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 27 SEPT.  28 SEPT.  29 SEPT. 30 SEPT. 1 OCT.


  27 SEPT. 
17:30 Official Opening
David H. Koch Institute Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Advanced drug delivery systems are having an enormous impact on human health. We start by discussing our early research on developing the first controlled release systems for macromolecules and the isolation of angiogenesis inhibitors and how these led to numerous new therapies. For example, new drug delivery technologies including nanoparticles and nanotechnology are now being studied for use treating cancer and other illnesses. We then discuss new ways of using nanotechnology to deliver DNA and siRNA and novel microchips for drug delivery. Approaches for creating new biomaterials are then evaluated and examples where such materials are used in brain cancer and shape memory applications are discussed. Finally, by combining mammalian cells, including stem cells, with synthetic polymers, new approaches for engineering tissues are being developed that may someday help in various diseases. Examples in the areas of cartilage, skin and spinal cord repair are discussed.


Cancer and Vascular Biology Research Center, Faculty of Medicine, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology. Haifa, Israel
Many important drugs such as penicillin, aspirin, or digitalis, were discovered by serendipity - some by curious researchers who noted an accidental phenomenon, some by isolation of active ingredients from plants known for centuries to have a specific therapeutic effect. Other major drugs like statins were discovered using more advanced technologies, such as targeted screening, yet, the discoverers were looking for a different effect. In all these cases, the mechanisms of action of the drug were largely unknown at the time of their discovery, and were discovered only later. With the realization that not all patients with diseases that physically and histopathologically appear to be the same - different malignancies for example - respond similarly to treatment, and their clinical behavior is different, we have begun to understand that their molecular basis is distinct. Accordingly, we are exiting the era where our approach to treatment is “one size fits all”, and enter a new one of “personalized medicine” where we shall tailor the treatment according to the patient’s molecular/mutational profile. Here, unlike the previous era, the understanding of the mechanism will drive the development of the new drugs. This era will be characterized the development of technologies where sequencing and processing of individual genomes will be cheap (US$ <1,000) and fast (a few min), by identification and characterization of new disease-specific molecular markers and drug targets, and by design of novel, mechanism-based, drugs to modulate the activities of these targets. It will require a change in our approach to scientific research and development and to education, where interdisciplinarity will domineer and replace in many ways the traditional, discipline- oriented approach.



  28 SEPT.  
Juan Ignacio CIRAC
Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, Garching, Germany
Quantum Mechanics is a theory for the microscopic world which was developed during the last century. Most aspects of such theory are exploited in most of the electronical devices we use in our everyday life: computers, television sets, lasers, etc operate thanks to the laws of Quantum Mechanics. However, there exist other aspects of that theory, more misterious and even exotic, that could give rise to completely new applications in the fields of communication and computation. Those are related to the existence of superposition states; that is, situations where an object seem to be in two places at the same time, or to have two opposite physical properties. Phenomena related to superposition states have been recently tested giving rise to a series of results which defy our basic understanding. In this talk I will explain what we know about those phenomena, some of their philosophical implications, and the consequences they may have in the future of computation and communication.


Jean-Marie LEHN
ISIS, Université de Strasbourg and Collège de France, Paris, France
The evolution of the universe has generated more and more complex matter through self-organization, up to living and thinking matter. Animate as well as inanimate matter, living organisms as well as materials, are formed of molecules and of the organized entities resulting from the interaction of molecules with each other. Chemistry provides the bridge between the molecules of inanimate matter and the highly complex molecular architectures and systems which make up living organisms. Synthetic chemistry has developed a very powerful set of methods for constructing ever more complex molecules. Supramolecular chemistry seeks to control the formation of molecular assembly by means of the interactions between the partners. The designed generation of organized architectures requires the handling of information at the molecular level in a sort of molecular programming, thus also linking chemistry with information science. The field of chemistry is the universe of all possible entities and transformations of molecular matter, of which those actually realized in nature represent just one world among all the worlds that await to be created. Conceptual considerations on chemistry and science in general will be presented.


