Science, Not Prejudice


The first Conference of the International Scientific Council of the University of Rijeka, entitled Science First – Science, Not Prejudice, was held on Friday, July 6, 2018, at the Student Center's Café ''Akvarij'' at the University of Rijeka Campus.

Professor Snježana Prijić-Samaržija, Ph.D., University of Rijeka Rector, stated while opening the Conference: ''Even though we were convinced that science has established its stable position a long time ago, we now testify that science is proclaimed an ideology, like any other. Today we want to point out that science has no alternative. We want to learn from our people who have achieved significant scientific achievements abroad.''

The conference was attended by members of the International Scientific Council (ISC), prestigious Croatian scientists currently working at universities around the world:

Prof. Igor Mezić, Ph.D., University of California, Santa Barbara,

Prof. Nenad Mišćević, Ph.D., University of Maribor, Central European University in Budapest,

Prof. Aleksandra Kanjuo Mrčela, Ph.D., University of Ljubljana,

Prof. Winfried Pickl, M.D., Ph.D., Medical University of Vienna,

Prof. Dražen Prelec, Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology,

Prof. Igor Žutić, Ph.D., State University of New York at Buffalo.

The Conference consisted of two parts. The morning part of the Conference took the form of the Ted Talks conferences, where the participants held presentations on their scientific achievements. In the afternoon, the participants had the chance to discuss their scientific viewpoints by participating in a roundtable discussion on the future and the development of science.

The Conference was moderated by Ms. Tanja Rudež, a journalist from the Daily Jutarnji List.

Considering the scientists' fields of interest, as well as the environment in which science in Croatia operates, the event's topics were in relation to the development of science and higher education in Croatia: from limited financing and lack of priority, through a collapsed economy that does not recognize the need to invest in new technologies, to a general situation where one encounters more and more ''alternative facts'', as well as the associated denial of scientific knowledge.

The University of Rijeka is the only university in Croatia that established the International Scientific Council. This conference was the first activity in a row of its planned activities, and its aim was to emphasize the importance of science and to emphasize that science, in the society that gives way to pseudo-scientific substitutes more and more, has no alternative. One of the important conclusions of this conference is that by strengthening science, we can also strengthen the development of the whole country because investing in science actually means investing in the economy; what science ''produces'', denotes progress and must find its application in the economy.

The second part of this conference, its continuation of some sort, is set to take place at the end of July this year.





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