BarceloNews - Newsletter of the Barcelona Knowledge Hub#

No. 09/2016, September 5, 2016#


November 21-23, 2016#



November 21, 2016

Location: Palau de la Generalitat de Catalunya (a Gothic building from the 14th century)


Natural Life: Anna Veiga, Barcelona Stem Cell Bank, Centre for Regenerative Medicine, Barcelona

Synthetic Life: Ricard Solé, Complex Systems Lab, UPF-IBE, Center for Genomic Regulation, Barcelona

Sant Jordi Gothic Hall at the Palau de la Generalitet (Wikipedia Commons)

The Disputatio of Barcelona of 1263.
Original drawing made by artist Trini Sotos for the BKH-AE. (Reproduced with her permission)

About the Disputationes#

In the scholastic system of education of the Middle Ages, the Disputationes offered a formalized method of debate designed to uncover and establish truths in theology and in sciences. Fixed rules governed the process: they demanded dependence on traditional written authorities and the thorough understanding of each argument on each side. The famous Disputatio of Barcelona, celebrated in 1263 in the presence of king James I of Aragon, was one of the inter-faith Disputationes that took place between Christian and Jewish theologians in front of the king and his court and in the presence of the most important men of the prosperous and influent city of Barcelona.

The Disputatio of Barcelona of 2013, 2014 and 2015#

The modern Disputatio of Barcelona have been successfully recovered. In November 2013, the BKH celebrated its inaugural event by commemorating the 750th anniversary of the medieval Disputatio, and organised a modern day Disputatio on “Social and state-of-the-art Medicine”, featuring philosopher Thomas Pogge (Yale University) and neuroscientist Mara Dierssen (Centre for Genomic Regulation, Barcelona). The Debate was held at the Saló de Cent, the main meeting room of the Barcelona City Hall, a Gothic building from the 14th century.

In November 2014, together with the United Nations University Institute on Globalization, Culture and Mobility (UNU-GCM), the BKH-AE celebrated its second modern-day Disputatio of Barcelona, on the topic “The Mediterranean, bridge of cultures”. Two MAE, Maria Paradiso, geographer, University of Sannio, Italy, and Enric Banda, geophysicist, Director of Science and Environment at the “la Caixa” Foundation, Barcelona, presented different aspects of the Mediterranean history, culture, opportunities and present difficulties. The Disputatio of Barcelona 2014 was held at the Saint Pau Historic Site, Barcelona, where the UNU-GCM is located.

In December 2015, the third modern-day Disputatio of Barcelona was held in the Sainte Agatha Gothic Chapel, an architectonic jewel of the Middle Ages (early 14th century) and the location where probably the original Disputatio of 1263 took place. The Debate was on “Natural vs. Artificial Intelligence”, in which two scholars, Núria Sebastian (University Pompeu Fabra) and Ulises Cortés (Barcelona Computing Centre) discussed about the challenges humanity has nowadays, and which will be the possible changes in our behaviour and sociological relationships in the presence of machines with an enormous capacity for learning and big data accumulation.

The Disputatio of Barcelona 2016#

The fourth modern-day Disputatio of Barcelona will take place on November 21, 2016, the It will be at the Palau de la Generalitat (a Gothic palace of the 14th century), under the presidency of the President of Catalonia, Carles Puigdemont. The three previous Disputationes were held in: 2013, Saló de Cent (City Hall); 2014: Sant Pau Hospital; and 2015, the Royal Chapel of Sainte Agatha. This Disputatio of Barcelona 2016, will be devoted to “Natural Life vs. Synthetic Life”. Two scholars, Anna Veiga, Barcelona Stem Cell Bank, Centre for Regenerative Medicine, Barcelona, and Ricard Solé, Complex Systems Lab UPF-IBE, Center for Genomic Regulation, Barcelona, will debate on the new challenges that the current scientific advancements present to human society.

After the Debate, a Concert will take place at the premises of the Palau de la Generalitat.

