President Puigdemont highlights the importance of universities and academia in empowering citizens to think critically
The President of the Catalan Government opens the Disputatio of Barcelona 2016 “Natural Life vs. Synthetic Life”
President Puigdemont with members of the Academia Europaea
This evening, the President of the Catalan Government, Carles Puigdemont, presided over the opening of this year’s Disputatio of Barcelona, organised by the Barcelona Knowledge Hub and held at the Palau de la Generalitat.
In his opening remarks, the President highlighted the importance of the Catalan capital with regards to scientific production and academia, stating that according to the international rankings, “Catalonia ranks third out of all European countries in terms of people studying in best-positioned universities”.
“Universities and academia should promote debate in order to empower both citizens and institutions to think critically”, the President explained. Furthermore, “science or any intellectual activity shouldn’t be about delivering ideas but about exchanging and questioning them”, he added.
In his closing statement, the Catalan president underlined the significance of hosting the modern Disputatio at the Palau and described the event as a “reflection of the love of Barcelona for constructive debate, Catalonia’s will to cooperate through dialogue and our people’s fondness for debating and exchanging ideas”.
The topic of this year’s Disputatio was “Natural Life vs. Synthetic Life” and included the attendance of Dr Anna Veiga and ProfessorRicard Solé, both from Barcelona’s Pompeu Fabra University (UPF), as the event’s main Disputantes.