15 Years of Ciencia & Vida


By: Jose Ignacio Mansilla

Ciencia 360°, Una estrategia para el desarrollo (Science 360°, A strategy to development) was the name that Fundación Ciencia & Vida gave to the celebration of 15 years of progresses in this matter. This explains why 10 renowned lecturers from California, which included experts on biotechnological entrepreneurship, venture capital, education, and public policy on science; along with other highlighted academic scientists, attended this meeting.

The symposium started on Monday, December 2nd at 8:30AM, at the GAM. Pablo Valenzuela, cofounder and Director of Fundación Ciencia & Vida started reading his welcome lecture: “…15 years ago today, and driven by the conviction that science plays a key role in the economical and social development of the countries, we founded Fundación Ciencia & Vida.” Dr. Valenzuela was joined by B. Bruce Albert, former President of the National Academy of Science and former Editor-in-chief of Science magazine; Susan Desmond-Hellman, Chancellor at UCSF and former President of product development at Genetech; Agustín Huneeus, former President and main driving force of the Chile California Council; Regis Kelly, Director of QB3, a center established by the State of California to accelerate discoveries and innovation in life sciences; Patricia Caldera, Academic Coordinator at UCSF Science & Health Education Partnership; Judy Miner, President of Foothill College at Los Altos Hills, California; Bill rutter, President and CEO of Synergenics, LLC, company that owns a consortium of several independent biotechnological companies with common ownership; Marc Shuman, Director of the Prostate Cancer Program of the UCSF Comprehensive Cancer Center; and, Peter Walter, Professor and former Director of the UCSF Biochemistry & Biophysics Department, who was also awarded the “E.B. Wilson Medal” by the American Society for Cell Biology.

At the end of the welcome ceremony, Hernán Cheyre, who was until then the Executive Vice President of Corfo, opened the symposium, giving cause, from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM, to the discussions, which were moderated by Carolina Torrealba and Sebastián Bernales, scientists and directors of Fundación Ciencia & Vida. The different topics of this discussion focused on the challenges that our country has to face to be a regional hub on innovation, the impact of science in our society, the necessity of entrepreneurship, and finally, the necessity of cultivating scientific knowledge since childhood, stressing essential aspects of the scientific education that a country requires to have a knowledge-based economy.

200 guests from the academic, political, and business worlds attended a four-hour celebration to science, innovation, entrepreneurship, and education; and also enjoyed a closing cocktail at the end of the program. Once the symposium was over, the lecturers joined a lunch at the Fundación Ciencia & Vida facilities, where they visited the ConCiencia Bus and interacted with scientist and students at the establishment. The formers surprised the guests with a mob dance before the lunch.

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