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The University of Valencia Vice-Principal for Research and Science Policy, Pilar Campins, awarded the science journalist Antonio Rial the €12,000 prize at the ceremony of the 26th Ciutat d’Alzira Literary Awards held last Friday night

Within the framework of the 16th Science Week of the University of Valencia, the science journalist Antonio Rial was awarded the 20th Estudi General European Award for Scientific Dissemination for his essay ‘Repensar el cervell’ (Rethinking the brain). The winners of the various modalities collected their trophies designed by artist Manuel Boix at the traditional Ciutat d’Alzira Literary Awards dinner. The event was presented by actress Lola Moltó and was attended by some 700 people, including a large number of representatives from the world of politics, culture, education and economy, whose presence contributes, year after year, to consolidating the prestige of these awards. It counted with the presence of authorities, political leaders and representatives of major trade unions, institutions as Escola Valenciana or companies as Consum. A total of 174 original works had been submitted in this edition, and a total allocation of 65,500 euros was distributed among the winners.
The Vice-Principal for Research and Science Policy, Pilar Campins, gave the award after a speech in which she praised the event as “one of the best examples of cooperation for a common cultural and educational project with a proven high social profitability”. The Vice-Principal defended science as an element inseparable from culture and said that “as long as society doesn’t claim scientific thinking as a weapon to defend the welfare state, and as long as the media doesn’t join us in this struggle, our efforts will not be as successful as those by the most advanced countries”.
‘Repensar el cervell’, by Antonio Rial, has been awarded the prize sponsored by the University of Valencia, worth €12,000. His work answers many questions that we all ask ourselves about how our mind works. In a readable and accessible language, the essay explains how the hundred billion cells in each of our brains have no objection to falsifying reality for it to be coherent. During the last decade, research in neuroscience has made a giant leap that allows us to assure that, for the brain, only our survival is relevant, but not the “truth”. If truth means anything at all. 
Antonio Rial (Cadiz, 1963) is a science journalist in Spain’s national public radio service (RNE), where he hosts the weekly programme “Secretos del cerebro” (Secrets of the brain), broadcasted on the radio station Radio 5 Todo Noticias, and edits and presents different news programmes in Andalusia. For his work in the field of science dissemination, he has been awarded, among others, the Andalusia Journalism Award, as the director and presenter of the science dissemination programme “El siglo que viene” (Next century) in RNE and was a finalist for the Boehringer Ingelheim Award for medical journalism.
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