Scientific programme

On 23 and 24 October, Building Bridges 2019 will offer a series of lectures delivered by scholars of different countries and expertise, including winners of the prestigious Erasmus Medal and of the Balzan Prizes, in addition to two COST lectures, and the AE Distinguished Lecture that closes the meeting. Together with these AE lectures, there will be other activities offered by both the AE itself and by the Young Academy of Europe (YAE). The calendar, timetable, speakers and tentative titles are shown on the following pages. 

Tuesday, 22 October. Afternoon and evening. Pre-conference meetings

          15.00 onwards      Closed meeting of the Academia Europaea (AE) Board of Trustees. 

 (*Restaurant L’Antic Forn, c/Pintor Fortuny, 28. Followed by dinner)

         11.30-onwards     Young Academy of Europe. Location: Sala d’Actes, CSIC Residència d’Investigadors (c/Hospital, 64)

Programme available at:

Wednesday, 23 October. Pre-conference meetings and Day 1 of Building Bridges 2019

          9:00-12:00 Registration for Building Bridges 2019 opens (*Institute for Catalan Studies (IEC), c/Carme, 47)

                        Delegates may also collect their badges and materials at the Ateneu Barcelonès starting at 14:30, if they are unable to
                        stop by the registration desk in the morning at the IEC.

          9:15-onwards Young Academy of Europe (*Sala d’Actes, CSIC Residència d’Investigadors)

Programme available at:

          09.30-13.30  Parallel Academia Europaea class sessions, to involve new members  (IEC)

                                 Coordinated by:

                                Alexander Fidora MAE, ICREA Professor, Autonomous University of Barcelona

                                 Class A1, chaired by Poul Holm MAE, Trinity College Dublin (Coromines Room)

                                 Class A2, chaired by Björn Wittrock MAE, Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study (Pi i Sunyer Room)

                                 Class B, chaired by Donald Dingwell MAE, University of Munich (Prat de la Riba Hall)

                                 Class C, chaired by Alexej Verkhratsky MAE, University of Manchester (Nicolau d’Olwer Room)

                        After a welcome by the Class chairs and introductory remarks by the respective Section chairs, new members will have the
                        opportunity to briefly introduce themselves and their work.

          11.00-13.00     Coffee break

          11.30-13.00     Joint Round Table session, combining Class A1 and A2. (Coromines Room)

                        Classes B and C continue their sessions in the same rooms as before, until 13:30.

                                 Lecture by:

                               Dame Marilyn Strathern, MAE, University of Cambridge

                                 “Counting people”

                                 Chaired by Poul Holm MAE and Björn Wittrock MAE

                                 Response by:

                               Kirsten Drotner MAE, University of Southern Denmark

                      (The sessions of Classes B and C continue until lunch time)

          13.30-14.30     Lunch break

                              Delegates are on their own for lunch on this day, as it is NOT included in the conference fees.

          14.30-18.30 Registration for Building Bridges 2019 re-opens (*Ateneu Barcelonès, c/ Canuda 6)

          For those delegates who were unable to collect their badges and materials in the morning at the IEC.

          15.30-18.30          Building Bridges 2019 (Oriol Bohigas conference room, Ateneu Barcelonès)

          15.30          Welcome to new Academia Europaea members elected in 2018 and in 2019

          16.30         Erasmus Medal and 2019 Heinz-Nixdorf Foundation Erasmus Lecture 1

                            Aleida Assmann MAE, Universität Konstanz

                           “Re-imagining the Nation: Memory, Identity and the Emotions”

                      Laudator: Vladimir Biti MAE, University of Vienna

          17.30         Erasmus Medal and 2019 Heinz-Nixdorf Foundation Erasmus Lecture 2

                            Sonia Livingstone MAE, London School of Economics

                            “Realising children’s rights in relation to the digital environment”

                       Laudator: Kirsten Drotner MAE, University of Southern Denmark

          18.30-19.30         Reception (*next door at Hotel SERHS Rivoli Rambla, La Rambla, 128)

                           Drinks will be served, weather permitting, on the terrace of the hotel, accessible through the patio of the
                          Ateneu Barcelonès; signage and 
staff will direct delegates to the reception.

          20.30        President’s Dinner, Optional 

President’s Dinner (*Norai Raval restaurant, near the royal shipyards at Avinguda Drassanes, 1)

Only those guests who have previously registered for the dinner and have received confirmation of payment of its separate, corresponding fee will be granted admission.

Thursday, 24 October. Day 2 of Building Bridges 2019. At PRBB

–             08.30-11.00  Registration for Building Bridges 2019 re-opens (*Barcelona Biomedical Research Park (PRBB), c/Doctor
                                         Aiguader, 88)

                        For those delegates who were unable to collect their badges and materials the previous day.

