The Academia Europaea Barcelona Knowledge Hub

The AE’s office for the Mediterranean and Southern European region

In 2012, the Catalan Government (Generalitat de Catalunya), the Barcelona City Council (Ajuntament de Barcelona) and the “la Caixa” Foundation launched the Southern European and Mediterranean office of the Academia Europaea, the Barcelona Knowledge Hub, from now on, AE-BKH. These three organizations have the condition of “partners” of the AE-BKH. The three partners count on the support of the Institute for Catalan Studies (IEC) to hold and maintain the Hub’s office.

Operational since January 2013, the AE-BKH focuses on the promotion of activities of interest for the Members of the Academy and the scientific community in general, with special emphasis on multidisciplinary activities that include the transversal perspectives of the natural sciences, the social sciences and the humanities. The field of action of the AE-BKH covers, especially, but not uniquely, the Mediterranean and Southern Europe, including Turkey and Israel.

The AE-BKH office is located at the premises of the IEC, a mid-17th century historical building very conveniently sited in the centre of the city of Barcelona.

Since August 2014, Prof. Dr. Ricard Guerrero, from the University of Barcelona, Emeritus, is the Academic Director of the AE-BKH.

The management of the website and the digital coordination and the numerous audio-visual activities (“BKH in Action” video channel, Hub’s e-zine, etc.) have been externalised. Currently, the Website and Social Network Manager  is Rubén Duro ( who is also the responsible person for the digital coordination and the audio-visual section.

The manager of the general communication of the hub is Carmen Chica (

Other external personnel collaborating for several activities are Mercè Piqueras, Mercedes Berlanga and Maite Sánchez. The administrative and technical support to the Hub’s office at the IEC building is excellent and an essential part in the efficient every-day running of the Academia Europaea-Barcelona Knowledge Hub.

Postal address: AE-Barcelona Knowledge Hub. C/ Carme 47, 08001 Barcelona


Cloister of the Institute for Catalan Studies, where the office is located.


Photo RG 07.10.14

Ricard Guerrero – Academic Director

Madrid, 1943. Full Professor of Microbiology at the University of Barcelona (1988‒2013). Emeritus. Adjunct Professor at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst (2001‒present). Formerly Full Professor at the Autonomous University of Barcelona (1975‒1988). Visiting Professor at the University of California-Davis (1979), and Boston University (1985‒1988). Fellow of the following Academies: the Linnean Society, the American Academy of Microbiology, the Academia Europaea and the Institute for Catalan Studies. Medal Narcís Monturiol for scientific merit of the Government of Catalonia (2000). Foundation F. González Bernáldez prize winner (2010). President of the Spanish Society for Microbiology, SEM (2007‒2014) and Vice-president of the Confederation of Scientific Societies of Spain, COSCE (2013‒present). His studies on microbial ecology were pioneers in Europe, where he worked on the photosynthetic anoxigenic bacterial communities of karstic lakes and microbial mats. He has significantly contributed to the understanding of the first ecosystems and the establishment of early life on Earth. As a consequence of his work, he has more than 400 publications on the biochemistry, genetics, and ecology of prokaryotes. Besides his activity in research and teaching at the university, he has worked on different programs and activities on behalf of the communication of science in Spain, Latin America, and the United States, and of the public understanding of science in different countries. He has been the curator of the permanent exhibition of the new Museum of Natural Sciences of Barcelona. Currently, he is the Academic Director of the Academia Europaea’s office for the Mediterranean (Barcelona Knowledge Hub), located in Barcelona.

Foto 2013 Alexander Fidora

Alexander Fidora – Academic Coordinator

Alexander Fidora, Offenbach (Germany), 1975. He studied philosophy at the Uni­versity of Frankfurt, obtaining his PhD in 2003. He is a Research Professor of the ICREA (Institució Catalana de Re­cerca i Estudis Avançats) in the Department of Ancient and Medieval Studies of the UAB. His research focuses on medieval philosophy, in particular epistemology and metaphysics as well as the intercultural and interre­ligious dimensions of medieval thought, with more than forty books published and over 150 articles. He has directed the ERC Starting grant “Latin into Hebrew” (2008-2014) and the ERC Consolidator project “The Latin Talmud” (2014-2019). Visiting Professor at Saint Louis University, Universidad Panamericana in Mexico, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg and University of Pennsylvania. His work has been distinguished with the “Premi Internacional Catalònia” (2011) and the “Samuel Toledano Prize” (2012). Vice-president of the Sociedad de Filosofía Medieval and Société Internationale pour l’Étude de la Philosophie Médiévale. Member of the Academia Europaea.

