Monday 20 February, 19:30

Barcelona Debate 2006 - Life

Lecture series

Taking as its starting point the latest discoveries in the fields of genetics and biology, this year's Barcelona Debate sets out to reflect on the transformation on the very concept of human life from the ethical, philosophical and political as well as the scientific viewpoint. With this cycle, the CCCB and the Fundació Collserola are continuing their multidisciplinary approximation to the essence of human nature and the role of the individual in the contemporary world, which began in 2005 with the cycle "Passions".


Technological progress and the latest discoveries in genetics and biology have opened up our frontiers of knowledge and also our capacity of control over life, although without, it seems, reducing the uncertainties and vulnerability of the human condition. Again, traditional ideas about the supposed difference and exception of our species are increasingly being challenged from different scientific domains. The lines between what is and what is not human are blurring. While debates on the future of humanity raise all these new incognitos, in everyday life a proliferation of situations is appearing in which the human being is limited to pure survival. All in all, what is being profoundly transformed is the very notion of human life.

20 February "Complexity versus Uncertainty, or the Question of Persevering as Uncertainty Increases"
Jorge Wagensberg
, lecturer in the Theory of Irreversible Processes at the Faculty of Physics at the University of Barcelona and Director of the Department of Science and the Environment at the La Caixa Foundation.

27 February "Humans: Technological Primates"
Eudald Carbonell
, director of the Catalan Institute of Human Palaeontology and Social Evolution.

6 March "A Second-hand Life: Reality and Unreality in the Contemporary World"
Daniel Innerarity
, lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Saragossa.

13 March "What is Life?"
Lynn Margulis
, Distinguished University Professor, Department of Geosciences, University of Massachusetts.

20 March"Humanitarianism, a Politics of Life?"
Rony Brauman
, founder and president of Doctors without Borders (1982-1994), associate professor at the l'Institut d'Études Politiques (Paris).

27 March"Flesh and Machines: Artificial Intelligence"
Rodney A. Brooks
, director of the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory and Panasonic Professor of Robotics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

3 April "The Good Life"
Pascal Bruckner
, writer, author of La euforia perpetua (Perpetual Euphoria - Tusquets, 2000)

24 April "Artisans of the Beauty of Life Itself"
Ángel Gabilondo
, vice-chancellor and professor of Metaphysics at the Autonomous University of Madrid.