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Generating Synergies between Science, Technology and Humanities

19 - 20 de Noviembre de 2018
CosmoCaixa Science Museum/ Barcelona - C d'Isaac Newton, 26, 08022 Barcelona

This GUNi International Conference aims to be an international meeting to debate on the role of the humanities, and the interrelation between humanities, science and technology in the 21st Century with a special focus on Higher Education. The main objective of the Conference is to open a worldwide debate on the current role of humanities in the social, academic and scientific areas and on their importance to boost a more equitable, more responsible and more democratic society.

The event will gather representatives from different countries and from diverse areas of knowledge and fields (education, research, public institutions, organizations) in order to debate on the role of the humanities in the world. The Conference is devised as a space to exchange ideas and discussion on the challenges that society faces and will face in the 21st Century and the role humanities play in those challenges.

The Conference is addressed to national and international experts from universities, institutions, organizations, business and other agencies and will be held in Barcelona, Catalonia, from 19th to 20th November 2018 at the CosmoCaixa Science Museum in Barcelona.

During the event there will be three types of sessions: keynote sessions, workshops, and presentation of experiences and cases. Through these three different type of sessions we intend to have an interactive conference.

The International Conference is conceived as an integral part of the process of elaboration of the 7th GUNi Higher Education in the World Report (to be published in 2019) which is part of the series “Higher Education in the World Report”, a collective work published as a result of global and regional analysis. Each edition reflects on the key issues and challenges facing higher education and its institutions in the 21st Century to overcome societal issues. Past editions of the Report can be consulted here.

Further information will be provided in the following months. Take a look at this Conference website regularly for updates.

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→ More information about the past GUNi International Conferences.

Context
There is a growing concern on the future of the humanities in the higher education system and in our societies at large. At the same time, we are witnessing very deep changes and transformations in our societies, which put us in the face of great challenges when it comes to thinking about the meaning and value of human experience. Basically, these changes can be summarized in three types:

1. Those changes that have to do with the environmental and climatic questions, that radically put in question what we understand by “life” and its conditions.

2. Those that have to do with the scientific and technological changes that are currently being developed, mainly innovations around “artificial intelligence” and “big data” that touch upon neuroscience and genomics and which have consequences on the idea of ourselves as subjects of knowledge and action.

3. Those that have to do with the cultural aspects of a global world, highly interconnected, but at the same time very fragmented and very unequal.

From these three axes of change, we understand that humanities are not a set of disciplines to preserve, but a set of essential activities because of them depends the capacity to elaborate the sense and the value of the human experience in times of change.

We believe therefore that we are in a crucial moment in time in which we are facing huge challenges that need to be addressed. Diagnosis, debate and proposal of actions on these issues is necessary if we want to be able to face current and future changes in a democratic and sustainable way.

For the abovementioned reasons we want to start a process of debate both in Catalonia and internationally and within universities, research centres, governments and businesses to reflect on the role of humanities in the 21st century and the interrelation of knowledge, especially in the realm higher education.