Entry Title

Passion for Knowledge 2016: passion for science, passion for culture

Conceived, promoted and organised by the Donostia International Physics Center (DIPC), the Passion for Knowledge 2016 festival will be offering a broad programme of activities that will be gathering, scientists, leading figures from various disciplines and the general public to share scientific knowledge and to foster the participation of the public in the dissemination of science and its values.

The Passion for Knowledge 2016 festival will be held mainly in San Sebastian from 27 September to 1 October, 2016, jointly with the European Capital of Culture 2016 being held by the city this year 2016 and incorporated into its official DSS2016EU programme, within the section entitled “Conversations”. The main venue will be the hundred-year-old Victoria Eugenia Theatre, chosen to highlight the cultural nature of science. However, parallel activities have also been scheduled in Bilbao and the city of Bordeaux; the latter organised within the framework of Euskampus, the Campus of International Excellence of the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU).

The core of this festival of science, knowledge, culture and passion will be the programme geared towards the general public. The proposal includes: Plenary Lectures given by prominent world-class researchers including several Nobel laureates; a Round Table, focused on creativity; an innovative staging to show the creative process of Bertsolaris-Basque extempore verse makers; and the well-known Naukas sessions. There will also be a Photographic Exhibition at the Aquarium. What is more, at the opening of the festival there will be a performance, namely Breaking Boundaries, a spectacle using dance, sculptures, sound and images that sets out to break the boundary between science and art.

However, there is more to Passion for Knowledge 2016 than the activities thought up for the general public. In the wake of previous editions, during this festival of science there will also be two encounters between secondary school students and leading scientists, including various Nobel Laureates, top@DIPC Encounters - Zientziarekin solasean!, scheduled to take place in Donostia/San Sebastian and Bilbao. “We want the students to be drenched by the passion for science told in the first person,” said Pedro Miguel Echenique, Chairman of Passion for Knowledge 2016.

In addition, on Saturday morning Zientzia Kluba will take place at the Club Room of the Victoria Eugenia Theatre. This is a mini science festival for kids that will include fun, live experiments, science storytellers, monologues, etc.

Furthermore, this edition of Passion for Knowledge will also have an international summer school aimed at the scientific community and specially addressed to young researchers: Dynapeutics, focusing on computing methods to study biomolecules that are relevant in optimizing molecular drugs. The school will have the participation, among others, of Martin Karplus, the 2013 Nobel Prize in Chemistry and one of the plenary speakers at the festival.

The organisers particularly want to express thanks for the economic support of the organisations that have made this festival possible: “Passion for Knowledge 2016 has been possible thanks to the ongoing support of the patrons of DIPC (Basque Government –the Department of Education, Language Policy and Culture and the Department of Economic Development and Competitiveness–, Provincial Council of Gipuzkoa, University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU), Donostia/San Sebastian City Hall, Kutxa, Telefónica, EDP and CAF), and also thanks to the specific funding from the Department of Education, Language Policy and Culture of the Basque Government through its BERC programme. The festival has also received funding from the FECYT, the Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology –Ministry of the Economy and Competitiveness, and from the Donostia/San Sebastian Foundation 2016, DSS2016, European Capital of Culture”.

Cristina Uriarte, the Minister for Education, Language Policy and Culture of the Basque Government stressed that “festivals like Passion for Knowledge 2016 help to promote a scientifically well-informed society, and therefore better educated and freer”. Cristina Uriarte concluded by saying that “this is a goal that the Department of Education of the Basque Government is firmly committed to”.

Ricardo Díez Muiño, Director of DIPC, added that “this festival will help to show once again that science is an essential part of human culture. Passion for Knowledge is passion for science, and therefore is passion for culture.”

To conclude the presentation, Pedro Miguel Echenique quoted a phrase that synthesises what motivates Passion for Knowledge 2016: “Science is an aesthetically beautiful activity, culturally important and economically decisive”.

All the activities scheduled during the festival will be free of charge. Simultaneous interpretation service into Basque, Spanish and English will be available and the main sessions will be streamed live over the festival’s website. Anyone wishing to participate in Passion for Knowledge 2016 is advised to register and reserve a seat via the festival’s website: p4k.dipc.org.

For further information the press dossier is attached.

The press dossier includes the profiles of the speakers and a description of all the activities in the festival.