The Casina Pio IV, the headquarters of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, in the Vatican gardens, hosted yesterday afternoon the ceremony to award the first edition of the Expanded Reason Awards.
The event was presided over by Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, president of the Pontifical Council for Culture. Fr. Federico Lombardi, S. J., President of the Ratzinger Foundation, and the Rector of the UFV, Daniel Sada, also participated.
Cardinal Ravasi demanded the overcoming of an excessive specialization of knowledge and thanked the Francisco de Vitoria University for its commitment with the Prizes to open reason and make possible a real transdisciplinarity among the different fields of knowledge. Citing Apple founder Steve Jobs, Cardinal Ravasi said that “technology alone is not enough. It takes marriage between technology and humanistic disciplines to bring about real change.
For his part, Fr. Lombardi referred to the celebration of the awards ceremony as a “feast”. He assured that “Pope Benedict XVI is regularly informed about the development of this initiative. “We feel it very close, even if he can’t be physically with us. One of the great themes of his teaching is undoubtedly that of expanded reason, in a society which denies a scientific status to Theology and Philosophy, which entails a reduction of man and a diminution of the dignity of the human person. Reason, as Benedict XVI taught us so many times, can and must seek reason”.
Finally, The Rectot of UFV, Daniel Sada, thanked the Ratzinger-Benedetto XVI Foundation for its support and assured that it was “the culmination of the first stage of a journey”. The Rector asked himself how to be relevant and how to influence the lives of students and society. “The creative minorities of which Benedict XVI spoke must come from our Catholic universities,”Daniel Sada stressed.
Fr. Lombardi, at the end of the ceremony, announced the convocation of the second edition of the Expanded Reason Awards. There will be 100,000 euros in prizes, distributed in four awards, two in each category (teaching and research). Entries can be submitted from 1 October.