Naples, Italy, April 28-30, 2022


Second Congress of the European Association of Professors Emeriti

Dear Collegues

It is a privilege and an honor to welcome you to the Second International Congress on The Capital ofKnowledge of the European Association of Professors Emeriti that will take place in Naples on April 2022, 2022.  The main aim of the Congress is to protect the richness of contributions of professors emeriti and of any retired academician throughout Europe. Emeriti belong to the highest centile of the cultural enterprise of all European countries. They are ambulant libraries of their disciplines since more than ninety per cent of the knowledge that counts in their field has been developed during their academic lifespan. Their talents and creativity deserve to be protected and actively utilized. They should not be separated from the academies where they have served, they should just change their role from drivers - a role needing stronger energy-into members of the team, and not merely a minor role, in all human activities. The talent and creativity of emeriti is protected in many European countries where they can contribute to advancement of research and teaching. We are pleased that the European Union allows emeriti to have active roles in the programs they support.

The Naples congress will discuss the importance of Europe as the place of spirit and of politics rendering possible full participation of emeriti professors in mentoring and research. Mentoring is a vocation for life, and aging does not prevent scientific breakthroughs.

The congress of the EAPE is peculiar and is not driven by professional needs but rather by a willingness to serve the position of emeriti in the aging society, in line with the calls of UNO, WHO and the European Union for creative aging.

The problem of aging in artists and scientists is fascinating. As reported by the German

poet, essayist and physician Gottfried Benn - nominated for a Nobel Prize five times - in the last four hundred years 150-200 geniuses determined the cultural progress of Western Europe. Half of them were old-old.

The abstracts of the Congress express the many souls of our association, our interest for research and the passion for teaching of our creative members. We would stress that a unique group of abstracts are authored by students, young scientists and still active full professors leading creative groups: they have been requested for assembling some intergenerational session, an innovation for this congress. As reported in Science in 2005 by Roger Guimerà et al., "Team Assembly Mechanisms Determine Collaboration Network Structure and Team Performance" thus newcomers provide the innovative ideas, the incumbents are "storehouse for the pool of knowledge", thus newcomers working in teams with incumbents (seasoned scientist) will likely produce epochal ideas and breakthroughs teams made only of incumbents will not.

We thank the Hellenic Society of Cardiology and its President Professor Dr. Ioannis-Georgios Kanakakis, FESC, for hosting the abstracts in Journal of Hellenic Cardiology.

Recently a symposium on Ageing of the Population: Challenges and Opportunities for Society and University took place at the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts organized by Mrs. Snježana Prijić Samaržija, PhD, Professor of Philosophy, Rector, University of Rijeka and President of the Young European Research Universities Network and by the Association of Professors Emeriti in Rijeka. Many active, top European scientists in various fields and professors emeriti and emeritae, including the President of EAPE, were invited along with Dubravka Šuica, Vice-President for Democracy and Demography, European Community. The main conclusion of the event was "Building an age-friendly and emeriti/emeritae-friendly university". This goal might be achieved by incorporating into the university all so called universities for the third age, that indeed are not universities. By contrast, in the university there would be all competencies and skills needed to render the university age-friendly as a service to the community. In addition, the creativity of emeriti and emeritae, a special category of professors who represent the highest centile of the cultural richness of a country, should be fully utilized for the activities of university.

The Capital of Knowledge moves from Athens-where the muses conferred creativity to

humans-to Naples where the body of the siren Parthenope, daughter of Achelous and the muse Terpsichore, won by Odysseus' creativity, was buried.

Naples and its surroundings―capturing beauty and cultural heritage―represent an additional reason to come and to help making our congress a success.

Natale G. De Santo, EAPE President, Co-Chair of the Congress
Luigi Campanella, EAPEGeneral Secretary
Dennis V. Cokkinos, First President of EAPE
and Vincenzo Bonavita, Co-chair of the Congress