Logo BB2021 20_21 octubre

The Academia Europaea (AE) – Barcelona Knowledge Hub hosts the AE annual conference, Building Bridges 2021, both on-site and online

The Academia Europaea (AE) – Barcelona Knowledge Hub is pleased to have hosted the AE 32nd Annual Conference and the 10th of the Young Academy of Europe (YAE), Building Bridges 2021, bringing together a total of 325 experts (51 on-site delegates and 274 virtual delegates) representing 41 different countries and a wide variety of academic disciplines. Following the cancellation of the 2020 conference due to COVID-19, this year’s conference took place in a new hybrid format featuring activities conducted on-site at the Barcelona Biomedical Research Park (PRBB) and online. Furthermore, the event marked the last annual conference for AE President Sierd Cloetingh (Utrecht University), who steps down at the end of 2021 after leading the academy for seven years and will be succeeded by AE President-Elect Marja Makarow (University of Helsinki).

The AE sessions comprising the Building Bridges 2021 plenary programme in Barcelona on 20-21 October highlighted leading international academic figures, including: physicist Sir Roger Penrose (Oxford University), recipient of the 2020 AE Erasmus Medal (laudation given by Astronomer Royal Lord Martin Rees (University of Cambridge)); Ole Petersen (Cardiff University), AE Vice-President and recipient of the AE Gold Award; Susan Trombore (Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry), expert on carbon cycle processes and 2020 Balzan Prize Winner; Quentin Skinner (Queen Mary University of London), historian of modern political thought and 2006 Balzan Prize Winner; Mara Dierssen (Centre for Genomic Regulation), cellular and systems neurobiologist; and Donald Dingwell, (Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich), volcanologist. Following a period marked by COVID-19, the aforementioned plenary programme combined on-site and online lectures delivered live with a limited number of prerecorded lectures as a step forward towards regaining normalcy in the programming offered by Academia Europaea.

The YAE, for its part, contributed toward the plenary programme with the André Mischke YAE Prize 2021 for Science and Policy, awarded to Marian Verhelst (KU Leuven), who has worked to promote the participation of girls and women in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and mathematics); Arild Husby (Uppsala University) provided the corresponding laudation. Also, a panel of experts, convened by YAE Chair Gemma Modinos, discussed redefining academic recognitions, which included: Michael Murphy (European University Association); Konstantinos Glinos (Unit for Open Science, European Commission); Rebecca Lawrence, F1000Research; and Moniek Tromp (University of Groningen).

Prior to the plenary programme in Barcelona on 20-21 October, the four Classes comprising AE held their respective preconference meetings in an entirely virtual environment, highlighting keynote presentations by renowned scholars and presentations by Members of the AE Class of 2020. Class A1-Humanities, chaired by Poul Holm (Trinity College Dublin), and Class A2- Social and Related Sciences, chaired by Björn Wittrock (Uppsala University and Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study), held a joint meeting on 14 October, organised by the AE Bergen Knowledge Hub and featuring historian and 2006 Balzan Prize winner Quentin Skinner (Queen Mary University of London). Then, Class B- Exact Sciences, chaired by Donald Dingwell (Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich), conducted its meeting on 15 October, organised by the AE Munich Knowledge Hub and featuring a talk on recent missions to Mars by seismologist and earth scientist Domenico Giardini (ETH Zurich). Finally, Class C- Life Sciences, chaired pro tem by Eva Kondorosi (Biological Research Centre, Szeged), carried out its online meeting on 18 October from the Barcelona Knowledge Hub facilities. This meeting was organised by the Cardiff Knowledge Hub and featured a talk on mRNA therapies by Katalin Kariko (University of Pennsylvania).

Academia Europaea (AE) is a pan-European, non-governmental association acting as an academy. Its members are scientists and scholars who collectively aim to promote education and research. Founded in 1988, it currently has approximately 4,800 Members, leading experts from a variety of different fields including the physical sciences, technology, biological sciences, medicine, mathematics, literature, humanities, social sciences, cognitive sciences, economics and law. The current President is Sierd Cloetingh (Utrecht University), while the President-Elect is Marja Makarow, University of Helsinki.

The Barcelona Knowledge Hub (BKH), founded in 2013, is the AE office for the Mediterranean and Southern European region. Its main objective is to promote activities of interest for AE Members and for the scientific community at large, with the goal of helping to consolidate a European area of research, education and innovation. Institutions that currently help support the AE-BKH are the Barcelona City Council, the Government of Catalonia and the Institute for Catalan Studies. The current Academic Director of AE-BKH is Ricard Guerrero.

Building Bridges is the name, since 2018, of the annual plenary conferences of Academia Europaea. These conferences aim to engage the interests of all thematic areas of the academy and are therefore broad in scope and of a highly interdisciplinary nature.  The Academia Europaea-Barcelona Knowledge Hub has hosted the AE annual plenary conference on four different occasions (in 2014, 2018, 2019 and 2021, respectively).

For more information on Academia Europaea: https://www.ae-info.org/

For more information on the AE Barcelona Knowledge Hub: http://barcelona.acadeuro.org/

For more information on Building Bridges 2021: http://www.buildingbridges-acadeuro.org/

Photo Gallery

Video Gallery

Plenary Programme PDF

Class Programme PDF