The Blaumann Foundation promotes basic conceptual research in theoretical fundamental physics. It supports and coordinates the activities of young theoretical physicists and research groups who aspire to explore original and courageous ideas on the foundations of our understanding of the physical world. The Foundation offers research and study grants and funds for the organization of meetings, schools and workshops.
Origin and philosophy
The Foundation was born from the deep-rooted conviction of its founder, Engineer Giovanni Franceschini.
Inquiring on the fundamentals has always been a central strength of scientific thinking. Many of the most important discoveries originate from asking “what is behind” a concept or phenomenon, or “what really means” a principle or a theory. Scientific research has been nourished by an in-depth reflection on the nature of reality, from which concepts such as “energy”, “electromagnetic field”, “entropy”, “quantum uncertainty”, or “curvature of space-time” have emerged. In this conceptual endeavor, fundamental notions such as space, time, simultaneity, causality, objectivity, have been repeatedly questioned.
In recent decades, the vast development of scientific and technological research has partially obscured the need for this reflection. The practical success of modern science has partly distanced it from its roots, from being a discipline capable of investigating itself and its foundations. Despite the formidable empirical success of theories such as quantum mechanics, basic notions such as space, time, causality, objectivity are still under investigation, and the views of scientists are often divergent.
The Foundation aims to promote conceptual research in fundamental physics: asking “what does it mean” what we have learned so far, asking “what lies behind” the theories that have proved effective, trying to dig deep to understand if there are any hidden layers beneath the surface explored so far.
In this period, humanity faces serious problems such as the climate and ecological emergency and the pandemic, and faces enormous challenges, such as the resurgence of the most extreme poverty. But the experience of the past teaches us that it is from reflection on basic concepts that radically new ideas can arise that allow paradigms to be changed. If today we have the theoretical and technological tools that allow us to face crises that other civilizations have suffered in an unconscious way, it is thanks to the radical ruptures that arose in the past from reflections on the foundations.
The Foundation identifies and supports young minds who accept the challenge of asking fundamental physics questions and have the courage to think creatively and critically. The future could also come from a single innovative young mind, capable of thinking outside the box, who could not have grown without our support. It is not a romantic dream, it is one of the possible forms in which the knowledge and awareness of humanity has always grown.
For this reason the Foundation promotes and supports the activity of young theoretical physicists involved in research activities, regardless of the possibility of short and medium term applications: young scientists with proven skills who aspire to explore original and courageous ideas, not sufficiently supported by institutions traditional research funding.
To pursue this goal, the Foundation identifies and associates researchers interested in basic conceptual research. It raises private and public funds to offer research and study grants, facilitate visits and meetings between researchers, support public meetings and workshops. By statute, all the choices and activities of the Foundation are transparent and public.