The astronomer and collaborator of EL MUNDO Rafael Bachiller yesterday received one of the CSIC-BBVA Foundation Awards, in the researchers category, for his “long career of sustained dedication to the dissemination of knowledge,” the jury minutes state.
“In Spain we have a scientific community that, perhaps, because it has been more difficult than in other societies around us, has understood very well the importance of combining work in the laboratory or at the table with the projection of knowledge to society,” he said. the director of the BBVA Foundation, Rafael Pardo.
Communication, Bachiller noted after receiving his award, is “what makes science an infinite thread of Ariadne that, extending through centuries and civilizations, makes it possible for each generation to build more science on the results communicated to him by his predecessor generation. For the award-winning astronomer and popularizer, “particularly important is communication to society in general, which You have the right to know how scientists spend the funds they entrust to us when they pay their taxes.“. From this perspective, the director of the National Astronomical Observatory and the Royal Observatory of Madrid (IGN) has dedicated a good part of his career to the dissemination of knowledge, “not only of his own field of specialization, but of scientific culture in general”, as highlighted by the jury that awarded him the CSIC-BBVA Foundation Prize.
To highlight the importance of scientific communication in our society, Bachiller cited in his speech the results of a recent public opinion study carried out by the BBVA Foundation, which verified how “Today, Spaniards have more interest and more respect for scientific results than our European neighbors.“. However, the astronomer highlighted that the same study “revealed to us that this interest is not accompanied by some essential minimum knowledge: a good proportion of Spaniards continue to confuse viruses with bacteria, others think that the ozone hole is what creates climate change, etc. That is why scientific communication is so important in our country and awards that, like these, stimulate communication, are extremely timely.”
Bachiller is a prominent researcher in the fields of astronomy and astrophysics, who He has published more than 350 scientific articles in specialized reference magazines, mainly about his area of specialization: the formation of solar-type stars. But, in addition, he has always considered that the dissemination of knowledge to society is “an obligation of the scientific world.” For this reason, over the last 15 years, he has also dedicated a great effort to bringing astronomy closer to the general public, mainly through the innovative multimedia sections created on the website of the newspaper EL MUNDOas well as the Opinion Tribunes of the same newspaper in which he addresses not only topics from his own field of specialization, but also current scientific and informative news in general, from the environmental crisis and debates in the field of bioethics to risks of artificial intelligence.