Responding to current challenges: interviews with Robert Schreiber and Adela Cortina

Robert Schreiber and Adela Cortina.

Robert Schreiber and Adela Cortina.


The University of Barcelona awarded honorary doctorates to the immunologist Robert D. Schreiber and the philosopher Adela Cortina, two leading figures in their research fields: immunology and the opportunities it opens in the fight against cancer, and values education. On the occasion of the ceremony held at the UB, we asked them for some reflections on issues that affect us as a society.

Robert Schreiber: "In the future, we will train the immune system so that it can do many things to prevent human diseases"

Immunologist Robert Schreiber recalls in the interview some of the key moments of his successful career, such as the identification of interferon gamma (IFN-?) as an anti-cancer agent. He also talks about the future of cancer treatment and the importance of immunotherapy regarding this challenge: "In the future, we will train the immune system so that it can do many things to prevent human diseases". In particular, he highlights the potential of customized therapeutic vaccines, which his research group is working on, to achieve cancer treatments that are "more effective, specific and safer than the current ones".

Finally, he reveals his fondness for the Star Wars film saga.

Adela Cortina: "It is necessary to educate so that people become the owners of their lives"

In this interview, philosopher Adela Cortina talks about the importance of cultivating both reason and emotions. As a thinker who has made fundamental contributions to values education, she also reflects on the role of education: "We must educate so that people can be the owners of their lives". Social networks and large digital platforms "try to modify behaviours", and when facing this, it is necessary to decide whether to educate "submissive citizens or autonomous people".

Cortina praises hope for the future and appeals to citizens to face the current challenges based on minimum values shared by all, such as freedom, solidarity and dialogue.

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