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Dear AE Members and Guests:

As hosts of the 32nd Annual Conference of Academia Europaea (AE), Building Bridges 2021, the Barcelona Knowledge Hub of Academia Europaea (AE-BKH) is pleased to welcome you to the present conference website.

In light of the current difficulties in planning large international gatherings due to COVID-19, this year’s plenary conference (20-21 October 2021), open to all AE Members, will feature a hybrid format, meaning that delegates can either register to attend virtually via Zoom, or they can indicate their intention to reserve one of the spots for attending the conference on-site at the Barcelona Biomedical Research Park (PRBB).

The Building Bridges 2021 plenary programme highlights renowned international scholars, including: Roger Penrose (2020 Erasmus Medal winner and recent Nobel Laureate – mathematics and physics); Quentin Skinner (Balzan Prize winner – social and European history); Don Dingwell (Munich Knowledge Hub Academic Director, Hon. Vice-President and trustee -Volcanology); Ole Petersen (AE Hon. Vice-President, Cardiff Knowledge Hub Director and AE Gold Award recipient – physiology); Susan Trumbore (Balzan prize winner – carbon cycling in plants and soils), and Mara Dierssen (cognition, behaviour and health). In addition, the plenary programme will include a Young Academy of Europe (YAE) panel debate and the presentation of the YAE 2021 Andre Mischke Prize. Also, Marja Makarow, currently President-Elect of AE, will assume the presidency during the conference, while AE thanks outgoing President Sierd Cloetingh for his many years of service.

Class meetings, for their part, will be held exclusively online, on the following dates: Class A1-Humanities and Class A2-Social and Related Sciences will hold a joint virtual meeting on 14 October; Class B-Exact Sciences will hold its meeting on 15 October; and finally, Class C-Life Sciences will hold its meeting on 18 October. These sessions, organized by Class Chairs along with their respective Section committees, require advance registration, which must be completed at the same time as registration for the plenary programme. AE Members are encouraged to also register for one or more of these Class meetings (not just their own corresponding Class’ meeting), in addition to the plenary programme. Class meetings will also feature an outstanding keynote speaker(s) and, in addition, will welcome new Members of AE elected in 2020 and invite them to make short presentations.

In addition, the Young Academy of Europe (YAE), for their part, is organising an online Annual General Meeting (AGM), to take place via Zoom on Tuesday, 19 October 2021. AE Members are also welcome to join this meeting, free of charge. (More information on how to register for this meeting is available on the YAE website).

Also, we invite you to browse the pages containing general conference information, including speaker biographies and abstracts, an overview of the new AE members inducted this year, and venue and accommodation information. Additionally, you will find information on Barcelona and updates related to COVID-19 on the corresponding pages.

Finally, please note that Manners Conferences & Events Barcelona, the local professional conference organiser (PCO) from previous Building Bridges conferences held in Barcelona, will again be managing logistic and administrative issues including registration. We remain at your disposal for any questions or comments (Contact us) regarding the conference.
With the hopes that this year’s conference serves as a step in the direction of fully resuming in-person activities, we look forward to seeing you, either virtually or in-person in Barcelona, at Building Bridges 2021.


Ricard Guerrero
Academic Director