The 7th Science Matters Conference


                                                 CARCAVELOS, PORTUGAL

For many years universities have found themselves in a paradoxical position. Is it not tiresomely repetitious to hear the claims of lay reformers and governments that the current teaching programs at universities are outdated, irrelevant, and must be reformed to make them more useful? Are we not forgetting the risks involved in this continuous reduction of the diversity of the formative offer for the future of a rapidly evolving science and civilization? When we consider the tremendous acceleration of technological change in recent years, will it not be time for universities to ask themselves for how long the pertinence or usefulness of today's courses content is valid? Biology, being the variation, creation and maintenance of diversity, is the solution of the future. It suggests that the fundamental role of schools is to educate for diversity, precisely the opposite of what has been advocated in many countries. In a very rapidly changing world, in which transversal competencies and adaptability are a key for success, discussions around the "The Idea of a University" and relations between the ideal of a "liberal education" and the importance of extending human understanding and bettering, is the central focus of the 7th Science Matters Conference. It will be an opportunity to debate on how to guide and reorient its educational processes and to face new applications of the scientific discoveries and to offer systemic solutions to transform the focus of the educational system through the creation of a flourishing human being.