Disputatio of Barcelona


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Since it began operations in 2013, the AE-BKH, in collaboration with the Barcelona City Council, has organized the Disputatio of Barcelona, an annual academic debate held between two renowned experts (disputantes) holding different viewpoints on a common topic of social relevance. The session is coordinated by another expert, the Magister disputationis or convenor, responsible for selecting the topic and moderating the debate.


The activity is characterized by a high level of interaction with the audience, comprised of scholars from a variety of fields beyond that of the topic being discussed. This feature is inspired by the original Disputatio held in Barcelona in 1263, a theological debate between Christian and Jewish intellectuals presided by King James I of Aragon. The modern-day Disputationes, covering a wide variety of topics in the exact, natural and social sciences, as well as the humanities, have become an academic tradition.

Previous editions

15 Nov 2022 - The urban between history, ecology and the digital: challenges for the future of Barcelona

Place: Saló de cròniques within Barcelona City Council building, streaming.

Participants: Kathrin Golda-Pongratz (UPC) & Xavier Costa-Guix (Northeastern University). Convened by Georg Vrachliotis (TU Delft).


1 Dic 2021 - Mental health and pandemics: burden and resilience

Place: Institute for Catalan Studies (IEC), streaming.

Parcitipants: Arcadi Navarro (UPF) & Eider Arenaza-Urquijo (BarcelonaBeta Brain Research Center).


19 Jan 2020 - Cities, climate and pandemics: Reflections from urban studies and environmental economics

Place: Virtual

Participants: Kathrin Golda-Pongratz (UPC) & Jeroen van den Bergh (ICREA-ICTA). Convened by Alexander Fidora (ICREA-UAB).


13 Nov 2019 - A new Humanism for the 21st century? Specialisation vs. generalisation

Place: Institute for Catalan Studies (IEC)

Participants: Silvia De Bianchi (UAB) & Maciej Lewenstein (ICREA-ICFO). Convened by Alexander Fidora (ICREA-UAB).


28 Nov 2018 - Competition vs. Cooperation: two economists’ points of view

Place: Institute for Catalan Studies (IEC)

Participants: Hervé Moulin (University of Glasgow) & Gabrielle Demange (EHESS-Paris). Convened by Salvador Barberà (UAB).


23 Nov 2017 - Supercomputers: instruments for science and technology and the progress of society

Place: Institute for Catalan Studies (IEC)

Participants: Mateo Valero (BSC) & Alison Kennedy (STFC Hartree Centre). Convened by Enric Banda (BSC) & Fabrizio Gagliardi (BSC).


21 Nov 2016 - Natural life vs. Synthetic life

Place: Palau de la Generalitat

Participants: Anna Veiga (CMR(B)) & Ricard Solé (ICREA-UPF).


9 Dec 2015 - Natural vs. Artificial intelligence

Place: Royal Chapel of Santa Àgata

Participants: Núria Sebastián (UPF) & Ulises Cortés (BSC).


27 Nov 2014 - The Mediterranean, bridge of cultures

Place: Sant Pau Art Nouveau Site

Participants: Maria Paradiso (University of Sannio) & Enric Banda (LaCaixa Foundation).


27 Nov 2013 - Social and state-of-the-art medicine: defining the way forward

Place: Saló de Cent Hall within Barcelona City Council building

Participants: Thomas Pogge (Yale University) & Mara Dierssen (CGR-UPF).