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Rome Reports

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Experts at the Vatican Debate Scientific Legacy of the 20th Century

Rafael VicuñaPontifical Catholic University of Chile “The Pontifical Academy of Science is an international interdisciplinary academy made up of scientists from all over the world. We aim to cultivate all the disciplines."In this plenary session 40 scientists from around the world took part. This year the topic of the discussions was the scientific legacy of the 20th century. To help in the deliberations representatives of many religions were present.Jean-Michel MaldaméCatholic Institute of Toulouse (France)"There are not only Catholics here but also non believers, Muslims, Jews, people of all the backgrounds. Because what concerns the Academy is scientific competition in order to guarantee quality of the scientific information presented to the Holy See ".Rafael VicuñaPontifical Catholic University of Chile "Stephen Hawking is a member of our Academy. Our Academy has many Nobel prize winners and many scientists who are very, very illustrious – not Nobel prize winners, but they have other distinctions. Occasionally we have guests who are not members of the Academy ."When meeting the participants, Benedict XVI spoke about the relationship between faith and reason, of science as a place encounter between man and nature, and how the achievements of science must always be orientated to solving the problems of mankind and towards building the peace.Benedicto XVI“For her part, the Church is convinced that Scientific activity ultimately benefits from the recognition of man?s spiritual dimension and his quest for ultimate answers that allow for the acknowledgement of a world existing independently from us, which we do not fully understand and which we can only comprehend in so far as we grasp its inherent logic”.The Pontifical Academy of Sciences was founded in 1603. It is independent from the Vatican and its function is to report to and advise the Pope on scientific topics.The variety of its members and their freedom of research makes this academy one of the more valuable sources of information for the international scientific community.BR/EPFFGdP-WP