Richard ERNST
Laboratorium für Physikalische Chemie, ETH Zürich. Switzerland

Passion and responsibility were two major driving forces in my professional and private endeavours. Passion has an emotional origin. It leads to curiosity and the desire to understand. Responsibility, on the other hand, originates from the recognition of societal connectivity and interdependence. It stems from the need to serve society by educating future leaders and by solving urgent problems that might even threaten global survival. Education is by far the most relevant academic task, while research is a most efficient educational tool. 

In my professional engagement, I was enormously lucky that my contributions in the development of magnetic resonance led to novel tools of undeniable societal importance. Magnetic resonance has today an extremely broad spectrum of applications ranging from solid state physics to chemistry, molecular biology, and to brain imaging.

It was evident to me from the beginning that only broad, comprehensive approaches and interdisciplinary engagements will lead to advances in science as well as in the humanities. So to say, as a counterbalance to my scientific activities, I became deeply fascinated by Central Asian painting art. During the past millennium, it has developed an enormous virtuosity in the graphical representation of emotions and of aspects that are beyond a mathematical scientific description. In this way it is complementary and addresses human domains not properly addressed by science.

However, my overarching thoughts are dominated by deep concerns regarding a beneficial future of mankind. Undeniably, we are living today on the account of future generations and follow a frightfully non-sustainable track. To find avenues toward a better world and toward more conscience, compassion, and foresight among our fellow-citizens should be a most important goal of all academic endeavours.


Sylvia A. EARLE
National Geographic Explorer in Residence; Founder, Mission Blue
More has been learned about the nature of the ocean in the past century than during all preceding human history, but at the same time, more has been lost owing to the growing impact that people are having on the sea through what is being put into it, and what is being taken out. Less than 5% of the ocean floor has been explored or mapped with the degree of accuracy known for Mars, but enough is known to realize that in the past fifty years, nearly half of the coral reefs have been lost or have seriously declined, 90% of many commercially-fished species are gone and more than 400 dead zones have appeared in coastal zones globally. Rapid global warming, sea level rise, ocean acidification and other troubling trends require urgent attention. This presentation will consider new technologies and a new era of ocean exploration vital to understand these phenomena, as well as the changes in ocean chemistry, biodiversity and the composition and structure of marine ecosystems, with special reference to the present and future consequences to humankin.



  29 SEPT.  
Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Harvard University and Department of Physics and Astronomy, Texas A & M University - USA
Chemical reactions ordinarily occur within vast mobs of molecules, obscuring what actually happens. This talk will describe how such molecular wildness has been tamed to reveal the intimate dynamics of single reactive collisions between pairs of molecules. Key tools have been supersonic jets that send beams of molecules traveling into high vacuum; spectroscopic techniques, especially exploiting lasers; and extremely sensitive detection methods. As well as illustrating some prototypical cases, my talk will emphasize beckoning frontiers. Among them is pursuit of ultracold conditions which make the molecules, in accord with quantum mechanics, behave like waves rather than particles. Another exotic emerging area, dealing with “quantum information,” seeks to attain greatly enhanced computational power. Landmark episodes include interchanging light and matter waves as well as teleportation, called by Einstein “spooky action at a distance.”


Theodor HÄNSCH
Max-Planck-Institute of Quantum Optics, Garching, and Faculty of Physics, Ludwig Maximilians University, Munich, Germany
Fifty years ago, the inventors of the laser were motivated by curiosity. They could not foresee that lasers would become indispensible tools for technology and science. During the last decade, lasers have revolutionized precision measurements of time and frequency. Laser frequency makes it possible to accurately count the ripples of a light wave, and they have become the most precise measuring tools available to man. Their invention has been motivated by precise optical spectroscopy of the simple hydrogen atom, which is yielding accurate values of fundamental constants and permits stringent test of fundamental physics laws. Today, laser combs provide the long missing clockwork for optical atomic clocks, with applications ranging from new tests of Einstein’s theory of relativity to telecommunications and satellite navigation. Laser combs are revolutionizing molecular spectroscopy by dramatically extending the resolution and recording speed of Fourier spectrometers. High harmonic generation promises to extend frequency comb techniques and precise spectroscopy into the extreme ultraviolet and soft X-ray regime. The calibration of astronomical spectrographs with laser combs will enable new searches for earth-like planets in distant solar systems, and may reveal the continuing expansion of space in the universe. By offering control of the electric field of extremely short light pulses, laser combs have become key tools for the emerging field of attosecond science.


