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Third Edition of the festival of medical science on innovation versus tradition

Event | Medical Science | Festival | Conference

Four days in April and a special event on 22 May: five Nobel Laureates—Jules Hoffmann, Louis Ignarro, Thomas Lindahl, Edvard Moser and Amartya Sen, Nobel award in Economic Sciences, for the special closing event. In renewing its appointment for 2017, the third edition of the Bologna Festival of Medical Science consolidates its tradition as a unique event on the world scene of Science and Culture.

In the wake of its growing success, with more than 50,000 participants last year, the Festival of Medical Science will be staged again in Bologna from 20 to 23 April with a closing event on 22 May featuring Amartya Sen. 

This year the initiative, promoted by the Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio in Bologna and by Genus Bononiae, Museum in the City, in cooperation with Alma Mater Studiorum - University of Bologna, will be focusing on the relationship between Innovation and Tradition, an issue that is undoubtedly of great social and cultural consequence.

The Festival will be inaugurated on Thursday 20 April, in the Salone del Podestà of Palazzo Re Enzo with a lectio magistralis by Jules Hoffmann on "The Immune Response: from insects to Human Beings". The other Nobel Laureates in the program are Edvard Moser (Friday 21), "Grid Cells and Cortical Maps for Space", Louis Ignarro (Saturday 22) who will be speaking about the role of nitric oxide, Thomas Lindahl (Sunday 23 April) about the instability of DNA and the role of TREX1, and Amartya Sen at the special event on 22 May who will be presenting a lectio magistralis on the issue "Health and Universal Healthcare: a Truly Unachievable Goal?"

A number of contributions will illustrate how scientific and technological progress is important also for recovering the psychological aspects of the doctor-patient relationship, for tailoring treatment to the patient, for a non-authoritarian paternalism, for the educational role of the medical health culture, etc.

There will also be some archaeological digging into the medical practices of the past, looking at the steps that have led biomedical thinking to reorganize patient treatment strategies arriving at today's discoveries and innovations.

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Some of the foremost international protagonists of research and biomedical practice will contribute to deepening our understanding of the theme of the Festival. From the five Nobel prizes to cutting-edge research by scientists like Semir Zeki—the  scholar who opened up the field of research to "neuro-aesthetics", to studies on sleep by Carlso Schenck, to studies on infections caused by Staphylococcus aureus by Andreas Peschei and the research on ultrasound by Peter Burns. The Festival will also be attended by some high level Italian scholars: confirmations have been received from Elena Cattaneo, Alberto Mantovani, Michele De Luca and Fabrizio Benedetti on the neuro-scientific prospects of the doctor-patient relationship; Arnaldo Benini on why - for now - we have lost the battle against Alzheimer; Massimo Delledonne on the "reading of the DNA"; Pietro Pietrini on genetics, neurosciences and the "return of Lombroso"; Marcello Massimi on the models for measuring consciousness.

Germany, the guest Country on this edition, will arrive in Bologna with a large presence of scientists from different areas of research. This will be a great opportunity for a challenge between Italy and Germany (discussion­—not a soccer match) coordinated by Horst Klinkmann on two crucial aspects: construction of "large-scale facilities" to foster and optimize the speeding up of innovative processes, and the sustainability of universal healthcare systems in the two Countries (and perhaps also looking at how some public and private "national" systems could be exported abroad).

The Festival will again feature the "open days" in the main hospitals of Bologna, and the "visits to courses" which, this year, will be focused on the Emergency Room, Dermatology and Neurology. The meetings dedicated to the schools are also confirmed: anatomy lessons at the Teatro Anatomico for children; the walks along the porticoes of Life and Death for junior highschool students; the format "Let's hear the Jury" on a real bioethics case for secondary school students. And for the first time, a "call for speech", addressed to university students - the doctors of tomorrow - who will be given space also in the program "Geniuses on board" by Farmindustria whose President, Massimo Scaccabarozzi, will be discussing the issue of the value of health and the cost of medicinal products with Mario Melazzini, Director Genaral of AIFA (the Italian Medicines Agency).

There has been special cooperation with the Italian Diabetology Society, the Fondazione Diabete e Ricerca Onlus and with Intesa San Paolo. Key issues in the debate on innovation versus tradition are the topical themes of vaccination policies and antibiotic resistance, the current bionics and the future robotics for the heart and the aorta, the correct assessment of clinical trials, rare diseases, rejection in surgery, gender medicine and orthodontics surgery, discrimination against women and strategies for fighting cancer.

We could not overlook the discussion on cutting edge issues like Big Data management, Telemedicine, Apps in medicine and on how to accompany the creation and the development of start-ups. Among the curiosities: hoaxes on the web; the incredible case of the memory loss of Pierdante Piccioni; Pet Therapy and how autopsy and genetic fingerprints have become crucial for revealing the secrets of some famous crimes.

An introduction to the Festival, on Wednesday 19 April with the return, "by popular demand", of the conference-musical happening on Beethoven's deafness. And a great closing event on Monday 22 May: Amartya Sen, Nobel Prize for Economics in 1988 will present his personal view on health and universal healthcare systems, explaining why, besides being necessary, universal healthcare is a goal that can still be achieved and that would also foster economic growth.

Because in Bologna, medicine has a great future. 
Bologna, 19-23 April 2017
Admission to all the events of the Festival of Medical Science are open and free of charge until full capacity is reached, unless otherwise indicated.
The full program is available on the website: www.bolognamedicina.it

Text by: Mara Vitali Comunicazione
Translation by: Giovanna Gatteschi

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