Pope Francis has appointed a Uruguayan scientist as a member of the Vatican Academy of Sciences

Uruguayan scientist Rafael Radi was appointed by Pope Francis as a member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences (@fmedoficial)

(From Montevideo, Uruguay) During the Covid-19 pandemic, the government Louis Lacalle Po Decided to promote the establishment of A Honorary Scientific Advisory Group (GACH). Doctor and scientist Rafael is satisfied He was the coordinator of that team that prepared many technical reports during the health emergency. Radi was a voice that helped calm the population at press conferences held at government headquarters, and also criticized some decisions when information indicated that policies should be more restrictive.

The scientist reappeared in public this week after previously being named Pope Franciscoalong with five other professionals, as a member of Pontifical Academy of Sciences, Vatican City, As reported University of the Republic of Uruguay (Odelard).

Radhi is also the president of ANational Academy of Sciences of Uruguay He is the director of the Audilar Center for Biomedical Research. He was the first Uruguayan to be appointed by the United States National Academy of Sciences as a foreign scientist associated with the organization, a position he has held since 2015 alongside 20 other scientists who run research groups outside that country.

The head of Google's AI division, Demis Hassabis, has also been inducted into the Pontifical Academy of Sciences (EFE/Enric Fontcuberta).

In addition to Uruguay as well Two astrophysicists, a mathematician, an expert in neuroscience and computer science (who works on artificial intelligence at Google), and a chemist in environmental sciences were appointed as regular members.

The Pontifical Academy of Sciences includes, by law, 80 academics appointed by the Pope, from any country or religion, chosen from among “the most distinguished scholars in the natural, mathematical and experimental sciences,” Odler said in a statement. They are then organized into groups to publish scientific articles and analyses.

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Udelar highlights this This academy is established “independently of religious authority” And “It does not require or discriminate among its members on the basis of religious, ethnic or political considerations.” The inclusion of this selected group is based on “recognition of outstanding scholarly contributions with global impact and outstanding personal attributes.”

Members of the Honorary Scientific Advisory Group (GACH) of Uruguay: mathematician Fernando Paganini (I), biochemist Rafael Radi (C) and gastroenterologist Henri Cohen (D). EFE (EFE/Raul Martinez/File)

The academy was founded in 1603 under the name “Lynx Academy” and was the first exclusive scientific academy in the world. The leader in the early years was the scientist Galileo Galilei.

“I was touched by the naming as well as the reaction from many people and institutions who know me and sent their greetings. The Pontifical Academy has a very rich history of more than four centuries. It was led by none other than Galileo Galilei. This connection alone, for those of us who work in science, is extremely important.“, Radi said in an interview with the program In perspective.

The Uruguayan scientist commented that meetings at the academy occur every two years, and noted that he was invited to attend events in 2017 and 2022, instances that were “very rich.” Radi stressed that this classification was also appropriate for Udelar, which was included in the same list of six institutions: Stockholm University, California, Cambridge, Cape Town and Google.

During the pandemic, Rafael Radi was coordinator of the Honorary Scientific Advisory Group for Uruguay (EFE/Raúl Martínez).

To accept the appointment, Radi obtained the statutes of the Pontifical Academy and there were two articles essential to his decision. “It is an academy dedicated exclusively to the promotion of science in its broadest sense. Secondly, this academy selects its members based on their circumstances in terms of their scientific production and personal characteristics, and it does not discriminate on the basis of religious, ethnic or doctrinal biases.”

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Rady also assessed that it was the scholars who put the issues on the agenda of that academy.

In the mid-20th century, the dean of the medical school, Julio García Otero, was part of the academy. Razi is therefore the second Uruguayan to join.

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