analysis of cosmological models; from metaphysical to theological discussions. Likewise, it ignited debates concerning the different tuning systems and the design of sonorous machines, as well as surveys on natural phenomena. Secondly, music is both performed and composed for instruments that possess specific technical features (in terms of vibrations, materials, mechanisms, resistance of materials, acoustics, etc.) that often have strong similarities with scientific instruments, and therefore it can shed more light on the genesis and working principles of a few of those scientific instruments and artifacts.
The latter was indeed the premise of a series of lectures realized in 2019 that focused on some families of musical instruments and key-concepts of the history of science: Corde vibranti: macchine sonore e monocordi universali (Vibrating strings: sound machines and universal monochords); Telescopi e tromboni (Telescopes and trombones); “La grandissima meraviglia dei suoni” (“The great wonder of sounds”); Risonanze universali: la voce dell’amico e il canto della natura (Universal resonances: friend’s voice and the song of nature); Dal liuto allo strumento scientifico (From lute to scientific instrument).
2. MAKING ARTIFACTS SOUND
When talking about museums, we should firstly distinguish three kinds of sound related to the artifacts on display: the sounds of the artifacts (which can be explored to gain insight into their material compositions, functions, and decorations); the music chosen for an exhibition room according to thematic considerations and curatorial needs; and finally, the music played in narratives.
Bringing artifacts to life through music performed by historical instruments, recorded and then broadcast via the museum app or audio-guides combines the augmentative and additive functions of music, in terms of both emotion and cognition. Reproducing the sounds of the musical instruments that are engraved, or depicted, on the scientific instruments they are related to is indeed an operation of musical archeology and iconography that can also bring out a rich web of connections between musicology, art history, philosophy, history of science, and sound design, among others. The dematerialization of objects achieved through digitalization can be balanced by the introduction of sounds that talk about the physical features and components of these res. Presenting artifacts alongside “their” sounds is indeed a way of reintroducing the materiality of things, although without reaching the same degree of interaction that the sense of touch would allow.
The other two points – that I will sketch out in the following paragraphs – contribute to building a different idea of museum, which is no longer a place of spectatorship, an architectural space that only gathers and displays collections. Indeed, it becomes a “resonating space” where people can move within a dimension (both physical and virtual) defined and permeated by sound and music, and where they can undertake a multi-sensorial experience of our cultural heritage.
3. MUSICAL BOX
In addition to hosting concerts in museum auditoriums, a more immersive dimension can be achieved by performing music in the museum’s exhibition rooms, which would be characterized by different sonorities and repertoires: in other words, it can create a series of soundscapes that change throughout the visit and that can either serve as a ‘sound carpet’ or be a true protagonist of the tour. The museum building can become a sort of musical box in itself, as it resonates with music that streams all around. For the “Festa della Musica” 2021, for instance, we proposed the idea of The Museo Galileo sounds, during which twenty-three musicians brought two floors of the Museum alive by performing different repertoires and sonorities with strings quartets, renaissance vocal ensembles, harps, flute quartets and guitars.
Fig. 1_The Museo Galileo sounds
Fig. 2_ String quartet in the room devoted to Galileo’s instruments and discoveries
Fig. 3_ Wind quintet in the room The spectacle of science
Fig. 4_Concert for voice, lute and harpsichord in the Spectacle of Science room
This was a special occasion celebrating the conjunction of music and science, as June 21st is well-known as being World Music Day, as well as being the summer solstice. This project transcends the idea of museum as a mere storehouse of ancient artifacts: it conveys information that bridges the present to the past and makes it resonate even outside the museum building. Live performances create a shared and multi-sensorial experience in which people of all ages and backgrounds are no longer isolated from one another: a sound-filled visit fosters the awareness of belonging to a community of listeners that are exposed to the same multisensory experience. The music we choose attaches new and different connotations to the artifact, reveals unseen relationships, and takes visitors to different worlds of meaning. We can give birth to a philological reconstruction, or to an unusual and striking combination, which is per se an artistic creation. When visitors move or walk through the room while music is being performed or broadcast, they become participants, actively involved in these creations, as they listen to and look at them from different perspectives. Immersing the 16th and 17th century scientific instruments in coeval music concurs to a faithful and interdisciplinary reproduction of an event. Conversely, surrounding the artifacts with musicians or audio recordings performing, for instance, Bruno Maderna’s Serenata per un satellite (1969) or other contemporary compositions assigns a different array of meanings to the scientific objects and ends up being not only a critical act, but mostly a creative one. The result is even more striking when the compositions are inspired by the collection of the Museo Galileo and by Galileo’s writings with the aim to create a dialogue between scientific and musical ideas, and when they are performed in front of the scientific instruments they referred to: a duo between cello and metronome which alludes to Galileo’s pendulum, a trumpet which gestures to a 17th century speaking trumpet, a flute which revolves around Santucci’s cosmological model, etc..
