Portugal 2022 – University of Coimbra

Date: 29-30 November 2022
Place of Ceremony: Great Hall of Acts, “Sala dos Capelos”
Host Institution: University of Coimbra
Host Country: Portugal

Video of the 2022 Award Ceremony


November 29, 2022
Special Lecture by Professor Victoria M. Kaspi

Winner of the “Albert Einstein” World Award of Science

Introduced by Professor Constança Providência, Head of the Department of Physics, Faculty of Sciences and Technology, University of Coimbra

World Cultural Council President's lecture

by Professor Sir Fraser Stoddart, President of the WCC and Nobel laureate in Chemistry 2016

Introduced by Professor Cláudia Cavadas, Vice-rector for Research and Doctoral Studies, University of Coimbra

Special Lecture by Professor Claudia Mitchell

Winner of the “José Vasconcelos” World Award of Education

Introduced by Professor Carlinda Leite, Full Professor at the Faculty of Psychology and Education Sciences, University of Porto

Special Lecture by Professor David Gross

Nobel laureate in Physics 2004 and Member of the WCC

Introduced by Professor Manuel Fiolhais, Full Professor at the Department of Physics, Faculty of Sciences and Technology, University of Coimbra

Special Lecture by Professor Jeannie Meejin Yoon

Winner of the “Leonardo da Vinci” World Award of Arts

Introduced by Professor Nuno Grande, Coordinator of the COIMBRASTUDIO PhD Program in Architecture, University of Coimbra

Special Lectures Gallery

30 November 2022

Award Ceremony

Great Hall of Acts, “Sala dos Capelos”
University of Coimbra, Portugal
37th World Cultural Council Award Ceremony


Science Award

Professor Victoria M. Kaspi, Lorne Trottier Chair in Astrophysics and Cosmology, and Distinguished James McGill Chair at McGill University, and Director of the McGill Space Institute, Canada, received the 2022 “Albert Einstein” World Award of Science.

“I would like to express my tremendous honour and gratitude for being awarded the 2022 Albert Einstein World Award of Science. I am a scientist because I simply love my job and so, to also receive this level of recognition, is simply overwhelming…I also want to thank my many former and present students from undergraduates to Masters to PhD students to post-doctoral fellows who are the lifeblood of my research and without whose energy, drive, creativity, proving questions and ultimately friendship, I do not know where I would be. Science is rewarding but, even more so, is training the next generation of scientists and knowing they will carry on long after I am gone”.

– Professor Victoria M. Kaspi

Education Award

Professor Claudia Mitchell, Distinguished James McGill Professor in the Faculty of Education of McGill University in Canada received the 2022 “José Vasconcelos” World Award of Education.

“It a great honour to accept the 2022 Jose Vasconcelos World Award of Education.   I, of course, accept it in recognition of so many others:  young people, teachers, and other social researchers around the world with  whom I have had the good fortune  to work  on many projects and initiatives…From what I have come to learn about José Vasconcelos, it is this very social responsibility that epitomized his work, and how he saw the role of education in the classroom  and  in the  street,  and not just for children but for the entire community. Teachers were (and are) in this way cultural workers, and education itself   very much about the social and cultural”.

– Professor Claudia Mitchell

Arts Award

Architect and educator J. Meejin Yoon, the Gale and Ira Drukier Dean of the College of Architecture, Art, and Planning at Cornell University, USA received the the 2022 “Leonardo da Vinci” World Award of Arts.

“I would also like to extend my gratitude to the World Cultural Council for their dedication and recognition of the critical contributions made by scientists, educators, and artists to humanity. And for their firm belief that each advancement stands to make a difference for both people and places the world over and for future generations who will inherit the world we build today. One of the most important lessons we have learned — not only as scientists, educators, and artists, but as global citizens, as humans — is that the world’s greatest challenges cannot be solved through purely technical solutions. Rather, the challenges of our time call for a deeply human response born of creative intelligence, imagination, and collective action”.

