Partner 7        Istituto Tecnico Toscano and Fondazione Scienza e Tecnica, Florence (FST)




The Fondazione Scienza e Tecnica (FST) was founded in 1987 thanks to the support of the Toscana region, of the province and the municipality of Florence for preserving study-ing and presenting to the public the collections of the former IstitutoTecnico Toscano. The Physics Laboratory collection (the largest in Italy concerning 19th century appara-tus) was subjected to a careful restoration which was followed by the compilation of printed scientific catalogues. A database has been realised that follows the national standard for cataloguing scientific instruments. The data concerning the instruments are in the course of publication on the web-site of the FST (, and are also present in the ISIN international database of scientific instruments. Cur-rently the collections of natural history are being restored and catalogued. The FST in collaboration with other institutions organised various workshops and seminars dedi-cated to the training of operators in the field of museology, history of instrumentation and instrument restoration. The FST also proposes a series of scientific didactical ac-tivities dedicated to schools (planetarium, temporary exhibitions, guided visits, etc.).


Paolo Brenni studied experimental physics at the University of Zurich where he also earned his PhD degree. At the University of Padua he was in charge of the restoration and cataloguing of their collection of physics apparatus. Since 1990 he is occupied by the National Research Council (CNR) in Florence as First class researcher. His most im-portant collaboration partners are the Istituto Tecnico Toscano and the Fondazione Scienza e Tecnica, Florence (see above), the Istituto e Museo di Storia della Scienza (IMSS), Florence, and the Centre de recherche d’histoire des sciences (CRHST), and the Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie (CSI), both in Paris. Brenni possesses an outstanding expertise as historian of scientific instruments, of precision industry and in scientific museology, as well as an instrument restorer. In various museological pro-jects, exhibitions, and publications he collaborated with the eminent History of Science Museum in Florence (IMSS). He is a worldwide renowned specialist and conservator of scientific instruments and their collections. During the year 2000 he filled the George Sarton Chair at the University of Gant/Belgium; in 2002, he was awarded the Paul Bunge Price of he German Chemical Society, and since 2003, he serves as President of the Scientific Instrument Commission of the International Union of History and Phi-losophy of Science (IUHPS), and as President of the Scientific Instrument Society.