Fig. 5_Musical Orbit 2023. Around Galileo, poster
Fig. 6 _Dialogue between a trumpet and the rare 17th century speaking trumpet of the scientific collection of the Museo Galileo
Fig. 7_Bruno Maderna’s musical score of Serenata per un satellite and Antonio Santucci’s 16th century cosmological model
Moreover, it cannot be overlooked that live performances are characterized by an interaction between musicians and audience that gives the event the aura of the artwork, as it stresses its uniqueness and ties its existence to a specific time and space, hic et nunc.
Although live performances in museum halls are undoubtedly entertaining and often very appreciated, they certainly pose a number of challenges: capacity limitations, fragile interiors, repertoire restrictions due to acoustical characteristics (such as overly intense vibrations or high volume), economical sustainability, copyright issues and royalties, as well as the disruption of a traditionally-conducted museum visit, given that live performances make it difficult, if not nearly impossible, for visitors to listen to the descriptions provided by the app and clash with the “pervasive and long-standing belief that museums are places of silence”.
Therefore, it is of primary importance to present these events as an enrichment to the visit and to clarify the cultural and theoretical frame in which these initiatives occur. Specifically, they are the result of the research activity and collaboration of a team of experts from different fields, such as cultural heritage scholars, musicologists, art historians, history of science specialists, curators, and archivists.
4. A MUSEUM WITHOUT WALLS. A JOURNEY THROUGH TIME AND SPACE
Despite these practical concerns, which can nevertheless be overcome by resorting to technological solutions, the relevance of this immersive experience also relies on an emotional environment that contributes to defining a form of intangible space. The latter aims to shape the perception and to implement social interaction, both in a direct way – everybody is exposed to the same experience – and in an indirect way – the interpersonal effects of emotional expression and of shared emotions might affect the well-being of people taking part in the event.
The possibility of bringing together sight and hearing, and of creating a dialogue between “music to see” and “objects to listen to” is enhanced by several innovative solutions that broaden both the sensory perception of an artifact and the range of narratives provided by the museum app. We have already seen forms of audio-augmented reality, binaural recording and audio walks, which lead visitors into an incredibly immersive context characterized by a different sonic dimension. On account of these technologically innovative means and instruments, visitors are ultimately dislocated in time and space and transported into a virtual setting created by music, which can ultimately generate the illusion of authentic time travel.
Digital narratives try to go beyond the physical description of the artifact to create an emotional environment, enrich the reconstruction of a collective memory, foster the feeling of togetherness, clarify a concept, explain and reflect on the values or functions of the artifacts they are related to. Commissioning compositions or choosing a specific repertoire that will later be included in the museum/exhibit narrative is always an interpretative act that aims to bridge past and present through music.
This kind of reading can be provided throughout the visit by using earphones and watching the videos hosted by the museum app, which can be activated as soon as the visitors pause in front of the artifact via augmented reality solutions. In addition, a specific section of the website can contain videos, which can be watched or downloaded remotely at any time, thus creating the possibility of a continuity before, during and after the visit.
Allow me to provide an example: the video Representing the Harmony of the World at the Medici Court sketches out several philosophical tenets underlying Antonio Santucci’s cosmological model (1588-1593) by resorting to music in order to elucidate the idea of harmony, circularity and perfection of the cosmos, among other things.
Fig. 8_ Representing the Harmony of the World at the Medici Court, cover of the video
The musical reference is a 16th century composition, which sings the harmony of the heavens and was specifically composed for the theatrical representation titled The Harmony of the Spheres (1589). This representation benefited from Bernardo Buontalenti’s set design and costumes and celebrated the wedding of Ferdinand I de’ Medici and Christine of Lorraine, whose coats of arms are depicted on Santucci’s armillary sphere.
