AlhondigaBilbao Launches "Yes Future" Programme

25/02/2012 - AlhóndigaBilbao

With the programme "Yes Future," the Bilbao venue intends to make science, innovation and technology more accessible to the general public.

One of the main objectives of AlhondigaBilbao is to serve as a meeting place for the general public, whatever their age or condition, and contribute to their personal growth. Likewise, one of its strategic lines of action is the dissemination of scientific knowledge.

"Yes Future" is an annual science, innovation and technology programme, organized by AlhondigaBilbao, in collaboration with Euskampus Fundazioa and the Chair of Scientific Culture of UPV/EHU, and with participation of BBVA, the Telefonica Foundation, Red Eléctrica de España (the Spanish National Grid), the Iberdrola Foundation, and MetroBilbao, whose aim is to make science, innovation and technology more accessible to the general public, address their doubts and concerns, and explain how companies and agents innovate in an everyday setting.

Since 2008, AlhondigaBilbao has been working on several projects (Proyecto Tierra, Art Futura XXI, etc.) with an eye to the International Year of Sustainable Energy of UNESCO, featuring exhibitions, school activities, conferences, screenings and guided tours. The "Yes Future" programme’s agenda, revolving around the International Year of Sustainable Energy, will get underway on 1 March with the first of four conferences included in the Expert cycle, with the attendance of world-class keynote speakers.

Emilio Mendez, winner of the 1998 Prince of Asturias Award for Scientific and Technical Research, will be giving a keynote address entitled, "Can technology detain climate change?" With a degree and a PhD in Physical Sciences from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Mendez is well-known for his discoveries on the effects of electric fields on quantum wells and super-networks, and above all for the experimental demonstration of the so-called "Starck effect".

Emilio Mendez will be followed by Anil Markandya, director of BC3 (Basque Centre for Climate Change), who will give a conference on "Energy for sustainable growth" on 15 March; the roundtable discussion "A year after the Fukushima accident: what is the future of nuclear energy?", scheduled for 22 March, with Carlos Bravo (representative of Acciones Ecologistas-Greenpeace in Spain), Cayetano Lopez (researcher and CEO of the Centre of Energy, Environmental and Technological Research), and Miguel Sebastian (Minister of Industry, Tourism and Commerce in Spain from 2008-2011); and "Safety, energy model and climate change," a keynote which Manuel Martin, president of the Iberdrola Foundation, will be giving on 28 March.

Zientziateka, a programme of seminars on current scientific and technological issues, will also be starting in March and will run until December. With this programme, Euskampus Fundazioa and the Chair of Scientific Culture of UPV/EHU aim to offer those interested scientific information in an accessible language on issues widely covered by the mass media: the idea is to use both science to explain facts that are front-page news, and information appearing in the media to disseminate scientific knowledge. Examples of events that were given wide news coverage in 2011 include the volcanic eruption on the island of Hierro, the cases of food poisoning in Germany initially attributed to Spanish cucumbers, and the accidents at Japanese nuclear power stations, following the catastrophic tidal wave that hit the country’s east coast.

The conferences will be given by professional scientists, mainly from UPV/EHU, on 8 March, 25 April, 16 May, 6 June, 13 September, 17 October, 14 November, and 13 December, at the Medialab function room of Mediateka.

In addition, those wishing to ask a scientific question can do so via the website of AlhondigaBilbao, and answers will be provided periodically by a group of experts.

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