– Meejin Yoon


All three prizes were presented by Professor Amílcar Falcão, Rector of the University of Coimbra, Professor Sir Fraser Stoddart, President, World Cultural Council and Dr Esteban M. Wild, Executive Director World Cultural Council. Professor David Gross, Member of the WCC reflected on the achievements of Prof. Victoria M. Kaspi, also, other distinguished members of the WCC attended the Celebrations, for example, Prof. Leonids Ribickis, Rector, Riga Technical University, Latvia; Dr. René Asomoza Palacio; Prof. Gary Marquis, Dr Eduardo A. Chávez Silva, and Dr Angelo Azzi. Among the special guests who attended the event were Prof. Michael I. Kotlikoff, Provost, Cornell University, USA; Prof Martha Crago, Vice-Principal of Research and Innovation, and Prof. Vice-Principal (Research and Innovation) and Prof. Dilson Rassier, Dean of the Faculty of Education McGill University, Canada and Dr Manuel Villarreal, representing the Albert Einstein University, Mexico. 

“Thanking you again for the great honour we have been given to host the 2022 Award Ceremony, I would like to conclude by expressing the wish that we may jointly promote a culture of tolerance, peace and fraternity, in a more sustainable world, as essential values commonly shared by the World Cultural Council and the University of Coimbra. I sincerely hope you have enjoyed this magnificent ceremony, which remind us all the best that humanity has to offer. Congratulations to the Prize winners and special recognitions receivers, I am firmly convinced that your contributions to culture, science and education will help us to build a more harmonious, more just and more beautiful world. Thank you all for your presence in such a special moment”. 

– Rector Professor Amílcar Falcão University of Coimbra

“I would like to express my heartfelt thanks on behalf of the World Cultural Council absolutely no holds barred to the University of Coimbra, its Rector Amílcar Falcão, other university dignitaries, its officials and authorities for their warm hospitality and the University of Coimbra for hosting this year´s celebrations, not forgetting their stickability and patience, following the commitment to hosting the event four years ago. The wonderful occasion we are witnessing yesterday and today should have taken place in 2020, plans to hold the event were put on ice if you like a cool idiom or put on the back burner if you prefer a warm idiom. The outcome was well worth waiting for because it has given the World Cultural Council the opportunity to add three outstanding role models to the pantheon of all time WCC greats”.

– Professor Sir Fraser Stoddart, President, World Cultural Council

“As mentors, we are motivated by the conviction that education drives the real and long-lasting development of any society. In a world where alternative facts and alternate realities bombard young minds via internet and social media, an educator should never be content simply to produce students who are well-informed. Science needs to be tested and verified.  Facts and truth are vital, but correct information must be reinforced. Our goal is to help students to develop knowledge by promoting an appreciation of culture, a foundation in ethics and a commitment to integrity”.

– Rafael Estrada, Founder and President Emeritus World Cultural Council
(Presented by Dr René Asomoza Palacio, Member of the WCC)

Special Recognitions

Special Recognitions Diplomas were presented by Professor Sir Fraser Stoddart, to thirteen distinguished Portuguese scholars that have made outstanding contributions in different fields of science, education and arts:

  • Ana Filipa Silvia Bessa, Assistant Researcher,MARE – Marine and Environmental Sciences Centre, University of Coimbra
  • Joana Ferreira, Assistant Researcher, Center for Neuroscience and Cell Biology – CNC, University of Coimbra
  • João Peça, Assistant Professor of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of Coimbra
  • Paulo Rocha, Associate Professor, Department of Life Sciences, University of Coimbra
  • Sérgio Domingos, Assistant Researcher, CFisUC, Centre for Physics, Department of Physics, University of Coimbra
  • Ana Dias Fonseca, Post-doctoral researcher at Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, University of Coimbra
  • Hugo Ricardo Gonçalo Oliveira, Assistant Professor,Department of Informatics, Engineering, Faculty of Sciences and Technology, University of Coimbra
  • Rui Cardoso Martins, Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Coimbra
  • Edicleison Freitas, Visual Artist, Arts College, University of Coimbra
  • Joana Antunes, Faculty of Letters, Art Historian,University of Coimbra
  • Carlos Azevedo, depA Architects
  • João Crisóstomo, depA Architects and collaborator at the Department of Architecture at Coimbra University
  • Luís Sobral, depA Architects and collaborator at the Department of Architecture at Coimbra University

On This Page



2024 Event Location

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McGill University, Canada

Event Website

McGill University

You can find additional information about the event on the McGill University 2024 WCC Awards website