International Center for Scientific Debate becomes B·Debate to boost projection of its international scientific debates

B·Debate will spearhead twelve debates and meetings of top scientific quality and social impact in 2012, all of which will be held in Catalonia



B·Debate-International Center for Scientific Debate Barcelona is the new brand of the International Center for Scientific Debate (ICSD), a joint initiative of Biocat and “la Caixa” Welfare Projects that began in 2009. B·Debate, directed by Miquel Martí, will maintain the international line initiated by the ICSD and will involve various key areas of science like genetics, oncology, biomedicine, environmental epidemiology, bioinformatics applied to healthcare, agrigenomics, gynecology, bioethics, molecular gene therapy, and the social impact of biotechnology.

The aim is to continue driving top-notch international scientific meetings for the open exchange of knowledge and collaboration among experts of world-renowned prestige in order to tackle the complex social challenges in the field of the life sciences.

Miquel Martí, director of B·Debate: "Integrating different disciplines of science into the debates can contribute to generating a positive opinion of and influence on science-related policies with measurable social repercussions in the middle term."

The B·Debate debates foster the integration of different disciplines of science, and as Miquel Martí explains, “this can contribute to generating a positive opinion of and influence on science-related policies with measurable social repercussions in the middle term.” Thus, the same format will continue to be used, as it “has yielded excellent results in terms of posing challenges, reaching a consensus regarding solutions and generating knowledge: dialog, discussions and analysis from different approaches,” added Martí.

The B·Debate Scientific Committee, made up of relevant experts and scientists from various fields of science in Catalonia, will be in charge of selecting the international proposals of scientific and social interest that are presented to the call each year.

2012 Calendar of activities

B·Debate has twelve activities scheduled for this year, which will be carried out in collaboration with noteworthy Catalan and international research centers and bodies and expect to receive more than 300 scientists and experts from the different work areas.

In selecting from the submitted projects, the Scientific Committee has taken into account both the scientific relevance and social interest of the challenges posed, and their potential for raising awareness of the contents and solutions for general society. They have also considered the multidisciplinary nature of the topics and the international impact of the activity. Not to mention the involvement of researchers with links to Catalan bodies in order to promote science in our country. “B·Debate must help position Barcelona as a benchmark city in generating knowledge and Catalonia as a country of scientific excellence,” stressed Miquel Martí.

This calendar of activities maintains the increase seen in 2011, when the center jumped from three to eleven debates, from 155 to 278 speakers and from 275 to 1,604 invited participants.

One of this year’s noteworthy debates will be Good Practices for Fostering Transformative Research in Health and Life Sciences, organized in collaboration with the Pasqual Maragall Foundation under the scientific direction of Dr. Jordí Camí, which will analyze the successful experiences in driving transformative research, funding and management mechanisms and procedures, and how to apply these in dealing with the challenges of biomedical research.

Another of the debates scheduled, organized in collaboration with the Center for Research in Agricultural Genomics (CRAG), is entitled The Future of Plant Genomes: Harvesting Genes for Agriculture. This event will identify the challenges in analyzing plant genomes and design new applications to develop higher-yield varietals that are more resistant to pathogens and stress or strains adapted to specific environmental conditions.

Based on the positive experience in 2011, this year’s calendar will also include two series of debates, organized in collaboration with the Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona (CCCB), focusing on the origin of the human mind and the possible solutions science proposes to present and future food needs.

New website open to experts and the general public

With the new B·Debate brand, there is also a new website, which provides information on the center itself as well as the activities it organizes in an innovative, dynamic way. On the site you will find more in-depth information on B·Debate (mission, values, vision and concept) as well as the schedule of up-coming events and all the information from debates held in the past, including reports, scientific documents, interviews with the experts, videos, images and other related materials.