Dr. Anna Veiga

Dr. Ricard Solé

Other activities#

November 20-23, 2016

Besides the main Debate and Concert (Nov. 21), there are planned other activities, among them an InterSection Workshop, a Visit to a centre of cultural/scientific interest in Barcelona and the Annual Meeting of the International Advisory Committee of the BKH-AE.

On November 20 and 21, the Board of the AE will meet at the IEC.


July 14-16, 2016#

International Conference on Feminist Geographies and Intersectionality: Places, Identities and Knowledges, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) and Institut d’Estudis Catalans (IEC)

Maria Dolors Garcia-Ramon, Autonomous University of Barcelona. MAE, and member of the International Advisory Committee of the BKH-AE

The Geography and Gender Research Group of the UAB,chaired by Prof. Maria Dolors Garcia-Ramon (UAB and member of the IEC and of the AE) hosted the International Conference on Feminist Geographies and Intersectionality: Places, Identities and Knowledges, sponsored by the Commission on Gender and Geography of the International Geographical Union (IGU). There was a three-day Conference that sought to gather researchers working with gender as well as other identities that play a role in the experience of place: age, social class, ethnicity, sexuality, ability. The Conference brought together 76 participants from 21 countries (United States, United Kingdom, France, Israel, Argentina, Brazil, Turkey, Germany, Singapore, Canada, Sweden, The Netherlands, Belgium, New Zealand, Iceland, Czech Republic, India, Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain) and was organised through three keynote lectures, twelve sessions of paper presentations, one panel and one walking tour through the old city of Barcelona.

The first keynote speaker, Dr. Joos Drooglever Fortuijn (University of Amsterdam) talked about Gender and Intersectionality in Geography Teaching. The second, Dr. Hanna Hamdam Saliba (Urban and Regional Planner, Palestine/Israel), focused on the everyday spatial experiences, practices and behaviours of Arab women in Barcelona and Jaffa/Tel Aviv. Finally, Dr. Margarida Queirós do Vale (University of Lisbon) talked about Gendering smart cities: Time-spaces and places for feminism. Under the umbrella of Feminist Geographies and Intersectionality, participants sent 51 abstracts that referred globally to 12 themes: Teaching and learning, Activism, Intersectional theory, Sexualities, Work and gender contract, Identities and representations, Planning and policies, Masculinities, Religions, Migrations, Methodologies and Mobilities. Intersectionality was, undoubtedly, the main thread of the Conference and was at the core of the discussions.

Saturday morning was devoted to an important panel that took place at the old building of IEC on the topic of Intersectionality and Feminist Geography. The panellists were Dr. Marianne Blidon (Université Paris 1), Dr. Peter Hopkins (Newcastle University), Dr. Lynda Johnston (University of Waikato), Dr. Dina Vaiou (National Technical University of Athens). The convenor of the panel was Dr. Maria Dolors Garcia-Ramon (UAB and IEC) and the chair was Dr. Maria Rodó-de-Zárate (Universitat Oberta de Catalunya). The panel dealt with the intersectional dynamics of power structures and the central role of place within them; that is, situating space as a constituting part of intersectional dynamics. It contributed to contextualize the development of intersectional theory and to relate the theoretical developments on intersectionality with conceptualizations on spatiality.

Participants of the International Conference at the Institut d´Estudis Catalans on July 17, 2016

VIDEO on the “BKH-AE in Action” Video Channel#

Dr. Anne Buttimer (Photo by Rubén Duro)

Interview to Anne Buttimer, vicepresident of the Academia Europaea. Barcelona, December 10, 2015#

Short version of the interview made by Álex Fidora, Member of the YAE, to Anne Buttimer, vicepresident of the AE, for the Dialogue Project of the YAE. The interview was recorded at the Art-Nouveau environment of the Cercle del Liceu (“Liceu Circle”), located at the same building of the Barcelona Opera House (Gran Teatre del Liceu), on December 10, 2015. Video filmed and produced by Rubén Duro (

Length: 00:05:21

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