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Science must always be guided by ethics

The new honorary doctor by UCAM, Bernardo Kliksberg, president of the Iberoamerican Network of Universities for Corporate Social Responsibility, a Jew of Polish origin, also stressed in his speech that it is fundamental that humanity does not allow injustices such as the Nazi extermination again

Science must always be guided by ethics
José Luis Mendoza, Bernardo Kliksberg, Ray Cazorla, Josefina García Lozano and Víctor Meseguer during the instant of the oath as Doctor Honoris Causa.

UCAM Universidad Católica San Antonio de Murcia celebrated this morning the event on the occasion of the Feast of St. Thomas Aquinas, patron saint of universities, in which Bernardo Kliksberg, president of the Iberoamerican Network of Universities for the Corporate Social Responsibility, was made an honorary doctor by this university. In his speech, Kliksberg referred on several occasions to the Encyclical Laudato Si, by Pope Francis, highlighting the idea that “climate change is present on a massive scale in the weakest on the planet” and adding that “environmental damage is the work of human beings”. 

The speech of the man considered to be the father of CSR revolved around the great topical problems such as climate change, the great inequalities and poverty at a global level and how to face them. Kliksberg began his speech by highlighting UCAM, headed by its president, as an institution that “aims to work for the perfection of the world and that is at the service of ethics”. The new honorary doctor explained that “technology is welcome, but it must be driven by ethics” and he stressed the fact that “today 3,800 million people have an income of only 5.5 dollars a day, living in poverty conditions, and 780 million people among them live on less than 2 dollars a day and therefore they live in extreme poverty”; he also added that “the richest 1% of the earth’s population has more money than 99% of the remaining population”.

José Luis Mendoza, president of UCAM Universidad Católica San Antonio de Murcia, reinforced in his speech the ideas presented by Kliksberg, emphasizing that “Corporate Social Responsibility is of great relevance to our university, as well as training in ethical and moral values, standing in solidarity with the poorest, the sick, the suffering and those who are most in need on earth”. Likewise, Mendoza stressed that UCAM is “always at the service of our students, to whom we are completely devoted, helping them to become great professionals and good men and women”.

The president of UCAM Universidad Católica de Murcia emphasised that “in our university we promote the culture of life, and we are committed to the common good, family, justice, peace and human rights, always at the service of people and respecting the environment, as professor Kliksberg explained to us”.

He also explained in his speech that UCAM, according to a report by the prestigious consultancy firm Price WaterHouse Coopers, is an institution that creates employment opportunities through both direct and indirect jobs; that promotes entrepreneurship, since 9.2% of its students have already created a company during their training period, twice the national average; a hub of internationalisation with the arrival of thousands of students from outside Spain who study at UCAM; and an institution that helps the most disadvantaged through volunteer programmes and financial contributions to 114 social and charitable organisations.

Before the investiture, the laudatio was given by Rayco Antúnez Cazorla, extraordinary professor in Leadership and Social Commitment at UCAM, and president and founder of the Inspiring Committed Leaders Foundation (ICLF); and Víctor Meseguer Sánchez, director of the International Chair of Corporate Social Responsibility of UCAM.

Rayco Cazorla stated regarding the new honorary doctor that he is “one of the international references concerning the development of corporate social responsibility, recognised as the father of CSR” and assured that “he is one of the most active people in ethics and development and the fact of having him here is a very important event for him and also for the University”. Cazorla pointed out that Kliksberg has been awarded honorary doctorates by 60 universities in America, Europe and Asia, and he is the author of dozens of books and hundreds of works on different areas of development, corporate social responsibility, senior management, social capital, fight against poverty, ethics and economics. He also advises international bodies such as: UN, UNICEF, UNESCO, FAO and the World Health Organisation.

For his part, Víctor Meseguer, who acted as supervisor of the new honorary doctor, underlined the commitment of the Catholic Church to sustainability, an institution concerned about climate change and the hereditary chain of poverty, and he referred to the encyclical Laudato Si’ which reflects it. “Professor Kliksberg calls on us to improve the world and strengthen ethical values” and in this regard UCAM “is a university that is committed to sustainable development, to fighting against growing inequality and to promoting climate change in sustainable conditions, and this event is a gesture”, Meseguer added.

Josefina García, chancellor of UCAM, stated that “the principles and objectives of Corporate Social Responsibility disseminated by Bernardo Kliksberg are common to our University” and she added that “the social function is absolutely necessary” for UCAM. The chancellor also emphasised that “St. Thomas Aquinas defined knowledge as the untiring search for truth and that truth understood in order to be given to others”.

José Manuel Lorca Planes, bishop of the Diocese of Cartagena, congratulated the new doctors of the Catholic University and affirmed that “humanity must work together in the same direction”.

Patron saint of universities

During the academic ceremony on the occasion of the feast of St. Thomas Aquinas, patron saint of universities, theologian and philosopher and one of the most important figures in the history of human though, distinctions were awarded to the new doctors and professors of the educational institution in different areas such as social sciences, health, sports, environmental engineering, sustainable architecture and building, entrepreneurship and employment, among others.

It should be noted that the event on the occasion of this feast began with the solemn celebration of the Lauds Prayer in which Monsignor Lorca Planes was present, accompanied by his assistant, Sebastián Chico, and Francisco Gil Hellín, Archbishop Emeritus of Burgos.

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