Dall’universo delle leggi naturali al mondo dei processi evolutivi
Until the nineteenfifties the general aim of science was the search for universal natural laws. In the sixties a radical change took place: advanced scientific research in many traditional subjects started to investigate the evolution of complex systems and of unpredictable and unrepeatable processes. Three basic features characterize such systems: the existence of different organisational levels unreducible to simple elements of a single structure, the impossibility of referring their history to purely structural causes, the autoreferential character of their internal structure. An epistemological change in the idea of scientific knowledge took place. The consequences for the diffusion of a public awareness of science adequate to the role of science in our society are discussed.