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The Princess of Asturias Foundation

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The Foundation

04/26/2013

The Prince of Asturias Foundation is to organise a programme of cultural activities in London in collaboration with The Royal Society, 2011 Prince of Asturias Award for Communication and Humanities

The headquarters of the British institution will host an exhibition on Spanish science and a series of seminars.

Several Prince of Asturias laureates will take part in the visit.

An object of the exhibition. ©FPA

The Prince of Asturias Foundation and the Royal Society have jointly organised an intensive programme of cultural activities around the theme of Spanish science and its relationship with the British institution. The programme, to be held between 23rd and 26th April in London, will also feature the participation of eight Prince of Asturias laureates.

This initiative responds to an invitation from the Royal Society in gratitude for the Prince of Asturias Award for Communication and Humanities it was granted in 2011. It also constitutes a recognition of the history of research in Spain at the headquarters of an institution considered by many to be the origin of modern science and whose Fellows and Foreign Members include such illustrious scientists as Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin and the Spaniards Santiago Ramón y Cajal and Severo Ochoa.

The programme of activities will be preceded by the exhibition: "Transactions. Spain in the History of the Royal Society", originally held in Oviedo in 2011 on the occasion of the Prince of Asturias Awards Ceremony. The exhibition, which will be held in the UK between 24th April and 16th June, contains more than one hundred objects illustrating scientific relations between the Royal Society and Spain over the centuries. The activities also include a series of seminars featuring Spanish and British researchers who have received the Prince of Asturias Award and Fellows of the Royal Society.  

To mark the official opening of the exhibition, both institutions will offer a reception at the headquarters of the Royal Society. After a visit to the exhibition, Tamara Rojo, 2005 Prince of Asturias Laureate for the Arts and director of the English National Ballet, will present a performance by members of this company.

Exhibition: Transactions. Spain in the History of the Royal Society".

The exhibition contains more than one hundred objects -scientific instruments, historical documents and illustrations, among others- that illustrate the scientific relationships between the British institution and Spain throughout history, as well as their economic, social and diplomatic consequences. In addition to documents from the archives of the Royal Society, the following individuals and institutions have loaned materials from their collections: the "Severo Ochoa" Centre for Molecular Biology-Dr Antonio Garcia-Bellido, the Cajal Institute-CSIC, the National Geographic Institute of Spain, the Hydrographic Institute of the Spanish Navy, the Naval Museum of Spain, the Prince Felipe Museum, the City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia, the Royal Academy of Medicine and Surgery of Seville, the Royal Madrid Economic Society of Friends of the Country, Dr Avelino Corma and Santiago Ramón y Cajal's heirs. The exhibition will also count on the special participation of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. The Botanic Gardens shall provide a selection of natural plants that are to accompany drawings or texts referring to them produced by scientists in their studies and explorations.

The exhibition also features the collaboration of the University of Oviedo, which hosted the previous show in 2011.

Seminars: Transactions in Science and Society

The programme includes three seminars grouped under the general title of "Science and Society", referring to the fields of research of the speakers and their relationship with society. The series will feature the participation of: Sir John Pendry, Fellow of the Royal Society; Pedro Miguel Echenique, 1998 Prince of Asturias Laureate for Technical and Scientific Research; Ginés Morata, 2007 Prince of Asturias Laureate for Technical and Scientific Research; Peter Lawrence, 2007 Prince of Asturias Laureate for Technical and Scientific Research and Fellow of the Royal Society; Philip Campbell, editor-in-chief of the journal Nature, 2007 Prince of Asturias Award for Communication and Humanities; and Valentín Fuster, 1996 Prince of Asturias Laureate for Technical and Scientific Research.

The Foundation has benefitted from the collaboration of the Spanish Embassy and sponsorship from Santander-Abbey in the organising of these activities.

Meeting at the Instituto Cervantes

Outside of the scientific programme, the director of the Foundation, Teresa Sanjurjo, is to give a talk at the Instituto Cervantes in London, the institution jointly granted the 2005 Prince of Asturias Award for Communication and Humanities alongside other major European cultural institutes: the Alliance Française, Società Dante Alighieri, British Council, Goethe-Institut and Instituto Camões.

