The third edition of the City and Science Biennial, held in Barcelona and Madrid from Tuesday 21 February to Sunday 26 February, brought together a total of 12,000 people (8,500 in Barcelona and 3,500 in Madrid) who took part in the 120 activities organised between both cities.
In Barcelona, the Biennial took place in twenty-two different venues in the Raval district. Among the most successful activities were those of the Science night, held on Saturday night, which attracted around 1,500 people. The activities that attracted the largest audiences were those with a format that went beyond the debate, round table or conference, as well as the proposals with hybridisation between scientific, humanistic and artistic disciplines, which aroused real curiosity and interest among the attendees. Likewise, in the debates and conferences, the participation of the attendees has been very noticeable through their questions, with an adult audience of all ages, and a fairly high percentage of young people in all the activities.
The most outstanding activities in Barcelona during this week have been: I CHOIR: a sonic meditation on the limits of the voice, with Maria Arnal and José Luis de Vicente, which filled the Sala Teatre of the CCCB to capacity; Utopia and slavery, by Eduard Escoffet, which also made a full house at the Royal Academy of Medicine of Catalonia; the generative and computational music concerts held at the MACBA Chapel on Thursday evening; the commemoration of the centenary of Albert Einstein‘s visit to Barcelona; the scientific walks through the Raval, with a final discussion at the Royal Academy of Sciences and Arts of Barcelona; the debate on assisted reproduction held at the Institut d’Estudis Catalans; the debates on public health and planetary health; the Science and writing session; and the Research Afternoons held at the CSIC Residence for Researchers, which filled all three sessions.
As far as Madrid is concerned, there has been a great reception from the public this first year that it has been held in this city. The Círculo de Bellas Artes has become this week a point of reference and coexistence between science, art and innovation. The activities have brought together 3,500 people at the Círculo over the last few days. Concienciarte, the science fair featuring the work of twenty schools and institutes from Madrid, has brought together hundreds of students and surprising projects that link science and the arts. In addition, some of the activities that aroused most interest among the public were: the sessions dedicated to the heart, which included the participation of important cardiology professionals and the musical show Cardiophonic method; the conversation Space as a source of surprises, led by Massimo Turatto (University of Padua) and Belén Yu Irureta-Goyena (Federal Polytechnic School of Lausanne); and the round table and subsequent jazz concert Music against the death penalty, which featured the telematic participation of Keith Lamar from death row in an Ohio prison.
For six days, the City and Science Biennial, with the direct participation of more than 260 people, has reflected on the fact of living and has focused on the science that observes the relations of our species with the natural, human and digital environment.
Commitment to scientific culture
This third edition of the Biennial has been organised in collaboration with the Círculo de Bellas Artes in Madrid and the Ministry of Science through the Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology (FECYT). In addition, the collaboration between Madrid and Barcelona for the organisation of the third City and Science Biennial is the result of the agreement of the cultural and scientific capital of Barcelona and, through this agreement, has received financial support from the Ministry of Culture.
The City and Science Biennial is one of the most important events of scientific culture held in the city of Barcelona, which shows the firm commitment that Barcelona City Council has made to scientific policy. In fact, it is one of the actions planned in the Barcelona Science Plan 2020-2023 with the aim of strengthening science dissemination and communication activities, in order to generate critical capacity, knowledge and scientific vocation in all ages.