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Rubén Duro – Website and Social Network Manager

Barcelona, 1963. Biology, UB 1987. Master in Environmental Management, Open International University and Institute for Ecological Research of Malaga (1995). Member of the Spanish Society for Microbiology (SEM), the Catalan Society for Biology (SCB) and the Spanish Association for the Scientific Image and Film (ASECIC). He has developed a career as filmmaker and scientific photographer, producing several documentary series on natural history for TV channels, among them “Tiny Worlds”, broadcast in Spain by the Spanish Public Television (TVE) and in South America through the International Channel of TVE and “Come with us” broadcasted in six European countries through the Digital Satellite Channel. His work has been shown in international photographic exhibitions, either individually such as “Microlife. Beyond the human eye” in CosmoCaixa (Barcelona), CosmoCaixa (Madrid) and Centrum Nauki Kopernik (Warsaw, Poland) with more than 1 million visitors, or collective, such as International Images for Science 2015 (organized by the Royal Photographic Society, London, UK). His work has been recognized with several international awards, including the Award of the Public for the Best Film at the 25th International Biennale of Scientific Film (Ronda, Spain, 2008) and the Honorable Mention for the Macrocinematography at the 32th International Wildlife Film Festival (Montana, USA, 2009). He has been editor, writer and/or coordinator of several encyclopaedias on science, environmental issues and natural history for Salvat, Espasa, Planeta, Anaya and Larousse editorial companies and of several textbooks on Biology and Geology for Edelvives Ed. He is author of the paper books “Biodiversitat Invisible” for the Institute for Catalan Studies and Natural Sciences Museum of, and “Born in a drop” for 3,14 Servicios editoriales. He is author and editor of several digital e-books and digital Study Guides for BioMedia Associates, LLC and the US educational market. He has been also author of several press collectibles for RBA-National Geographic Society. He collaborates with several academic groups, both in scientific research and in outreach activities. He is in charge of the digital activities of the AE-BKH.


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Kathrin Golda-Pongratz – Assistant Academic Coordinator

Kathrin Golda-Pongratz, Augsburg (Germany), 1971. She studied architecture and urban planning at TU Munich, ETSA Barcelona and Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) where she obtained her PhD in 2006. She taught at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, the Metropolis Masters Program in Architecture and Urban Culture (UPC/CCCB), Clemson University (as resident professor) in Barcelona and has been a visiting professor at Universidad Nacional de Ingeniería and Pontifícia Universidad Católica del Perú (PUCP) in Lima. Between 2013 and 2018 she was professor of international urbanism at the University of Applied Sciences in Frankfurt am Main. She is currently a professor of the UIC School of Architecture and lectures and conducts workshops internationally. Her research focuses on urban memory, urban culture(s) and public space, Hispano-American urbanism, postcolonial urbanization, non-formal urbanism and place-making strategies. The recent book (with J.L. Oyón and V. Zimmermann) “John F C Turner. Autoconstrucción. Por una autonomía del habitar” (Pepitas de Calabaza, 2018) was distinguished with the FAD award In Thought and Criticism 2019. Her documentary film “Ciudad Infinita –Voces de El Ermitaño”, portraying a self-built neighbourhood in Lima/ Peru, was launched in October 2018. Her experience expands into curating and cultural transmission. She currently curates the programme “Paradigma Mur. Berlín–Barcelona // 1989-2019 // 1961-2021 //“ at the Born Centre de Cultura i Memòria. Member of the Institute of Present Pasts at Barcelona’s city council (IPP), of Deutscher Werkbund (dwb), the German Academy of Urban and Regional Planning (DASL) and Academia Europaea (AE).

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Carmen Chica – Communication Officer

Málaga, 1948. Psychology, UAB 1978. Master in Science Communication, UPF 2000. Management of research projects and scientific exchange. Translator of books and articles of history and philosophy and science. Author of a book of education psychology and of articles on culture and science for the public. Author-editor of a book about Lynn Margulis. Organizer of several international scientific meetings. Member of the staff of the Catalan Foundation for Ciència and Innovation (2000‒2011) for activities focused on science dissemination and promotion of scientific and technical studies (Science week, EU programmes on science and technology, promotion of women in technical schools-programme Enginycat). Manager of the Centre for Microbiological Research (CIM). Former managing coordinator of the journal International Microbiology. Animal lover.

