Manuel Castells, 2013 Balzan Prize for Sociology, has been appointed Minister of Universities by the Spanish government, and was sworn in by the King of Spain on 13 January 2020.
The Ministry of Universities is a new creation in the history of Spanish institutions, and it will function as an autonomous government department together with the ministries of Education and Science and Innovation. Castells will be in charge of the new Sanchez government’s “New National Contract for the University”, which will include representatives of the national government, parliament, regional governments, business associations, trade unions and civil society.
In commenting on his new appointment, Castells stated that the university shares a fundamental, intrinsic relationship with science and innovation, and hence should not be conceived of as separate from them. He will seek to solve problems through daily collaboration in developing policy, working with his peer Pedro Duque, Minister of Science and Innovation.
The Board and General Prize Committee of the Balzan Foundation “Prize” congratulate Professor Castells, applauding the Spanish government’s choice of such a distinguished figure to carry out a programme of such vital importance.
Manuel Castells was awarded the Balzan Prize in 2013 “For his wide-ranging and imaginative thinking through of the implications of the great technological changes of our time: the digital revolution and the profound social and political challenges brought about by the emerging technologies of communication and information processing associated with computing, microelectronics and the internet. And for having proposed a general theory of the new global information society that has arisen out of these technologies.”