Barcelona GSE Director Teresa Garcia-Milà joined leaders from all 20 Severo Ochoa centers at the “100xCiencia” Forum to promote communication of scientific research
More than 200 academics, scientists, and journalists participated in the “100xCiencia” Forum on “Communicating frontier science” that took place from October 7-9, 2015, in La Palma, Canary Islands.
The three-day forum was an initiative of the 20 Severo Ochoa Research Excellence Centers distinguished by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness. It has been the first coordinated communication on these research efforts and to create a space for collaboration to optimize their efforts in communication and outreach. One of the Severo Ochoa centers, the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC), organized and hosted the Forum. The Cabildo Insular de la Palma and Banco de Santander sponsored the event in cooperation with the city of Santa Cruz de La Palma and Telefonica.
Research for society
The “100xCiencia” Forum included roundtable panels on challenges for scientific dissemination and a keynote speech by The New York Times science reporter Kenneth Chang.
During the panel on “Science and solutions to the problems and challenges of the 21st century,” Barcelona GSE Director Teresa Garcia-Milà remarked on the importance of conducting scientific research even when applications may not be immediately apparent. “Basic science is very important because we do not know what we will find. It may be something that has an immediate application, but there are also discoveries whose application comes years later. If we do not keep doing basic science, knowledge stagnates.”
Science for competitiveness
In addition to the forum activities, the Severo Ochoa Centers issued a joint statement calling for a “Pact for Science” to make scientific research a strategic priority and to reinforce scientific activity in Spain to continue attracting talented researchers. “At the Barcelona GSE, we pay special attention to the program of retaining and attracting research talent of the highest prestige,” Prof. Garcia-Milà said in an interview during the Forum.
Professor Garcia-Milà noted that with the recognition and additional funding of the Severo Ochoa Program, the Barcelona GSE has succeeded in “reinforcing the strategy of attracting and retaining able researchers of the highest level, supporting the research, notably the applied research, allowing them to purchase the needed data or software, financing research assistants, strengthening the doctoral programmes in the academic surroundings of the Barcelona GSE with the aim of competing with highly rated institutions to attract the best students and to carry out new lines of research.”
The Barcelona GSE was one of the first institutions to receive the Severo Ochoa Excellence distinction when the program launched in 2011.