In this case, the musical composition plays not only an augmentative function and an emotional role. It is, in its turn, a creation imbued with theoretical values and aims to reconstruct the artistic, philosophical and political contexts and influences the artifact is grounded upon. This kind of sonic experience is a scholarly intervention that adds a content, a meaning that should arouse amazement and nourish the interest of visitors. The musical dimension tears down the museum walls: it changes the way in which the object is displayed and how it is perceived and understood – both per se and in relation to other cultural products that do not belong to the scientific collection – while still managing to be recreated digitally. Within a context of multifaceted heritage, this curatorial choice shifts our attention from explaining the physical data and function of the artifact, to seeing it in dialogue with its cultural background. Such digital narrative builds a bridge between different languages and fields and goes beyond the idea of history as an addition of isolated narratives.
All the points I mentioned above hold up the three pillars of museum management – conservation, valorization and research – and focus on a fourth one, namely, dissemination and communication. Indeed, those pillars pursue the aim of increasing the sense of belonging to a specific cultural heritage (the European one), which can be presented in a more faceted and comprehensive way thanks to innovative digital solutions.
5. MUSICAL IDENTITIES OF COLLECTIONS AND EXHIBITIONS?
Besides referring to music as an additional and augmentative dimension for exhibition purposes, it is worth wondering whether music can even express or represent the identity of a museum. Some institutions have already taken this path by creating playlists on Spotify for temporary and permanent exhibitions: some examples include Tate Gallery, Victoria and Albert Museum, Museum of London, Museo del Romanticismo in Madrid, MONA Museum in Tasmania, Galleria Nazionale in Roma, and Moma, among others.
The compositions on the playlist can be considered as a “sound carpet” for the visit, as an evocative suggestion of sorts, or even as a component of the exhibition. In the latter case, we would have a collection of musical performances and scores that need to comply with the same criteria that define curatorial research and choices. Since this kind of artifacts belongs to the intangible cultural heritage, it is reasonable to wonder if and how those compositions, scores and treatises should be presented, and specifically, if they should be listed in the museum’s digital library and mentioned in the references on the relevant website. This data integration practice was adopted by the Museo Galileo two years ago with regard to the videos pertaining to Vincenzo Galilei, Galileo’s father, who was a composer, lutenist, as well as one of the most respected Renaissance theorists.
Fig. 9_Homage to Vincenzo Galilei: vocal quintet in the Representation of the World room and lute players in the Galileo’s New World room
In that case, we have two equally important protagonists: 16th and 17th-century scientific collections – which include Galileo’s instruments – and Vincenzo Galilei’s music. Accordingly, the user interface for the videos on the website of the Museo Galileo provides a number of items: a short description of the project; a section of highlights with a selection of the main scientific instruments shown in the video; a series of links to the digital versions of Vincenzo Galilei’s musical scores and treatises – the original copies of which are available for both remote and in-person consultation in the research library of the Museo Galileo, as well as in other libraries of Florence.
This approach introduces a new way of making the collection of the museum and its cultural content easily accessible to a wide range of audiences: it can be found even remotely, it is interoperable (i.e., it can pass from the collection to the library), and it is also sustainable. Indeed, it greatly contributes to the preservation of unique European artifacts and cultural landscapes, making high-value cultural heritage datasets available, and developing educational programs on site and remotely, also in collaboration with other research institutes and universities.
Working on the specific correlation between Galileo and music, and therefore stressing the common references to harmony and to the relationships between scientific and musical instruments, an additional question arose regarding the opportunity to use Renaissance and even Baroque music as a sound logo. Unlike sound logos composed specially for a museum (i.e. MuSe in Turin, Galleria Borghese in Rome), resorting to a composition that is historically or thematically related to the collection of a museum transforms this very short musical excerpt (which lasts about 5-6 seconds) into a memory communicator, as it refers to a specific artifact of intangible culture heritage that will enter people’s everyday life. This choice is also very inclusive as it conveys the identity of a museum in a more pervasive way: it can be perceived by the visually impaired and used in podcasts, or in any kind of audio program.
We are shifting from a museum that requires being seen or browsed like a book, to a museum that aspires to be listened to like an audiovisual environment that echoes with the voices of scientific res. The sonic dimension of a museum room can strengthen the connection between past and present, the inside and outside of the museum walls: it represents the crossroads where different languages and disciplinary perspectives meet and offer visitors a more comprehensive understanding of our cultural heritage, as well as the possibility of embarking in an ever-changing sensory exploration of the museum’s permanent collection.
