ONLINE Plenary conferences and round tables of the EvoKE BCN 2021 meeting (Youtube)

The EvoKE BCN 2021 meeting, held in Barcelona from 22 to 24 November, brings together the most relevant scientists, educators, communicators and political decision makers in evolutionary biology with the same aim: explain, inform and disseminate to a general audience the importance of evolution in the world in which we live. Understanding evolution is important because not only is it the basis of all life, but it is closely related to many of the global societal challenges that we face today such as climate change and loss of biodiversity.

The plenary conferences and the round tables of the EvoKE BCN 2021 meeting will be transmitted online and open to the general public. In this way, knowledge can reach more people and provide them with the skills to make informed decisions. The main topics of these sessions, which are led by renowned experts from the field of evolutionary biology, will be varied, interdisciplinary and of great interest to society.

Plenary conferences and round tables topics and speakers

Monday, 22nd of November from 9:30 a.m. to 10:15 a.m.

Topic 1: Tradeoffs between exploring or boosting creativity, and personal benefits and/or drawbacks of doing outreach to promote evolution as full-time scientists.

Plenary conference 

Oded Rechavi
Professor en el Full Professor in the Life Sciences Faculty at Tel Aviv University

“Small RNA mediated transgenerational effects in nematodes, and how it challenges our most basic assumptions regarding the limits of inheritance and evolution”. 


Monday, 22 nd of November from 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Topic 5: Evaluating the role of literacy in evolution during the COVID-19 crisis

Round table

Fernando González Candelas
Full Professor of Genetics, Instituto de Biología Integrativa de Sistemas UV-CSIC, I2SysBio, and Departamento de Genética. Universitat de València.

Miquel Molina Muntané
Journalist and a novelist. Currently Deputy Editor at La Vanguardia.

Fernando Simón Soria
Coordinator of the Spanish IHR Focal Point and GOARN, member of the Advisory Forum of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and National focal point for Scientific Advice and member of the Health Security Committee of the European Union.

Moderator: Cristina Pujades
Departament de Ciències Experimentals i de la Salut, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.


Monday, 22nd of November from 5:45 p.m. to 6:15 p.m.

Topic2: Society, technology, and evolution

Plenary conference 

Robert Harris Frank
Henrietta Johnson Louis Professor of Management and a professor of economics at the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University.

The Case for Adding Darwin to Behavioral Economics”


Tuesday, 23rd of November

Plenary conference
9:00h CET

“Still under Construction” – How to develop Scientific Literacy on Evolution over time?

Ute Harms 
Director at the IPN –Leibniz Institute for Science and Mathematics Education and Full Professor for Biology Education at the University of Kiel (Germany)


Round table
10:15h CET

Challenges and opportunities to improve scientific literacy on evolution through formal or informal education

  • Ute Harms 
    Director at the IPN –Leibniz Institute for Science and Mathematics Education and Full Professor for Biology Education at the University of Kiel
    Kostas Kampourakis
    Science educator at University of Geneve (Section of Biology and IUFE)
  • Josefa González
    P.I. Evolutionary and Functional Genomics Lab and tenured Scientist at the Spanish Research Council (CSIC). Council member of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution (SMBE) and the European Society for Evolutionary Biology (ESEB). Co-founder of the European Drosophila Population Genomics Consortium.
  • Sílvia Zurita
    Bofill Foundation and Universidad Politécnica de Cataluña

Tuesday, 23rd of November

Plenary conference
16:30h CET

A. Cecile J.W. Janssens
Research professor of translational epidemiology of the Emory University, Atlanta, USA

Designer babies: science or science fiction?


Plenary conference
17:30h CET

The challenge of dealing with competing ideologies, interests, beliefs, and evolutionary theory

  • A. Cecile J.W. Janssens
  • David Jou Mirabent
    Physicist and a poet, author of a wide literary, essay and scientific work
  • Harmit Malik
    PhD. Professor of  Associate Director of Basic Sciences at Fred Huch, Seatle. President of the Society of Molecular Biology and Evolution
  • Johannes Jaeger
    Freelance evolutionary systems biologist and philosopher. Associate Faculty, Complexity Science Hub (CSH) Vienna