Vatican City (Fides Service) – Established in Rome in 1603 as the “Linceorum Academia”, today the Pontifical Academy of Science, the Institution took this name with new statutes approved by Pius XI in 1936. Since 1922 it has its home in the Casina Pio IV in the Vatican Gardens. The Academy is directly dependent on the Supreme Pontiff and is composed 80 Academics chosen without discrimination from among the most famous scholars of mathematical and experimental sciences in the world. As an institution it is unique in the world. Its purpose is to honour science ensure its freedom and foster research which constitutes the indispensable basis for progress of science.
Initiatives for the 400th anniversary of its foundation will commence on 7 and 8 November with a work group meeting on the theme “Mind, Brain and Education ” presided by Nobel Prize winner Rita Levi Montalcini, who will speak on the “interaction between neuroscience and educational science”. On Sunday 9 November commemorative session will open with a concelebration of Mass presided by Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini, followed by a round table discussion on the centuries old history of the Pontifical Academy. Speakers will include professors Carlo Vinti, Antonino Zichichi, Andrea Riccardi. Professor Nicola Cabibbo, President of the Pontifical Academy of Science, will reflect on the “significance of this institution in our day”. On the 10 and 11 November there will be work group meetings on “Technology stem cells and other innovative therapies” to illustrate research and prospects and identify challenges and limits in the light of Christian anthropology. Speakers will include Cardinal Karl Lehmann, Bishop of Mainze and President of the German Bishops’ Conference who will give a conference on “Human Rights and Bio-ethics”.
(S.L.) (Fides Service 6/11/2003 – lines 22; words 286)