International and interdisciplinary congress to promote the correct understanding and communication of evolution
A bridge between academia and society to promote science literacy in evolution has been the main objective of the international network EvoKE (Evolutionary Knowledge for Everyone). This year, EvoKE celebrates its third meeting with the motto “Evolution everywhere” as researchers, educators, communicators, journalists, and cultural and artistic agents from different countries and diverse disciplines joined to share their expertise and experience. The goal has been to create an inclusive and interdisciplinary environment to allow the growth of EvoKE as a community but also their connection with society. Therefore, being an opportunity to undertake local and international actions to improve society’s correct understanding of evolution in the short and long term.
The meeting has been held in Barcelona, Spain, from the 22nd to the 24th of November in the venues; Espai Francesca Bonnemaison and Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona (CCCB). Attendees have been able to join activities on several topics related to evolution, communication, and education in different formats: plenary sessions, short talks, round tables, and practical workshops.
The topics covered were:
- Interdisciplinarity, specialization, and exploration of new fields;
- Contributions of basic science and evolutionary biology to address old and new practical challenges in society;
- Dealing with ideologies, interests, beliefs, and evolutionary theory;
- Challenges and opportunities for bringing evolution closer through formal or informal education
- and the role of scientific literacy during the COVID-19 crisis.
EvoKE BCN 21 invited speakers
- Oded Rechavi, Professor at the Department of Neurobiology at the Tel Aviv University;
- Ute Harms, Professor of Education in Evolutionary Biology and Formal Science Education;
- Magdalena Skipper, editor-in-chief of Nature;
- Fernando González Candelas, Professor of Genetics at the University of Valencia;
- A. Cecile J.W. Janssens, epidemiologist, professor emerita at Emory University (Atlanta, USA);
- Kostas Kampourakis, University of Geneve, an expert in education and philosophy of science,
- David Jou, physicist, poet, and scientific essayist,
- Harmit Malik, president of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution;
- Elizabeth Hénaff, professor at New York University, who will talk about interdisciplinarity; the director of the newspaper Ara,
- Miquel Molina, Deputy Director La Vanguardia, which will talk from a media perspective about the information generated during the Covid-19 crisis;
- Robert Harris Frank, professor of Economics, which will approach what he has defined as Darwin Economy,
- Lesla Hlusko, Centro Nacional de Investigación sobre la Evolución Humana, CENIEH, in Burgos (Spain) and the Human Evolution Research Center and Department of Integrative Biology at the University of California Berkeley,
- Fernando Simón, Director of the Coordination Centre for Health Alerts and Emergencies of the Ministry of Health,
- Josefa González, evolutionary biologist at IBE CSIC-UPF, and scientific director of he citizen science project MelanogasterCTF;
- Sílvia Zurita, an expert in Education at the Bofill Foundation and the Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC)
- and Johannes Jaeger, Complexity Science Hub Vienna.
EvoKE BCN 21 Evolution Day at CCCB
EvoKE 2021 will include activities open to the general public during Wednesday, November 24th, Evolution Day. This day will commemorate the anniversary of the publication of “The Origin of Species” by Charles Darwin, on 24th of November of 1859. The Evolution Day where will include outreach activities and interactive talks, with Gerard Talavera from the Institut Botànic de Barcelona (CSIC) as a plenary in the morning. In the evening, we will be able to see how graphic artists and scientists work in parallel on the “Sci-Story Board”, where the artists will draw those concepts that evolutionary biologists are talking about life.
Science & Music Sharing Notes
Finally, the day will end with the combination of science and music in a dialogue starring the evolutionary biologist Leslea J. Hlusko, the Jazz singer and musician Carola Ortiz, and the audience.
All the EvoKE BCN 21 Evolution Day videos:
- A morning with Gerard Talavera. Learning from butterflies
- Sci-Story Board: Drawing stories, explaining evolution. A conversation between illustration and science
- The Urban Microbiome. Elizabeth Hénaff
The EvoKE BCN 21 conference was organized by La Ciència Al Teu Món (LCATM) and a multidisciplinary team of scientists from various research centers and universities in Spain, journalists and scientific communicators members of EvoKE, and has the support of the European Society of Evolutionary Biology (ESEB), Diputació de Barcelona, the Center for Contemporary Culture of Barcelona (CCCB), Spanish Society of Evolutionary Biology (SESBE), Ajuntament de Barcelona, Society for the Study of Evolution (USA), PALARQ Foundation, Institute of Evolutionary Biology of Barcelona (IBE, CSIC-UPF) and the Catalan Society of Biology (SCB).