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Science and technology Act. 22 Jun 2017

Francisco González: "Raising the status of science would make it possible to stand up to fanaticism"

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In his speech at the presentation of the 2017 BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Awards, BBVA Group Executive Chairman Francisco González argued that science should be at the heart of culture and decision-making, in order to curb fanaticism and exclusionary ideologies.

“Raising the status of science as a core component of culture would make it possible to effectively stand up to fanaticism and outdated exclusionary ideologies that are still prevalent in some sectors of the population; to the spurious interests of lobbying groups; or simply to the everyday invasion of messages and content that – deliberately or not – feed backwards attitudes and behaviors that are contrary to the best knowledge and evidence,” BBVA’s Group Executive President underscored.

One of the most pernicious forms of inequality is that in which large sectors of society are excluded from knowledge"

In Francisco González’s opinion, “One of the most pernicious forms of inequality is that in which large sectors of society are excluded from knowledge. And when this ignorance or skepticism about validated knowledge extends to policy-makers with considerable influence in the modeling of the social agenda, the situation becomes especially disquieting. So much so, that we must redouble our efforts to have science viewed as culture, as a system of coordinates of the individual and collective mindset. ”

It was precisely for this reason that the Frontiers of Knowledge Awards were created – BBVA’s Group Executive Chairman explained: “As a way to recognize and give social visibility to those who generate knowledge, reclaiming its value to successfully face the challenges and take advantage of the enormous opportunities of our time.”

It’s no exaggeration to say that knowledge impacts society’s character, its vitality and its future"

Francisco González also stressed that even though it is much more common to point to the value of knowledge for innovation and problem-solving, “much less has been said about the pleasure of discovery, the very fact of revealing or creating something. We believe that this aspect should become the focus. First, because it is the expression of a human impulse, but also because of the transformational effect that knowledge and culture have.”

“What we know determines our vision of the world, our system of coordinates to understand reality and therefore, our attitude and our relationship with others. It’s no exaggeration to say that knowledge impacts society’s character, its vitality and its future,” BBVA’s Group Executive Chairman added.

Speech by Francisco González at the presentation of the 2017 BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Awards

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