Official hashtag on Twitter

#transactionsRS

APPENDIX:

• Programme of activities

• Notes on The Royal Society

PROGRAMME OF ACTIVITIES

TUESDAY, 23rd APRIL

6:30pm

Seminar: Transactions in Science and Society I: "How cells know when to stop proliferating".

Featuring Ginés Morata, Professor of Molecular Biology at the "Severo Ochoa" Centre for Molecular Biology; and Peter Lawrence, PhD University of Cambridge and Fellow of the Royal Society. Both scientists received the 2007 Prince of Asturias Award for Technical and Scientific Research.

WEDNESDAY, 24th APRIL

6:30pm

Seminar: Transactions in Science and Society II: "Interfaces between science and society, particles and light".

With Sir John Pendry (Imperial College London) Fellow of the Royal Society; and Pedro Miguel Echenique, Professor of the University of the Basque Country and 1998 Prince of Asturias Laureate for Technical and Scientific Research. The meeting will be chaired by Philip Campbell, editor-in-chief of the journal Nature, bestowed with the 2007 Prince of Asturias Award for Communication and Humanities.

7:30pm

Opening of the exhibition "Transactions. Spain in the History of the Royal Society". Open to the public until 16th June.

Performance by members of the English National Ballet, under the direction of Tamara Rojo, 2005 Prince of Asturias Laureate for the Arts.

THURSDAY, 25th APRIL

6:30pm

Talk by the director of the Prince of Asturias Foundation, Teresa Sanjurjo, at the headquarters of the Instituto Cervantes in London.

FRIDAY, 26th APRIL

10:30am         

Seminar: Transactions in Science and Society III: "The heart: the future of cardiovascular medicine and treatment".

By Valentín Fuster, Physician-in-chief, The Mount Sinai Medical Center, and Director Mount Sinai Heart, General Director Carlos III National Centre for Cardiovascular Research (CNIC) and 1996 Prince of Asturias Laureate for Technical and Scientific Research.

The Royal Society

The Society's origins date back to 1640, to the meetings held in London by natural philosophers and scientists of the so-called "invisible college", although it was not formally constituted until 28th November 1660. After a lecture by the architect Sir Christopher Wren, it was agreed to found a society for the promoting of "Physico-Mathematical Experimental Learning". Since then, its Fellows -who are elected for life on the basis of scientific excellence- have included figures such as Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, Benjamin Franklin, Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking. The Society currently has approximately 1,450 Fellows and Foreign Members, including over 75 Nobel Laureates as well as five members of the British Royal Family, including HM Queen Elizabeth II. The Society is governed by an elected council of 21 Fellows presided over by Sir Paul Nurse, Nobel Laureate for Medicine.

The Royal Society fulfils three fundamental objectives: it is the National Academy of Sciences, a scientific society and also a funding body. It provides funding for more than 460 post-doctoral grants and 17 chairs. Its grants scheme covers over 3,000 British and foreign scientists and is designed to improve the UK's scientific base and foster collaboration between countries. It organises lectures, scientific meetings and research projects, while its library, with over 70,000 titles, houses one of the world's most important collections of scientific publications from the 17th and 18th centuries. It also publishes eight journals, including Philosophical Transactions, the oldest existing scientific publication. The Royal Society has provided scientific advice to policy makers since 1664. The Science Policy Centre was established to strengthen the independence of science both in the United Kingdom and at an international level and as a centre for debate between science, society and politics. Its current projects include: the Atlas of Islamic-World Science and Innovation; the Brain Waves project on the evolution of neuroscience and its social implications; Knowledge, networks and nations, on global scientific cooperation in the 21st Century; People and the planet, on the role of the global population in sustainable development; Nuclear non-proliferation; and a project on Solar radiation management governance. The Society celebrated its 350th anniversary in 2009 with the launch of an interactive online service, providing access to a selection of scientific articles with illustrations and commentaries by leading contemporary scientists and historians. These articles include, among others, the description of a blood transfusion in 1666, the study published by Newton on light and colours, documents by the explorer James Cook and what the conditions were that led Benjamin Franklin to invent the lightning conductor in 1752. The Royal Society awards twelve medals and nine awards, including the Copley Medal, the most prestigious scientific award in the United Kingdom, which it has bestowed since 1731.

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