1960-1965 Giovanni Polvani
Giovanni Polvani (1892-1970), president of the National Council for Research from 1960 to 1965, studied at the Scuola Normale Superiore of Pisa and in 1926 he won the chair of experimental physics at the University of Bari, where he taught for one year. In 1927, he went back to Pisa as professor of technical physics. Two years later, he moved to Milan where he held the chair of Experimental Physics at the public University, of which he then became rector. His research activity covered the great themes of classical physics such as electro-dynamics, statistical mechanics, etc. Just before the Second World War, Piovani felt the need to refine new instruments to give a positive course to the research on cosmic rays; just at the beginning of and after the war, he did everything to reorganize the research in physics and to fill the gap between researchers brought about by the destructions of the war. In 1947, he became Chairman of the Italian Society of Physics and he took up the management of the journal "Il Nuovo Cimento". Inspirer of the Cnr law reform of 1963, he closed the gap between scientific culture and humanistic culture, by introducing in Cnr also the behavioural sciences.