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. Please take into account that the titles of the lectures are as they currently stand at this First Call announcement (May 23, 2019). In the course of the coming weeks, this initial tentative schedule may change. The Barcelona Knowledge Hub website ( and the Manners Conferences and Events website (this website) will announce changes as they are made known. 

Tentative Programme (at August 01, 2019)

Tuesday, 22 October. Afternoon and evening

          16.00-19.00      Closed meeting of the Board of Trustees of the AE. Location: Puig i Cadafalch Room, IEC

          19.30                  Board dinner at a restaurant nearby.

         14.00-19.00      YAE AGM. Location: Sala d’Actes, Residence CSIC (C/Hospital 64, Barcelona)

         20.00                 Informal YAE dinner (at own expense)

Wednesday, 23 October. Morning

Location: At the IEC, different rooms, until 14:45

Workshops of the AE Classes/Sections and YAE meetings

            09.30-13.30  Parallel Class sessions, to involve New Members: Classes A1, A2, B and C and the YAE.

                                 (At different locations of the IEC.)

                                 Chair of Class A1: Poul Holm, Trinity College Dublin

                                 Chair of Class A2: Björn Wittrock, Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study

                                 Chair of Class B: Donald B. Dingwell, University of Munich

                                 Chair of Class C: Alexei Verkhratsky, University of Manchester

                                 Chair of YAE: Mangala Srinivas, Radboud University Nijmege

                                 Coordinated by:

                                Alexander Fidora MAE, ICREA Professor, Autonomous University of Barcelona

                        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.

          11.30-13.00     Joint Round Table session, combining Class A1 and A2. Location: Prat de la Riba Hall, IEC

                                 Chaired by Shalini Randeria

                                 Lecture by:

                               Dame Marilyn Strathern, MAE, Cambridge, UK.  “Counting people”

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


           13.30-14.30 Ad hoc Sections Committees and YAE (lunch to be arranged by the chairs as they wish)


        Information on the talks organised by the YAE can be obtained from the YAE Chair, Mangala Srinivas,                    ;

            12.30-18.30 Registration Desk opens at the Barcelona Athenaeum. (c/Canuda 6, Barcelona)

                                      (A 7-minute walk from the IEC):

                                      Check-in and Conference badge delivery by Manners Conferences and Events

            14.45 onwards. All delegates move to the main conference venue (Barcelona Athenaeum)

Wednesday, 23 October. Afternoon.

Venue: Conference Room Oriol Bohigas, at the Barcelona Athenaeum

START OF BUILDING BRIDGES 2019. (The 31st AE Annual Conference)

          15.30          Welcome to new AE Members (those elected in 2018 and in 2019)

                             Coordinated by:

                           Genoveva Martí MAE, ICREA Professor, University of Barcelona

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

                            Aleida Assmann MAE, Konstanz (Literature)

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

                              Laudator: Vladimir Biti MAE, University of Vienna (Comparative literature)

          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, Odense (Media Studies)

          18.30         Reception at the Barcelona Athenaeum premises

          20.30        President’s Dinner, Optional 

The dinner is open to all Conference attendees, with a special call to new AE Members of 2018 & 2019.

Venue: Norai Restaurant, next to the Royal Shipyards (Reales Atarazanas), an outstanding museum of maritime warships (Av. de les Drassanes s/n). (A 15-minutes-walk from both the IEC and Athenaeum, down La Rambla).

Cost: 45 euros. (Registration through Manners Conferences and Events. If possible, please register for these activities when registering on-line for the Annual Conference.)

Thursday, 24 October. All day.

Venue: Conference Room Oriol Bohigas, at the Barcelona Athenaeum

BUILDING BRIDGES 2019. (The 31st AE Annual Conference) (Cont’d)

            08.00    Registration continues, Manners Conferences and Events desk

             09.25    Opening welcome by:

                                ─  Sierd Cloetingh, President of the Academia Europaea

                                ─ Ricard Guerrero, Academic director of the Barcelona Knowledge Hub

                                ─ Mangala Srinivas, Chair of the Young Academy of Europe

              09.30   Balzan Lecture 1

                                ─ Detlef Lohse, Twente, Netherlands (Fluid Dynamics), 2018 Prize winner

                                     “Bubble puzzles”

               10.00   Balzan lecture 2

                                ─ Marilyn Strathern MAE, Cambridge, UK (Anthropology), 2018 Prize winner

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

                10.30   Coffee Break

               11.00   COST Lecture 1

                                ─ Anca Nemuc, Romania

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

               11.30   COST Lecture 2

                                ─ Ralph Koebnik, Montpellier

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

                12.00   The 2019 Adam Kondorosi Award and Lecture (TBC)

                                ─ Ray Dixon, FRS (John Innes Centre, Norwich, UK)

                                     “Engineering Biological Nitrogen Fixation for Agricultural Benefit”

                                     Laudator: Jens Stougaard

                12.45   Lunch

                 14.00  Building Bridges 2019 Distinguished Lecture 1

                                ─ Konstantin Novoselov, MAE, Manchester, UK (Nobel Laureate 2010)

                14.30   Discussion panel organised by the YAE: “The future for young scholars”

                              Rolf Tarrach, President, European University Association (EUA)

                              Johannes Klumpers, Head of Scientific Advice Mechanism Unit (SAM), European Commission

                              Graham Caie, Vice Pres., European Federation of Academies of Sciences & Humanities (ALLEA)

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

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

                    15.30   Break

                 15.45   The 2019 Young Academy of Europe ‘Andre Mischke Prize’ 

                                ─  Janusz Bujnicki, Poznań

                16.15   Building Bridges 2019 Distinguished Lecture 2

                                ─ Luc Steels MAE, ICREA/IBE (UPF-CSIC Barcelona)

                                      “Why superintelligent AI will never exist”

     16.45-17.30    Close and departing drinks

 (TBC: To be confirmed)


Friday, 25 October. Optional. 

Excursion to Montblanc. Post-Conference field trip.

Visit to the walled medieval city of Montblanc (115 km south-west from Barcelona)

Cost: 75 euros. (Registration through Manners Conferences and Events. If possible, please register for these activities when registering on-line for the annual conference.)

All day (Buses departure at 08.00, Plaça Universitat, Barcelona)

Arrival in Montblanc at approximately 09.30

The archaeology and traditions of Montblanc

The medieval and Jewish quarters of Montblanc

Catalan lunch in a masia nearby

Wines and olive oils tasting


Geology of the Montblanc region.

Buses at 18.00. Back in Barcelona at approximately 20.00