Mercé Piqueras

Mercè Piqueras – Documentation and Dissemination

Barcelona, 1944. Biology, UB 1972. Biologist, science writer, science editor, and translator. Freelance collaborator of various (print and online) magazines, journals and newspapers, and translator for Investigación y Ciencia (Spanish edition of Scientific American), Editorial Reverté, etc. She has served as President of the Catalan Association for Scientific Communication (ACCC, 2005‒2011) and delegate of the ACCC at both the World Federation of Science Journalists (2004‒2011) and the European Union of Science Journalist’s Associations (2007‒2016). Vice-president of the Catalan Society for the History of Science and Technology (2009‒2011). Member of the Boards of both the Catalan Society for Biology (1994‒2001) and the Euroepan Association of Science Editors (2006‒2009). Evaluator of the European Union Descartes Prizes of popular science (2006 and 2007). Coauthor of Orígenes: del bigbang al tercer milenio (2000), Walks Through the Scientific World of Barcelona, (in Catalan, Spanish and English; Catalan second edition, 2006), and awarded the “Premi de Literatura Científica 2004” for her popular-science book Cròniques de l’altra veritat. “Medalla d’Honor” (Honor Medal) of the City Council of Barcelona (2003). Author of a multidisciplinary blog, in which posts on science, medicine and technology are predominant []. She has been a collaborator of the AE-Barcelona Knowledge Hub since 2013, when the Hub started its activities.

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Mercedes Berlanga – Programmer and Graphic Designer

Badalona, 1970. Biology, UB 1993. PhD Micro­bio­logy, UB 1999. Assistant Professor at the Department of Biology, Health and Environment, Section of Microbiology, at the Faculty of Pharmacy of the UB. During her postdoctoral training, she worked in Bremen (Max Planck Institute on Marine Ecology), and Boston (Forsythe Institute-Dental School, Harvard University). She belongs to the Spanish Society for Microbiology (SEM) and the Catalan Society for Biology (SCB). Her scientific activity focuses on the formation of biofilms, mechanisms of antibiotic resistance in nosocomial pathogens and environmental microorganisms. Also on the ecophysiology and diversity of minimal ecosys­tems (microbial mats and intestinal tract of wood-eating insects). She has published over 90 papers in international peer-reviewed journals and science diffusion magazines. Currently, she teaches in the grades of Food Science & Technology, Human Nutrition & Dietetics, and Pharmacy, and also in several postgraduate and master courses, such as Biotechnology, and Quality of Drugs, Cosmetics & Food (UB), Micro­bio­logy (IUCT), Food Security (UOC), and Biotechnology & Food Security (SEM, online). Besides her activity in research and teaching at the university, she has published numerous articles on the diffusion of microbiology, showing the importance of microorganisms in human life and environment’s conservation. She has been selected to design graphic material and logos for scientific meetings and societies, in which she won different prizes. Some examples are: logos for the Faculty of Pharmacy of the UB, the National Congresses and Specialised Groups of the SEM, the Biology Olympiad of the SCB, the CESIRE work group of the Department of Education of the Generalitat de Catalunya, the International Project CYTED (EC-Latin America), the Ramon Llull Project (IEC), and the Scriptorium Project (Fundació Alsina Bofill). Finally, she is the designer of the logos and different materials for the Barcelona Knowledge Hub and the Building Bridges 2018 and 2019 meetings of the Academia Europaea.

Maite Sánchez

Maite Sánchez – On-site Logistics

Barcelona, 1971. Degree in English Language and Literature, University of Barcelona, 1985. She worked in an adult English School until 1999. Since 2000 she works at the Institut d’Estudis Catalans. She has occupied different positions inside the IEC administration. Presently, she is the administrative secretary of three IEC’s thematic societies: Biology, Economy and Education. She has a large experience in the organisation of congresses, seminars and distinguished lectures. She collaborates with the AE-BKH since 2016.


Academia Europaea | Barcelona Knowledge Hub

International Advisory Committee, 2016


On July 17, 2014, the Board of the Academia Europaea, in its ordinary meeting held in Barcelona proposed the creation of the International Advisory Committee (IAC) of the Barcelona Knowledge Hub (BKH). The mission of the IAC is to advise and supervise the activities of the BKH. In this way, the IAC identifies specific topics of interest with a view to organising activities and suggesting guidelines for the strategies of the BKH, according to the BKH’s mission of promoting multidisciplinary activities with a focus on natural sciences, social sciences and humanities with a Mediterranean perspective.

