Philosopher and Neuropsychologist Named to Academy of Sciences

Jürgen Mittelstrass of Germany and Antonio Battro of Argentina

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VATICAN CITY, SEPT. 23, 2002 ( John Paul II appointed German philosopher Jürgen Mittelstrass and Argentine neuropsychologist Antonio M. Battro as new ordinary members of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences.

Mittelstrass, who was born in 1936 in Dusseldorf, is professor of philosophy of science at Constanz University in Germany. He is also director of the Center of the Philosophy of Science at the school.

From 1997 to 1999, he was president of the German Society of Philosophy, and from 1994 to 2000 he was vice president of the European Academy. Much of his work in philosophy of science centers on models of scientific rationality, in particular, on the concepts of justification and reconstruction.

Antonio M. Battro, who was born in 1936 in Mar del Plata, is a doctor of medicine at the University of Buenos Aires, and doctor of psychology at the University of Paris. He is a member of the Argentine Academy of Education and was appointed Robert F. Kennedy Visiting Professor of Harvard University for 2002. He and Mittelstrass were appointed Saturday.

Battro is dedicated to the study of neuro-education. He coordinates research on the education of children with learning disabilities. He now is working with new computer technologies in the development of neuro-cognitive capacities.

The Pontifical Academy of Sciences has its roots in the Academy of the Lincei, which was founded in Rome in 1603 as the first exclusively scientific academy in the world. Galileo Galilei was a member.

Its 80 members have made outstanding contributions in their fields of scientific endeavor. They are nominated by the Pope after being elected by the body of the academicians. Choice of members is non-sectarian.

The members participate in study groups and meetings organized by the Academy to examine specific issues. Their deliberations and scientific papers are published by the Academy. They assemble in the Vatican for plenary sessions.

The work of the Academy comprises six major areas: fundamental science; science and technology of global problems; science for the problems of the Third World; scientific policy; bioethics; and epistemology.

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