MIT, Cambridge - MA, USA

Fundamental physics is poised to take a great leap forward in coming years.  An extraordinary instrument - the Large Hadron Collider, or LHC is just coming into operation.    Future generations may come to view the LHC as the defining symbol of our culture, analogous our to the Pyramids of ancient Egypt; but it’s much better!   It is will enable us to see whether some gorgeous ideas about the ultimate laws of physics describe reality correctly. 

I’ll start out by describing what the LHC is, viewed simply as an awesome physical object and engineering project.  Then I’ll explain why it has to be that way, to do the job it’s meant to do. Then, in the bulk of the talk, I’ll discuss my vision for the next level of unification in physics.  That vision suggests specific new phenomena that should become visible using the LHC.  So there will be, at last, a crucial test for these ambitious ideas.  

In a multimedia presentation including spectacular images, some amazing ideas, and a few jokes, I'll demonstrate why this is an especially exciting time to be a physicist.


Bernardo ATXAGA
Euskaltzaindia, Basque Country, Spain
The flight went on for eight hours and it then took us just under two hours to collect our luggage and find the car that came to fetch us. The children were tired and the youngest were soon fast asleep. The elder kids were not, though. They were very quiet, but they did not close their eyes. And so they remained, even when we finally got to our destination. In the end, I asked him if he was worried about anything. He nodded. “I couldn’t see them. All that time we were up in the sky and I still couldn’t see them” he said. “You couldn’t see who?” I asked. “People”. “What people?” “The dead ones” he specified.



  30 SEPT.  
Cornell University, Ithaca - NY, USA
In this generously illustrated lecture several views of chemistry will be presented, stressing its psychological dimension and its tie to the arts: First of all, chemistry is, as it has always been, the art, craft, business of substances and, importantly, their essential transformations. It is now also the science of microscopic molecules, both simple and complex. And then there are people’s perceptions of chemistry - alternating between seeing the healing and the hurting aspects of this truly anthropic science. The underlying psychological tensions will be explored, as will the strong element of creation or synthesis in chemistry, which brings chemistry close to the arts.


Collège de France and Laboratoire Kastler Brossel. Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris, France
Understanding the nature of light and its interactions with matter has always been a challenge for Physics. New concepts have emerged from these investigations, such as the wave particle duality. New mechanisms for the generation of light have been discovered, leading to the realization of new light sources, called "lasers", with remarkable properties. It has been also realized that light is not only a source of information on atoms but also a tool for manipulating atoms, for controlling their polarization, their position and their velocity, This has opened the way to a wealth of applications like optical pumping, magnetic resonance imaging, ultra-precise atomic clocks, atomic interferometers, Bose Einstein condensates. This lecture will describe in a simple way how these developments having occurred during the last few decades. It will be also shown how advances of fundamental research can open the way to new unexpected applications which transform our daily life.



We should not overlook the fact that the first statement is taken from the modern scientific world, where the word “knowledge” has a clear, precise meaning: research in order to understand part of reality, through proven theories which, in certain cases, can actually help us to use that reality. In the music world, this “knowledge” only exists in the field of performing, and as basic training during the learning period: you cannot be a musician if you cannot read and write music, and neither is it a good idea to compose music without knowledge, mastery of past techniques, for example. Apart from this kind of knowledge, which is more concerned with craftsmanship, the word has no meaning when we refer to “creation” (also quite a “dubious” word in its own right) or enjoyment.