I am grateful to Elena Fani and Marco Berni for their suggestions and insight, and to Léonore Quagliotti for her feedback.
 See Hutchison, M., Collins, L. (2009), Translations: experiments in dialogic representation of cultural diversity in three museum sound installations, “Museum Soc.”, 7(2), 92-109.
 See Bubaris, N. (2014), Sound in Museums – Museums in Sound, “Museum Management and Curatorship”, 29(4), 391-402.
 I express my gratitude to the former director Paolo Zampini and the current director Giovanni Pucciarmati.
 See, for instance, Bodei, R. (2011), La vita delle cose, Roma-Bari: Laterza.
 Böhme, G. (2001), Aisthetik. Vorlesungen über Ästhetik als allgemeine Wahrnehmungslehre, Verlag: Brill, pp. 56-8; Böhme, G. (2006), L’atmosfera come concetto fondamentale di una nuova estetica, “Rivista di estetica”, 33, 5-24.
 See Bjerregaard, P. (2015), Dissolving objects: Museums, atmosphere and the creation of presence, “Emotion, Space and Society”, 15, 74-81.
 This is the framework of the Italian project Sonus (run by Barbara Aniello), which started in 2021, involved the very precious collection of the Opera del Duomo Museum in Florence and will be further carried on in eleven Italian museums (including the Pinacoteca Vaticana, the Pinacoteca di Brera, the Museo archeologico di Napoli, and the Galleria Borghese di Roma). See Aniello, B. (ed.), (2021), Sonus 1. Firenze, Museo dell’Opera del Duomo, Firenze: Centro Di, 2021. Previously, in 2009, the National Gallery of London had launched the seminal project of “Sounds of the Gallery” tour.
 See Howes, D. (2014), Introduction to Sensory Museology, “The Senses and Society”, 9(3), 259-267.
 This project was realized in the framework of the collaboration with Florence Conservatory of Music.
 A pioneering project was the soundwalks organized by Salomè Voegelin: Voegelin, S. (2014), Soundwalking the Museum. A Sonic Journey through the Visual Display, in Levent, N., and Pascual-Leone, A., The Multisensory Museum: Cross-Disciplinary Perspectives on Touch, Sound, Smell, Memory, and Space, New York: Rowman & Littlefield, 119-131.
 See Orbite musicali, performed at the Museo Galileo in May 2022: https://www.museogalileo.it/en/library-and-research-institute/projects/scienza-e-musica-en/2312-musical-orbits.html
 These compositions belonged to the project Orbite musicali 2023. Intorno a Galileo (organized in collaboration with the Cherubini Conservatory of Music). Let me just mention the titles: Perturbazione metronomica by Amedeo Ara, Sidereus by Elia Dolfi, Monodia by Andrea Grassi, Cannocchiale by Terukazu Komatsu, Sguardo (am)mirato by Daniele Mugelli, Nuncius mirabilis by Ruggero Pandolfini, Orbite by Matteo Pasco. In addition, the contemporary music ensemble EMC2 performed in world premiere several compositions in the Museum halls: https://www.museogalileo.it/en/library-and-research-institute/projects/scienza-e-musica-en/2312-musical-orbits.html
 See Walter Benjamin’s seminal writing, The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction (1936); Dorrian, M. (2014), Museum atmospheres: notes on aura, distance and affect, “The Journal of Architecture”, 19(2), 187-201.
 Bubaris, N. (2014), cit., 391.
 On museum and emotions, see for instance Jennings, G., et al. (2019), The Empathetic Museum: A New Institutional Identity, “Curator: The Museum Journal”, 62(4), 505-26; Varutti, M. (2020), Vers une Muséologie des Émotions, “Cultures et Musées”, 36, 171-177.
 Cliffe, L., Mansell, J., Greenhalgh, C., Hazzard, A. (2021), Materialising contexts: virtual soundscapes for real-world exploration, “Pers Ubiquitous Comput”, 25(4), 623-636.
 These virtual narratives and experiences could have an important effect on educational proposals as well: see, for instance, Friedman, D., Pizarro, R., Or-Berkers, K., Neyret, S., Pan, X., Slater, M. (2014), A method for generating an illusion of backwards time travel using immersive virtual reality. An exploratory study,” Front Psychol”, 5, 943.