The International Advisory Committee of the Barcelona Knowledge Hub of the Academia Europaea has representatives from five different Mediterranean countries: Spain, France, Italy, Portugal and Israel. Their names and brief CVs follow:

Enric Banda

enricbandaEnric Banda has a PhD in Physics from the University of Barcelona. He did his post-doctorate research at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich. Research Professor of the Spanish Council for Scientific Research (CSIC) since 1987, he was appointed Director of the Earth Sciences Institute in Barcelona (Jaume Almera Institute-CSIC) in 1988. He was Secretary General of the National R&D Plan in Spain in 1994 and Secretary of State for Universities and Research in 1995. He was Secretary General of the European Science Foundation (ESF) (1998‒2003), Director of the Catalan Foundation for Research and Innovation (FCRI), and of the Catalan Institution for Advanced Studies (ICREA), from 2004 to 2007 and Director of Innovation and Environment at La Seda de Barcelona. From 2009‒2015 he was Director of Science and the Environment at ”la Caixa” Foundation. He has been vicepresident of the European Geophysical Society, editor-in-chief of Tectonophysics, European editor of Geophysical Research Letters (American Geophysical Union) and author of numerous reviewed scientific papers. Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society (UK), member of the Royal Academy of Sciences and Arts of Barcelona since 2012 and former President of Euroscience (2006–2012).


Pedro García-Barreno

pedrogarciabarrenoDoctor of Medicine (Complutense University of Madrid, UCM), he is Full Professor Emeritus of Surgery at the Faculty of Medicine of the UCM). He was trained at the Provincial Hospital in Madrid, and at hospitals of the University of Cardiff (UK), Wayne (Michigan, USA) and Houston (Texas, USA). Among other positions, he has been Professor at the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB) and UCM, as well as Medical Director, and Assistant Director of Research and Chief Clinician of General Surgery of the University General Hospital Gregorio Marañón (Madrid). He is a Member of several Royal Spanish Academies, the Royal Academy of Language (RAE), the Royal Academy of Exact, Physical and Natural Sciences, and of the Royal Academy of Doctors. He is also a Member of the International College of Surgeons (USA), and Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine (London, UK). He is author of hundreds of publications in national and foreign journals.

Royal Academy of the Language, and Royal Academy of Medicine (Madrid, Spain)


M. Dolors Garcia-Ramon

mdolorsgarciaramonDoctor in Geography (University of Barcelona), she has been Full Professor of Geography at the Autonomous University of Barcelona since 1984. She has also been a Professor or visiting researcher at several universities in the USA (University of Arizona, Cornell University, State University of New York), Argentina (Buenos Aires University) and UK (London School of Economics, Durham University), among others. She is particularly interested in gender perspective in social and cultural geography. She is a member of the Advisory Board of the Centre for Gender Equality (UAB) and the Advisory Board of the Interuniversity Institute of Women and Gender.

Autonomous University of Barcelona (Spain)


Ramon Gomis

ramongomisDoctor in Medicine (University of Barcelona), he was a postdoctoral researcher at the Free University of Brussels. His career as a researcher and medical doctor has been based at the Hospital Clínic of Barcelona, where, for over 25 years, he has served in a number of positions: Staff Doctor, Consultant, Senior Consultant, Head of the Diabetes Unit, Head of the Endocrinology and Nutrition Department, and Director of Research. He has also served as Director of the Clinic Foundation for Biomedical Research. In management, he has promoted biomedical research by founding a translational lab in the Hospital Clínic-IDIBAPS, leading and directing research organizations, and by fostering the creation of national and international networks in diabetes research, such as CIBERDEM. He is currently Director of the August Pi i Sunyer Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBAPS) and Full Professor of Endocrinology at the University of Barcelona.

Institute of Biomedical Research Agustí Pi Sunyer, IDIBAPS (Barcelona, Spain)


Sergiu Hart

sergiuhartDoctor in Mathematics (Tel-Aviv University), he is Kusiel-Vorreuter University Professor, Professor of Economics, and Professor of Mathematics, at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. His previous academic appointments were at Stanford University, Tel Aviv University, and Harvard University (visiting professor). He was the founding director of the Centre for the Study of Rationality, a world-leading multidisciplinary research centre at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem; he is currently the chair of its Academic Committee. His main area of research is game theory and economic theory, with additional contributions in mathematics, computer science, probability and statistics. Member of the Israel Acad. of Sciences and Humanities, he served as President of the Israel Mathematical Union in 2005–2006, and as President of the Game Theory Society in 2008–2010.

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem (Jerusalem, Israel)


Yvon Le Maho

yvonlemahoDoctor in Science (Claude Bernard University, Lyon), he was deputy director of the Institute Multidisciplinary Hubert Curien (CNRS- IPHC) and Director of the Centre for Ecology and Physiological Energetics. As environmental physiologist, his principal scientific objective is to understand the mechanisms of the adaptations of animals to environmental constraints. Member of the French Academy of Sciences and Associated Member of the French Academy of Pharmacy, he chairs the Scientific Committee of Biodiversity and Natural Heritage, which advises the French Minister of Ecology and Sustainable Development.

