Back Transdisciplinarity and the Unity of Knowledge: Beyond the Science and Religion Dialogue

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Jens Degett
Christine Heller del Riego
Javier Leach
Javier Monserrat Puchades


The Sophia-Iberia in Europe Project endeavors to increase integration and understanding of the long philosophical and theological traditions in Spain and Portugal in the stream of European and international thought. Sophia-Iberia is creating an area open to free multidisciplinary participation in scientific and philosophic reflection on human evolution oriented towards recent metaphysical issues. The session will present the work of this important and innovative initiative, directed by this conference's co-hosts. More information can be found at

Jens Degett (biologist) is the Executive Director of the European Action in Global Life Sciences (EAGLES) in Madrid, Spain. He was Director of the Communication and Information units at the European Science Foundation (ESF) Strasbourg (France) from 2000 - 2005. He was one of the founding members of World Federation of Science Journalists (WFSJ) and Board Member of Euroscience (2002-present).  Producer and host of the most listened to national radio programme on science in Denmark from 1994-2000. Before his broadcast days he was responsible for communication with stakeholders and media in the Danish biotech company Novo Nordisk.

Christine Heller del Riego is professor of Electric Machines at the Engineering School (ICAI) of the Universidad Pontificia Comillas of Madrid. Christine is the Director of Sophia-Iberia in Europe - an interdisciplinary project on human evolution, supported by the John Templeton Foundation - of the Cátedra of Science, Technology, and Religion of Comillas University. She is an Electrical Engineer (ICAI 1992) and obtained her Ph.D. from the Université P. et M. Curie (Paris VI) with support for her research project at SUPELEC of a HCM Mobility Grant of the European Commission in 1997. After returning to Spain, she became involved in European science policy and has acted as a Board Member of the Marie Curie Fellowship Association (1998-2000) and of Euroscience (2001-present). She was a member of the Steering Committee of ESOF2004 and of numerous other international scientific conferences and working groups.

Javier Leach is a Jesuit priest and has been director of the Metanexus Local Societies Initiative supported Chair of Science, Technology, and Religion at the Universidad Pontificia Comillas since its creation in 2003. Currently, he is also professor at the School of Computing of the Universidad Complutense de Madrid. From 1961-1965, he studied philosophy at the Facultad Pontificia San Francisco de Borja in Barcelona. From 1965-1970, he studied mathematics at the School of Mathematics, Universidad de Zaragoza. From 1970-1973, he studied theology at the Philosophisch-theologische Hochschule Sankt Georgen in Frankfurt am Main (Germany). In 1977, he obtained the title of Doctor in Mathematics from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid. Since 1987, he has been professor at the Universidad Complutense in the area of computer languages and systems. Among other subjects, he has given undergraduate courses on discrete mathematics, logic, logical programming, functional programming, and artificial intelligence. He has given doctoral courses on automatic demonstration, functional programming, methods for the automation of demonstrations in first order logic, and demonstrators of theorems for transitive relations.

Javier Monserrat is a Jesuit priest and a professor of Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, and is a member of the Department of Basic Psychology of the Faculty of Psychology. He also teaches in the ecclesiastical faculties of Universidad Pontificia Comillas, and forms part of the Advisory Council of the University’s Cátedra CTR. For three years, he studied theology in Germany (Frankfurt). His professorial and investigation activities are focused on perception, more specifically, on visual perception and theory of mind, for which he spent one year in the Institute of Cognitive Studies of the University of California in Berkeley. His academic interests include epistemology, theory of science, fundamental theology, and the relationship between science and theology.


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