 It is therefore necessary to realize specific interfaces that require an IT structure capable of optimizing the browsing experience and giving the audience the possibility of interacting and providing feedback.
 Music increases the sense of presence: see Nordahl, R., Nilsson, N.C. (2014), The Sound of Being there: Presence and Interactive Audio in Immersive Virtual Reality, in Collins, K., Kapralos, B., Tessler, H., (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Interactive Audio, online edn., Oxford University Press: 213-233. Needless to say, the difference between virtual reality (high-immersive condition) and videos on an app or on a desktop cannot be blurred: sense perception and emotional reaction are predominant in the first case. See Al Alam, R.T., Dibben, N. (2021). A comparison of presence and emotion between immersive virtual reality and desktop displays for musical multimedia, please see in Future Directions of Music Cognition 2021. Virtual Conference Proceedings. Future Directions of Music Cognition, 6-7 Mars 2021, Virtual conference. Ohio State University Libraries, Ohio, DOI: 10.18061/FDMC.2021.0017.
 For a discussion on the idea of sound as “sound object”, see the recent article by Kannenberg, J. (2021), Towards a more sonically inclusive museum practice: a new definition of “the” sound object, “Science Museum Group Journal”, https://dx.doi.org/10.15180/170805/001
 See Fabbri, N. (2021), Homage to Vincenzo Galilei: Music and Science at the Museo Galileo, “Galilæana”, 18, 181-9.
 See, for instance, Kannenberg, J. (2016), Listening to Museums: Sounds as objects of culture and curatorial care, PhD. Thesis; Kannenberg, J. (2016), Listening to Museums: Sound Mapping towards a Sonically Inclusive Museology, “Museological Review”, 20, 2016, 6-17.
citizenship: Italian and French
PhD in Philosophy, summa cum laude, Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa (2006).
Laurea in Filosofia (equivalent to B.A.+M.A), summa cum laude, University of Pisa.
Laurea (equivalent to B.A.+M.A) in piano performance, summa, Florence State Conservatory of Music (1997).
National Scientific Habilitation for Associate Professor in History of Science (appointed in 2012 and confirmed in 2018, always decided unanimously).
Post-doctoral fellow at several universities and national and international institutions, such as University of Pisa and Florence, UCLA, International Balzan Prize Foundation, and I Tatti – the Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies.
Scientific coordinator and editor in chief of the area “Science” for the Digital Ecosystem of Culture of Regione Toscana, a project funded by the European Commission (FESR). This digital heritage project includes the digitalization, cataloguing and study of about 100.000 pages of manuscripts and herbariums belonging to the most important Tuscan philosophers and scientists, in addition to digitalizing several collections and archives kept in more than fifteen Tuscan scientific Museums.
She teaches History of Science at Stanford University Bing Overseas Studies Program and was supervisor of Nanjing University School of Arts Study Abroad Program in Florence (2017-2019).
Member of the Editorial board of the peer review international journal Galilaeana. Studies in Renaissance and Early Modern Science, and Mefisto. Rivista di medicina, filosofia e storia. Referee for the following international journals: Early Science and Medicine; Nuncius; Notes and Records: The Royal Society Journal of the History of Science.
Member of the Italian Society of History of Science, member of the research unit “Literature, Science and Medicine” (University of Florence), and member of the European project COST on early music.
At the Museo Galileo she is currently coordinator of the projects on science and music, and on women and science, in addition to organizing interdisciplinary events and seminars for the dissemination of scientific culture.
Main research areas: History of Science, Renaissance and Modern Philosophy, Philosophy of Music, Gender in Science, Digital Humanities.
Monographs and volumes: Cosmologia e armonia in Kepler e Mersenne (Florence, Olschki 2003), De l’utilité de l’harmonie (Pisa, Edizioni della Normale 2008, winner of the XIII Philosophical Prize of Castiglioncello) and Profili di donne sulla Luna (Pisa, Edizioni della Normale 2022). She acted as co-editor of Copernicus Banned. The Entangled Matter of the anti-Copernican Decree of 1616 (Florence, Olschki 2008) and Vincenzo Galilei. The Renaissance Dialogue between Music and Science (forthcoming).