National Centre for Scientific Research, CNRS (Strasburg, France),


Genoveva Martí

genovevamartiDoctor in Philosophy (Stanford University), she is Research Professor of ICREA (Catalan Institute for Research and Advanced Studies) at the Department of Philosophy of the UB. She has been a Reader at the London School of Economics and Professor at the University of Western Ontario, Canada. She has taught at the Univ. of Washington, Seattle and UC-Riverside. Since 2009 she has been a member of the Philosophy Section of the AE, and is a member of the LOGOS research group. Her research interests include the theory of reference, the semantics of singular and general terms, and the role of experimental data in semantics. She was awarded the Narcís Monturiol Medal for scientific and academic excellence by the Government of Catalonia in 2012.

ICREA & University of Barcelona (Spain)


Marc Mayer

marcmayerDoctor in Classic Philology (University of Barcelona) and Doctor honoris causa from the University of Budapest, he has taught at the University of Rome, UC-Berkeley, University of La Habana and the Autonomous University of Barcelona, among others. He is currently Full Professor of Latin Philology at the University of Barcelona. Member of several academies, including the Institute for Catalan Studies, the Spanish Royal Academy of History, the International Association of Greek and Latin Epigraphy, the Archaeological German Institute and the Heidelberg Academy, he was Director General for Cultural Heritage of the Catalan Autonomous Government (1999‒2003). He is a Member of the Board of Directors of the University of Sassari (Italy) and a member of the Board of editors of several journals of classical studies.

University of Barcelona (Barcelona, Spain)


Maria Paradiso

mariaparadisoDoctor in Political Geography (University of Trieste, Sorbonne and other institutions), Professor of Geography at the University of Sannio in Benevento, Italy, she is the first Chair of the International Geographical Union Commission ‘Mediterranean Basin’. She served as Vice Chair of the International Geographical Union Commission ‘Geography of Information Society’ untill 2012. She has taught at several Italian universities, including the University of Naples, and the University of Basilicata. She has been a Professor or invited Research Professor at foreign universities, such as the University of Bordeaux Montaigne, the National University of Seoul, Haifa University, University of Tokyo and Waseda University in Tokyo, University Kentucky Lexington, Cady Ayyad Marrakesh, and Centre d’Études Economiques et Sociales (CERES) Tunis. Currently she is Primary Coordinator of FP7 People Marie Curie IRSES MEDCHANGe –Euromediterranean changing relationships 612639.

University of Sannio (Benevento, Italy)


Regina Revilla

reginarevillaPhD in Pharmacy (Complutense University of Madrid, UCM). She has held different positions in the public administration in the Central Government of Spain, including the Secretary of Food of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. She has also been General Director of Pharmacy and Health Products of the Ministry of Health and Consumption; General Director of Technology Policy of the Ministry of Industry and Energy, and Deputy General Director of the Centre for Industrial Technological Development (CDTI). Since 1996 she has been Director of External Relations and Communication of Merck Sharp & Dohme Spain. She is also a Member of the Spanish Royal Academy of Pharmacy and author of hundreds of publications in national and foreign journals.

Merck Sharp & Dohme Spain (Madrid, Spain)


Rosalia Vargas

rosaliavargasPresident of Ciência Viva, the Portuguese National Agency for Scientific and Technological Culture, and Director of the Lisbon Science Centre: Pavilion of Knowledge. She has been leading the creation of a network of science centres in Portugal, since 1996, currently with 20 members. After being President of ECSITE, the European Network of Museums and Science Centres (2013‒2015) she is Past President on the board of this organization. Her academic and professional development includes Education, Media Studies, Political Governance, and Scientific and Technological Culture: Benchmarking Study on Scientific Culture for the European Commission (2002); Board Member for ECSITE (2001‒2007); member of the International Programme Committee of 5th Science Centre World Congress (2004‒2008); member of the National Council of Education (2006‒2012); elected City Councilor for Education, Youth and Culture at Lisbon City Hall (2007‒2009); member of Editorial Board Harvard Medical School Portugal (2010‒2012); National Delegate for Science in Society at the 7th FP of Research and Development, EC (2007–2012); member of the Advisory board of The Danish National Centre for Education in Nature, Technology and Health; member of Advisory Boards of two High Schools in Lisbon.

Ciência Viva (Lisbon, Portugal)