Barcelona Science Plan 2020-2023

Any major city like Barcelona needs a policy of its own regarding science. Our society is immersed in dramatic and rapid changes in science and technology, changes that pose opportunities as well as doubt and uncertainty. Changes that provide hope for progress in many areas, but also concern about the ethical issues involved (biogenetics, transhumanism, use of big data, etc.), as well as about the dilemmas arising from the commercialisation and capacity for controlling personal information that many of these developments seem to implicate.

The aforementioned opportunities and doubts affect daily city life in Barcelona and its residents as a whole, and they demand with great urgency the development of a science and knowledge policy of the city’s own that goes beyond urban planning or conference organisation. We need a science policy that interrelates with the culture and education policies already developed, in a way that multiplies the potential of each of these on its own, in order to create a strong platform for scientific experimentation and dissemination that makes citizen science and life-long learning possible. A science policy that interrelates and harmonises with the policies of economic and social innovation, labour, transportation or ageing. A science policy that harnesses the potential of the plurality of approaches proper of the exact, experimental and technological sciences, of life and health sciences, and of social sciences and humanities, all of which are present in our city, with an extensive network of consolidated research centres and internationally renowned experts.

Our city possesses the potential to do this, thanks to one of the most important concentrations of universities and research centres in Europe, as it seeks to work with the rest of local stakeholders, both scientific and institutional, in order to strengthen its capacities and project this great metropolis to the world as a hub of knowledge and scientific innovation.

We need this policy, which is already grounded on solid foundation, to translate scientific developments and knowledge into real change in urban lifestyle, in our ways of consuming and living. A perspective is needed that respects the values inherent in our city and community: equality of gender, income, age, and cultural identity, opening science to the dilemmas of our era, with transparency, promoting shared knowledge and open science while finding a place for citizen participation in the larger debates ahead.

With this main goal, we have created the Barcelona Science Plan 2020-23. This plan was drafted during several different work sessions and discussed with all City Council departments, as well as a large number of related administrations, offices and institutions, following interviews with individuals and organisations holding expertise on the subject. It is grounded on 4 main axes, 15 objectives and 51 actions that form our roadmap and work plan for the next three years.

Joan Subirats i Humet

Deputy Mayor for Culture, Education, Science and Community

By clicking the logo below you can access the Barcelona Science Plan document in PDF format.

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