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title SUMMARY /title

In the second half of the Eighteenth century a heated debate on the use of the lightning conductor took place in Europe. Franklin's ingenious discovery did not gain general approval among the European philosophers and raised fears and doubts in most part of the public opinion. In Italy the use of the lightning conductor gained large acceptance although it also aroused criticism and controversies that required the intervention of famous scientists, such as G. Toaldo. M. Landriani, and F. Fontana. Thanks to their efforts and dedication the idea that science could master a powerful and destructive natural phenomenon such as lightning was finally accepted. The cultural struggle for the use of the electric bars not only contributed to the achievement of a scientific innovation, but also to a change of mentality.

Affiliations: 1: Instituto e Museo di Storia della Scienza Firenze


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