Today’s powerful LHC accelerator is due to run until 2035. That may seem a long way off, but the international physicist community has already spent years preparing its successor, the machine that will lead the global research quest to understand the matter that we – and the rest of the Universe – are made of through the middle years of the 21st century. One candidate to take over from the LHC is the Compact Linear Collider (CLIC), the project presented this Monday in the BBVA Foundation Madrid by CERN physicists Steinar Stapnes and Lucie Linssen, as part of the lecture series “CERN Resumes LHC Operation and Prepares Its Future.”
Climate change and poverty are two increasingly interrelated global challenges. This was the message conveyed at a press conference this morning by climatologist Veerabhadran Ramanathan and economist Martin Ravallion, BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge laureates in Climate Change and Development Cooperation respectively. “Thirty years ago, when I started studying poverty, environmental factors were not a priority; now they are, and that is quite alarming,” said Ravallion, who won the award for defining a global threshold to measure extreme poverty.
The presentation ceremony of the BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Awards again transformed the Marqués de Salamanca Palace, Madrid headquarters of the BBVA Foundation, into a window from which to contemplate some of the key ideas, insights and challenges that define the modern age. From the discovery of how the galaxies were formed to the construction of mathematical models to help preserve biodiversity; from the development of an astoundingly precise technique for studying the living brain to the drawing of a “global line” for the measurement of extreme poverty, the roll of achievements of the laureates in the eighth edition attests to the huge transformative power of knowledge.
Discovering the brain region that governs aggression, identifying how and when addictions set in, so we can endeavor to control them, or elucidating the mechanisms that regulate sleep and wakefulness. In all these areas, neuroscience is making extraordinary strides facilitated by optogenetics, a technique developed barely ten years ago which allows to explore the workings of the living brain with unprecedented resolution. Its architects Ed Boyden, Karl Deisseroth and Gero Miesenböck have been granted the BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in Biomedicine (the award was decided on January 15 and will be presented to the three laureates at a ceremony tomorrow in the BBVA Foundation’s Madrid headquarters).
This morning, Their Majesties King Felipe and Queen Letizia of Spain, and Her Royal Highness Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands inaugurated “Bosch. The 5th Centenary Exhibition”, the first monographic exhibition devoted to the artist in Spain, as well as the best and most complete of all those organised to date.