Does that mean music is of no use for achieving "knowledge"? Or could it be that the word “knowledge” transcends the field of science, and that human beings are not using their full ability to reason or their sensitivity in science, and that there are infinite ways of attaining “knowledge”? Could it perhaps be necessary (or beneficial, at least) for us to dare to explore - albeit reticently - the meaning of some of our words? I’m not a Wittgensteinian (I don’t make the grade), even though I’m quite annoyed by Stephen Hawking’s comments on one of the philosopher’s statements, "The sole remaining task for philosophy is the analysis of language," to which Hawking retorts: “What a comedown from the great tradition of philosophy from Aristotle to Kant!". Although it is also true that a few paragraphs further on he almost seems to aspire to “know the mind of God”. That’s not bad, is it?

In spite of all this and from my humble, although constant – 60 years – stance as a composer, I would like to “stick my oar in” on this issue, perilous as it may be and unfathomable perhaps, but fascinating all the same.



  1 OCT.  
Imperial College London, UK
Electromagnetism encompasses much of modern technology. Its influence rests on our ability to deploy materials that can control the component electric and magnetic fields. A new class of materials has created some extraordinary possibilities such as a negative refractive index, and lenses whose resolution is limited only by the precision with which we can manufacture them. Cloaks have been designed and built that hide objects within them, but remain completely invisible to external observers. The new materials, named metamaterials, have properties determined as much by their internal physical structure as by their chemical composition and the radical new properties to which they give access promise to transform our ability to control much of the electromagnetic spectrum.


Department of Structural Biology, Weizmann Inst., Rehovot, Israel
The way to elucidating the high resolution structures of ribosomes, the cellular machines that translate the genetic code into proteins, was far from being paved. It turned to be a sequence of Everest climbing, just to find out that there are taller Everests still to be climbed. Hibernating polar bears, in which ribosomes are packed orderly inspired the intimation of these studies, which were widely considered formidable. Once determined, the ribosomal structures revealed the decoding mechanism, detected the mRNA path, identified the tRNA sites, elucidated the position and the nature of the nascent proteins exit tunnel, illuminated the interactions of the ribosome with non-ribosomal factors, such as the initiation, release. recycling factors and the first chaperone encountered by the nascent chains. Furthermore, these structures proved that the ribosome is a ribozyme whose active site is situated within a highly conserved symmetrical region within the otherwise asymmetric ribosome structure, which seems to be the remnant of the proto-ribosome, an apparatus that functioned in the prebiotic era and formed peptide bonds and non-coded polypeptide chains. Structures of complexes of ribosomes with antibiotics revealed the principles allowing antibiotics clinical use, identified resistance mechanisms and showed the structural bases for discriminating pathogenic bacteria from hosts, hence providing valuable structural information for antibiotics improvement and the design of novel compound that can serve as antibiotics.


Heinrich ROHRER

The engine of scientific progress is the fascination of what has been and still can be achieved, the passion to go beyond accepted knowledge, skills, capabilities, and truths, the devotion to do what has to be done, and the satisfaction of unique accomplishments per se. They are the virtues of science and the seminal source of both novelty and discovery, the essence of scientific endeavours.

Quite a bit of this scientific spirit got lost in recent decades. Science operates increasingly with financial and recognition incentives, with competition, with claims, with promises and assurances, and with other personal promotion schemes. None of them made science and scientists any better, thinking deeper and acting more progressive and daring. Science has to find back to scientific values and believes and to set and be again an exemplary standard of human action. Otherwise we loose the scientific freedom which is still left and the trust of society which we still enjoy.

We scientists need all the passion and all the devotion to make tomorrow to today while we think about and hope for novelty and dream of discoveries, of the days after tomorrow.


20:00 Concluding remarks

Tabakalera TELEFONICA TELEFONICATELEFONICA EUSKAMPUS Donostia 2016 DIPC AQUARIUM EL HUYAR KUTXAESPACIOA Nanogune GOBIERNO VASCO Diputacin de Gipuzkoa Ayuntamiento de San Sebastin Universidad del Pas Vasco CAF NATURGAS MAPFRE KUTXA TELEFONICA Jakiunde La Bretxa

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