Science | BBVA Foundation Awards
The museum has hosted the welcome ceremony for the thinkers and creators who will receive the prestigious awards from the BBVA Foundation tomorrow
The Guggenheim Museum has hosted the first of the events with which the delivery of the BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Awards is celebrated this week. As has been done since Bilbao became the permanent venue for the awards in 2019, the atrium of the Abandoibarra museum has served at 7:30 p.m. as the stage for a family photo of the winners with the president of the BBVA Foundation, Carlos Torres Villa; the president of the CSIC, Rosa Menéndez; the director of the Guggenheim, Juan Ignacio Vidarte; and the director of the BBVA Foundation, Rafael Pardo. The winners visited the museum's permanent collection and the temporary exhibition 'Motion. Cars, Art, Architecture'.
The acts of the Frontiers of Knowledge return to normal after three years. Its delivery was suspended in 2020 and there was a double celebration of 2021, which 11 of the 35 winners in the twelfth and thirteenth editions could not attend due to restrictions due to the pandemic. Of the fourteen winners this year, only one, the American mathematician Charles Fefferman, has not traveled to the Biscayan capital for health reasons. The rest have attended the welcome at the Guggenheim and have already walked through the streets of Bilbao, whose main arteries are adorned with banners with their faces.
Endowed with 400,000 euros in each of its eight categories, the Frontiers of Knowledge are among the most important prizes in the world, along with the Nobel, the Kavli, the Kyoto and the Wolf. Since its birth in 2008, twenty recipients of these awards have subsequently received the Nobel, which gives an idea of its excellence. Last year, the Swedish Academy recognized five scientists who already had the distinction of the BBVA Foundation. Among them, David Julius and Ardem Patapoutian, who won the Nobel Prize in Medicine "for their discovery of receptors for temperature and touch" weeks after receiving the Frontiers of Biology and Biomedicine in Bilbao for the same reason.
It is very likely that some of the fourteen winners this year will follow the same path. Very well placed are, for example, Katalin Karikó, Robert Langer and Drew Weissman, who have developed the technologies since the 1970s thanks to which we have messenger RNA-based vaccines against covid. They will be joined on Thursday at the Euskalduna by glaciologists Ellen Mosley-Thompson and Lonnie Thompson, who have shown that the speed of current climate change is unprecedented, and other thinkers and creators, such as the musician Philip Glass, who have opened up the human mind uncharted pathways. Thirteen men and women who make Bilbao the world capital of knowledge these days.