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Bilbao City Hall holds a reception for the 14th Frontiers of Knowledge Awards laureates

Bilbao City Hall was decked in its finery today for an institutional reception in honor of the Frontiers Knowledge laureates. Participating in the event were Juan Mari Aburto, Mayor of Bilbao, Carlos Torres Vila, President of the BBVA Foundation, Rosa Menéndez, President of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), and Rafael Pardo, Director of the BBVA Foundation, along with the awardees in this edition and the committee members in the eight award categories who have traveled to the Basque Country for the presentation ceremony.

15 June, 2022

The Mayor of Bilbao, Juan María Aburto, gave an institutional welcome to the laureates in this 14th edition: Charles Fefferman (Princeton University) and Jean-François Le Gall (Université Paris-Saclay) in Basic Sciences; Katalin Karikó and Drew Weissman (both University of Pennsylvania) and Robert S. Langer (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) in Biology and Biomedicine; Judea Pearl (University of California, Los Angeles) in Information and Communication Technologies; Lenore Fahrig (Carleton University), Simon Asher Levin (Princeton University) and Steward T. A. Pickett (Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies) in Ecology and Conservation Biology; Ellen Mosley-Thompson and Lonnie G. Thompson (both of The Ohio State University) in Climate Change; Matthew O. Jackson (Stanford University) in Economics, Finance and Management; Mark Granovetter (Stanford University) in Humanities and Social Sciences (devoted to the Social Sciences on this occasion); and American Philip Glass in Music and Opera.

The now traditional reception for the Frontiers of Knowledge awardees this year takes on an extra significance, as it coincides with city’s anniversary. Juan Mari Aburto remarked that “this is a very special occasion for Bilbao, which today celebrates its first 722 years in the best possible company, with a select group of the world’s most brilliant minds.”

Aburto again expressed his thanks for the “personal and institutional commitment” shown by the BBVA Foundation, with President Carlos Torres Vila at its head, “to link the Bilbao name with the vanguard of universal knowledge; the knowledge that is constantly scanning the horizon, like the Bilbao merchants of old at the end of the Middle Ages, seeking out new frontiers that fuel humanity’s unwavering ambition to advance.”

A shared vocation: knowledge, innovation, leadership and global thinking

The President of the BBVA Foundation, Carlos Torres Vila, noted that the reception offered by Mayor Aburto for the laureates in the 14th edition of the Frontiers of Knowledge Awards, “marks the start of the formal events leading up to the presentation ceremony in Bilbao, now the permanent home of the awards.”

“BBVA,” he continued, “shares with Bilbao a commitment to knowledge, innovation, leadership and global thinking, all qualities that are needed more than ever in this era of disruption driven by technological innovation and the change for sustainability.”

“At the heart of the Frontiers Awards is the conviction that knowledge is the best instrument we have to understand the world and ourselves, to face the great challenges of our time and create opportunities for all. And certainly there is no better setting than Bilbao, a city open to the world and to progress, to uphold the value of the best knowledge.”

This institutional event will be followed by a gala concert in honor of laureates, to be performed by the Basque National Orchestra – led by conductor Robert Treviño and with Renaud Capuçon as solo violinist – in the Euskalduna Conference Centre. The celebrations will conclude tomorrow with the formal presentation ceremony to be held in the same venue.