            09.25-17.00    Building Bridges 2019 (PRBB Auditorium)

             09.25    Opening welcome

                                ─ Sierd Cloetingh MAE, President of the Academia Europaea

                                ─ Ricard Guerrero MAE, Academic director of the Barcelona Knowledge Hub

                                ─ Mangala Srinivas, FYAE, Chair of the Young Academy of Europe

              09.30   Balzan Lecture 1

                                ─ Detlef Lohse , University of Twente, 2018 prize winner

                                     “Bubble puzzles”

                                     Chair: Eva Kondorosi MAE, Hungarian Academy of Sciences

               10.00   Balzan Lecture 2

                               ─ Marilyn Strathern MAE, University of Cambridge, 2018 prize winner

                                     “New and old worlds: A perspective from Social Anthropology”

                                     Chair: Eva Kondorosi MAE, Hungarian Academy of Sciences

                10.30-11.00   Coffee Break

               11.00   COST Lecture 1

                                ─ Anca Nemuc, National Institute for Research and Development for Optoelectronics

                                      “inDust: International network to encourage the use of monitoring and forecasting. Dust products”

                                     Chaired by Sierd Cloetingh, President of the Academia Europaea

               11.30   COST Lecture 2

                                ─ Ralph Koebnik, Institut de Recherche pour le Développement – Cirad – University of Montpellier

                                     “Integrating science on Xanthomonadaceae for integrated plant disease management in Europe”

                                     Chaired by Sierd Cloetingh, President of the Academia Europaea

                12.00  Adam Kondorosi Academia Europaea Prize for Advanced Research 2019 Lecture

                                ─ Ray Dixon, John Innes Centre

                                     “Engineering Biological Nitrogen Fixation for Agricultural Benefit”

                                     Laudator: Jens Stougaard, MAE, Aarhus University.

                12.45-14.00   Lunch

               14.00 Academia Europaea Distinguished Lecture

                                ─ Konstantin Novoselov, MAE, University of Manchester, (Nobel Laureate 2010)

                                     «Physics and Applications of graphene and 2D materials»

                                     Chair: Alexej Verkhratsky MAE, University of Manchester 

                14.30   Discussion panel organised by the Young Academy of Europe (YAE)

                              “The future for young scholars”

                              Rolf Tarrach, President, European University Association (EUA)

                              Johannes Klumpers, Head of Scientific Advice Mechanism Unit, European Commission

                              Graham Caie, Vice-Pressident, European Federation of Academies of Sciences & Humanities (ALLEA)

                              Mangala Srinivas, FYAE, Chair, Young Academy of Europe (YAE)

                                Toma Susi, Vice-Chair, Young Academy of Europe (YAE)

                              Chair: Gemma Modinos, FYAE, King’s College London

                    15.30   Break

                 15.45   2019 Young Academy of Europe Andre Mischke Prize 

                                ─  Janusz Bujnicki, International Institute of Mollecular and Cell Biology in Warsaw

                                      «Science and policy in a complex world»

                                     Laudator: Marcel Swart, MAE, ICREA-University of Girona

                16.15   Building Bridges 2019 Distinguished Lecture

                                ─ Luc Steels MAE, ICREA-Pompeu Fabra Univertity

                                      “Why superintelligent AI will never exist”

                                     Chair: Andreu Mas-Colell, MAE, Pompeu Fabra University

     16.45-17.30    Close and departing drinks



Friday, 25 October. Post-conference Field Trip to Mntblanc and Poblet- Optional

Requires a separate registration fee, which includes transportation, cultural visits and lunch. Participants should wear comfortable walking shoes and rain gear as needed. The outing features the walled ducal city of Montblanc, an important trading centre in medieval times, and the 12th-century Cistercian monastery of Poblet.

            8.15 Departure of coach buses from Plaça Universitat, Barcelona

         10.30 Tour of Montblanc on foot

         Visit to Gothic architectural gems including Saint Francis’ convent, Saint Michael’s church, the city’s main street, Jewish quarter
  (or call, which was well-known in the Middle Ages all over the Iberian Peninsula), main square, Cal Malet medieval quarters for
  measuring grain, Saint Mary’s main church, Saint George’s portal, walled enclave and medieval bridge.

         12.30 Departure for restaurant

         13.00 Traditional Catalan lunch

         15.00 Guided tour of the monastery of Poblet

         17.00 Departure of coach buses for Barcelona

         19.00 Approximate arrival time at Plaça Universitat, Barcelona