The origins of Earth’s water and the planets and the movements of the planets during the formation of our solar system are some of the questions addressed by Willy Benz, Director of the Physics Institute at the University of Berne (Switzerland) in his talk on “Comets and Planets”, which this evening opens the fourth edition of the “Science of the Cosmos. Science in the Cosmos” lecture series organized by the BBVA Foundation.
The third edition of U-Ranking confirms the heterogeneous nature of the Spanish university system in terms of both specialization and productivity. This disparity, moreover, is accentuated by the inclusion of eleven private universities that offer like-for-life information permitting comparison with the public sector, and represent 60% of undergraduate students within the private system and 80% of its research output. The study finds marked performance differences not only between universities – the most efficient being twice as productive as the least efficient – but also within them and from one region to another. The biggest differences between public and private universities lie in their research and teaching results.
The European Economic Advisory Group at CESifo (EEAG)* has released its fourteenth Report on the European Economy today in Brussels. The international group of scholars expects world GDP to grow by 3.5 percent this year, up from 3.3 percent in 2014, at purchase-power parity prices, and by 2.8 percent this year compared to 2.5 percent in 2014 at market prices. World trade, in turn, will grow by 4.0 percent this year, up from 2.6 in 2014.
Young Spaniards’ employment prospects are set to improve in the next ten years due to a large-scale generational handover, with the added boost of net job creation if growth momentum can be sustained. The bulk of opportunities will be for the most highly qualified among them – in terms of both formal educational level and actual competences acquired – while less educated youngsters will be denied labor-market access, accentuating the employment inequalities observed during the crisis.
The BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in the Development Cooperation category goes in this seventh edition to American NGO Helen Keller International (HKI) for agricultural programs that help families and villages to raise their own nutritious foods. “Hunger and low dietary diversity reduce cognitive function, physical capacity, resistance to disease and quality of life and lifetime earnings. Heller Keller International champions Homestead Food Production, an innovative, interdisciplinary program that promotes improved agricultural and nutritional practices in a synergistic fashion. This approach is mostly applied to communities that have difficult access to labor and food markets,” in the words of the jury’s citation.