President of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) and Vice-President of Science Europe

Emilio Lora-Tamayo (Madrid, 1950) has worked in CSIC since 1975. The CSIC President was also President between 2003 and 2004 after acting as CSIC vicepresident for Science and Technology from 1996 to 2003. In the year 2003, Emilio Lora-Tamayo initiated the change on the legal structure of CSIC, formerly a Public Research Organism, that ended on the creation of the Agencia Estatal de Investigación CSIC. On January 13th 2012 the Spanish Council of Ministers designated him as CSIC President.

After achieving his graduation in Physics in 1972, he was awarded the Diplôme d’Études Approfondies at the Université Paul Sabatier (Toulouse, 1973). He obtained the PhD degree in Physics by the Universidad Complutense (Madrid, 1977). Since 1989, he is Professor of Electronics at the Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona. He has been researcher at the Ècole Nationale Supérieure d’Aéronautique et de l’Espace (Toulouse, France), at the Laboratoire d’Automatique et ses Aplications Spatiales (Toulouse, France) and at the Laboratoire d’Electronique et de l’Informatique (Grenoble, France). He has been visiting professor at the Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences Department at UC Berkeley (United States).

He has been Director of the Instituto de Microelectrónica de Barcelona-Centro Nacional de Microelectrónica (IMB-CNM) and of the associated “Integrated Micro and Nanofabrication Clean Room”. He has also coordinated the Barcelona Nanocluster at Bellaterra (BCN-b).

His expertise is Microelectronics and Nanotecnología covering aspects of Physics and technology of semiconductors and microchips, simulation and design of silicon microdevices and chips, Micro and Nanosystems (MEMS & NEMS), nanofabrication and CNTs. He is the author of more than 100 research articles in peer reviewed scientific journals, and more tan 150 communications at scientific meetings. He is coauthor of 7 patents and has written 12 books on his subject. He has been the coordinator or participated coordinated/participated in more than 50 national or international research projects. He was the president of the scientific committee to asses and repair the damages caused by the “Prestige” oil spill (2002-2003).

He is full member of the Real Academia de Ciencias y Artes de Barcelona and corresponding member of the Real Academia de Medicina y Cirugía de Cádiz and of the Real Academia de San Dionisio de Artes y Ciencias de Jerez de la Frontera. He has been awarded with the Encomienda de número de la Orden del Mérito Civil and several CSIC awards.



14:30-16:00 5 NOVEMBER
Plenary session III. Confidence in science

The importance of trust in science and for science

Confidence, or trust, is an integral part of the scientific endeavour. Every aspect of the production and application of knowledge is governed by trust. For instance, reliability and reproducibility of results are a condition for the incremental nature of science. It is not possible to stand on the shoulders of untrustworthy giants. Researchers need to be able to trust their own results as well as those of others, as reported in papers, conferences, journal articles, research reports and so on.

At the same time, researchers, governments and society at large have to be able to trust the processes in place to assess research quality and potential and to allocate resources to science. Peer-review processes put researcher themselves at the centre of this system.

And finally, evidence shows that science and scientists have enjoyed a higher level of trust from society than most other social actors, such as for example politicians, the media, or institutions such as the police or even the church. The same data however indicates a decline in the trust level in science over time. This is a worrying trend that can undermine the availability of tax-payer based public funding for science and the capacity of science to interact and respond to society’s needs and challenges.

Research integrity plays a key role in establishing trust between researchers, between researchers and the research system and ultimately determines the confidence placed by society in science. Without this confidence, science cannot fulfil its most essential mission, that of producing knowledge that will in the short, medium, long and very long term benefit humanity. While an essential part of the responsibility lies with the researchers, research organisations and institutions have a key responsibility to support them and provide the necessary conditions to maintain a trustworthy science system. At CSIC and at Science Europe we take this responsibility very seriously and I will be providing a few examples of what we are doing.