Art, science, psychology, philosophy, music… In one word: interdisciplinarity. The search for knowledge and truth starts with a spark of interest, which, once ignited, is difficult to extinguish. This is because all knowledge opens the door to other universes, other connections, and new stimuli feed our curiosity and our desire to know and understand.
It is of no coincidence that we often hear the words of the oldest minds. ‘I know that I know nothing’, Socrates said before the jury that condemned him to death. The irony of Socratic Ignorance has always been an invitation to know, to investigate, to learn, to go beyond the ordinary world of the known. It is precisely that world in which those who judged the Greek philosopher lived, unable to understand the true teaching of his thoughts.
The balance between trust in reason and a deep awareness of the limits of one’s own knowledge is one of the most precious gifts that Socrates bequeathed to human beings. It is the fundamental drive of the desire to progress that stirs creativity and makes us capable of change, indeed of improvement. This awareness, in today’s age of communication, where every statement contains the presumption of truth, is in complete contrast. To be honest, we can easily realise that more and more of our knowledge is based on hearsay, on reading a few superficial articles, thus, nothing more than the product of fragmented knowledge from usually, unknown sources. All this allows ‘easy’ but ‘horizontal’ access to information, which limits and contaminates our way of thinking and knowing.
Socrates taught us to ask questions in order to investigate in depth, going towards ourselves rather than away from ourselves, thinking for ourselves, never forgetting the exact boundary between knowledge and non-knowledge. To create change, it is imperative to recognise our own narrowness, only then can we create a common space for interdisciplinary collaboration. Only in this way can we be reborn and evolve.
Humanism and the Renaissance saw in Socrates one of the highest models of the ideal humanity that had been rediscovered in the ancient world. And I, in turn, have drawn inspiration from Humanism and the Renaissance to create Humanistic Cosmetics, precisely because I believe that one piece of knowledge always leads to another, and that an entire project can be born from one idea.
But it is not enough to rely on one’s own knowledge and experience, even if of great quality: it is necessary to activate in us a mutual listening and a constructive dialogue that can allow communication even between scientifically different languages. The key word always remains NETWORKING, i.e. ‘network of shared knowledge’.
It is for this reason that I have created a research group on the Epigenetics of Life, whose aim is to intertwine the science of cosmetics with that of other disciplines by enhancing the collaborations of minds involved in study projects and experiments, with the intention of proposing new tools for interdisciplinary knowledge aimed at the entire world of Beauty, with particular attention to operators of Wellbeing and young students training in the Professional Training Schools, who are often victims of cultural prejudices.
I will never tire of repeating that young people are 20% of the population, but 100% of our future.
It is easy to point the finger of cultural, social, and aesthetic impoverishment at the new generations, thinking that it is the demand that justifies the supply, and that it is therefore, the young people who have ‘lowered the level’. This may be partially true, but instead of looking for scapegoats, better educational models could be offered in terms of quality, to form minds capable of assessing the numerous elements of this world with knowledge and objectivity (without neglecting emotionality), with a physiological search for intellectual and aesthetic Beauty.
In vocational schools, it is essential to bring back all these values that are necessary to truly educate young people, who in turn will express knowledge, creativity, and evolved humanity in their work. This is why artistic and humanistic disciplines are as important as scientific disciplines, and together, they are able to mould young minds to acquire a critical sense and personality.
My intention, through the project PROUD TO BE, is to give these young people the tools of an evolved knowledge, also through the creation of spaces that are not only functional for education but also capable of transmitting that Beauty intrinsic in our Italian DNA, a creative flair that has inspired and continues to inspire the whole world.
The experience of Art, in all its forms, is fundamental for those who work in the world of Beauty. Artistic production has always followed human evolution as an “innate drive” to want to act on the world and change it, to give life to something we have in mind, to show reality from different angles. Art responds to a very strong desire to want to do as well as to be. Paintings, sculptures can adorn classrooms and corridors but also be used as study projects, Professional Training Schools, can then become true art galleries. Music should permeate the life of every human being because it can reach the heart directly without mediation, giving wings to thought and imagination. I believe that its use in places dedicated to education is fundamental, not only for its cultural value, but also for its positive and regenerating effects on the mind and body. And the same goes for aromas and lights.
Contemporary science teaches us that what we read or hear, what we see, the scents we breathe, the flavours we taste, the roads we travel, the people we meet, the emotions that pass through us and much more interfere with our epigenome, inducing transformations in the functioning of our brain and body.
I believe in a more amenable science, one that gets out of the halls of universities, research laboratories and the circles of a few followers and makes its knowledge available to all those who can, want to and should use it.
I hope that the capacity for introspection, the methodology a to vertical study (but not exclusively), will be recovered, because in times of extreme vulnerability like the ones we are living, they can allow us to rediscover the sacred place within us, the kindness and care towards ourselves and the people around us, with the aim of creating in each encounter a possible inner growth.