History

The Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), founded in 1939, is the successor of the Committee for Extension of Studies and Scientific Research (JAE), created in 1907 and whose first president was Santiago Ramón y Cajal. The CSIC continued to lead scientific activity in Spain but gave more importance to applied science than its predecessor.


On 24 November 1939, the Spanish National Research Council was created by means of a Founding Charter, published in the Official State Gazette (28 November, 1939), whereby it took over the responsibilities and the facilities of the JAE.

In 1942 the Founding Charter underwent the first modification, which established the system of collaboration with universities, providing for the creation of joint centres. The year 1945 witnessed the creation of the first vacancies for research and support staff employed by the CSIC.

During the 60s and 70s, the CSIC continued to spread across the whole Spanish territory, with the creation of research centres and institutes, and set up its first foreign office: the CSIC Delegation in Rome.

At the end of 1977, once the democratic system in Spain had been restored, new legislation was passed, representing a break with the past, which would become the text on which all the subsequent legislation was to be articulated.

Presidents of the Committee for Extension of Studies and Scientific Reseach

Santiago Ramón y Cajal

(15/01/1907-17/10/1934)

Petilla de Aragón (Navarra) 1852 / Madrid 1934

Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1906.

Ignacio Bolívar y Urrutia

(1934-01/04/1939)

Madrid, 1850 / México CITY, 1944

Doctor in Natural Science (1874), a year after completing his PhD he obtained a position as an assistant in the Zoology section of the natural history museum: Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales.

Presidents of the Spanish National Research Council

José Ibañez Martín

José Ibáñez Martín

(30/12/1939-31/08/1967)

Conde de Marín (Valbona, Teruel), 1896 / Madrid, 1969

Honours Degree in Philosophy and Literature (specialising in History) awarded a distinction by the University of Valencia 1918, two years later he obtained his degree in Law. Shortly afterwards he obtained the chair of Geography and History in Secondary Education (1922).

Manuel Lora-Tamayo Martín

Manuel Lora-Tamayo Martín

(31/08/1967-23/07/1971)

Jerez (Cádiz), 1904 / Madrid, 2002

Doctor in Chemistry (1930) and Pharmacy (1933). With a grant from the Board for the Extension of Studies (JAE) he worked at the Institute of Biochemistry at the Faculty of Medicine in Strasbourg.

José Luís Villar Palasí

José Luis Villar Palasí

(21/08/1971-24/09/1973)

Valencia, 1922

Honours Degree in Law and in Philosophy and Literature (specialising in History) from the University of Valencia (1945), on completing his studies he moved to the University of Madrid where he worked as an assistant lecturer on Economic Theory at the School of Economics and Political Science.

Enrique Gutiérrez Ríos

Enrique Gutiérrez Ríos

(12/10/1973-09/10/1974)

Madrid, 1915 / 1990

Honours Degree in Pharmacy and PhD in Chemistry. He was Professor of Inorganic Chemistry at the University of Granada (1946), and held various posts at the university, including that of Vice Dean of the Faculty of Sciences (1956).

Eduardo Primo Yúfera

Eduardo Primo Yúfera

(25/10/1974-11/02/1977)

Mazarrón (Murcia), 1918

With an Honours Degree in Chemistry (1941) from the University of Valencia, he took his PhD at the University of Madrid (1944).

Fotografía de Justiniano Casas Peláez

Justiniano Casas Peláez

(11/02/1977-15/03/1978)

Granucillos de Vidriales (Zamora), 1915 / Zaragoza, 1998

After studying Education (1935) in Palencia, and Mathematics (1946) in Salamanca and Madrid, he took a degree (1949) and then a PhD in Physics (1951) at the University of Madrid.

Fotografía de Carlos Sánchez del Río y Sierra

Carlos Sánchez del Río y Sierra

(15/03/1978-22/07/1980)

Borja (Zaragoza), 1924 / Madrid, 2013

He studied under Julio Palacios and after obtaining his PhD in Physics at the University of Madrid (1948), he studied in Italy, Switzerland, and the United States.

Fotografía de Alejandro Nieto García

Alejandro Nieto García

(22/07/1980-28/03/1983)

Valladolid, 1930

Honours graduate (1952) Doctor of Laws (1959) from the University of Valladolid, he completed postgraduate studies at Poitiers, Paris and Gottingen.

Fotografía de José Elguero Bertolini

José Elguero Bertolini

(28/03/1983-17/05/1984)

Madrid, 1934

After completing his degree at the University of Madrid he joined the Institute of Organic Chemistry at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique in Marseille, where he worked for two decades.

Fotografía de Enrique Trillas Ruiz

Enrique Trillas Ruiz

(17/05/1984-10/10/1988)

Barcelona, 1940

Doctor of Science (in Mathematics) from the University of Barcelona (1972).

Fotografía de Emilio Muñoz Ruiz

Emilio Muñoz Ruiz

(10/10/1988-01/07/1991)

Valencia, 1937

After his PhD in Pharmacy from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid he completed his training at the University of Liège (Belgium) and the Department of Microbiology at the University of New York (USA).Throughout his career he has been linked to the CSIC.

Fotografía de Elías Fereres Castiel

Elías Fereres Castiel

(01/07/1991-01/08/1992)

Larache (Marruecos), 1946

Has a degree in Agricultural Engineering from the Polytechnic University de Madrid (1969), he obtained a PhD in Ecology (1976) at Davis Campus of the University of California. His field of specialisation is the science and engineering of water in relation to agriculture and the environment.

Fotografía de José María Mato de la Paz

José María Mato de la Paz

(17/09/1992-18/06/1996)

Madrid, 1949

After receiving an Honours Degree in Chemistry from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, specialising in Biochemistry (1972), he took his Doctorate in Science at the University of Leiden (the Netherlands), under the supervision of Professor Theo Konijn.

Fotografía de César Nombela Cano

César Nombela Cano

(18/06/1996-09/09/2000)

Carriches (Toledo), 1946

After obtaining a degree in Pharmacy and Chemistry from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, he took his PhD at the University of Salamanca (1972) under the supervision of Julio R. Villanueva.

Fotografía de Rolf Tarrach Siegel

Rolf Tarrach Siegel

(09/09/2000-22/02/2003)

Valencia, 1948

After obtaining his PhD in Physics from the University of Barcelona, he worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the Particle Physics Laboratory (CERN) in Geneva (1974-1976).

Fotografía de Emilio Lora-Tamayo D'Ocón

Emilio Lora-Tamayo D'Ocón

(22/02/2003-15/05/2004)

Madrid, 1950

After completing his university studies he received training at the CSIC, the Ècole Nationale Supérieure d’Aéronautique et de l’Espace (Toulouse, France) and the Laboratoire d’Electronique et de l’Informatique (Grenoble, France).

Fotografía de Carlos Martínez Alonso

Carlos Martínez Alonso

(15/05/2004-25/04/2008)

Villasimpliz (León), 1950

Honours Degree in Biochemistry and PhD in Immunology from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, appointed president of the CSIC by the Council of Ministers on 14 May 2004.

Fotografía de Rafael Rodrigo

Rafael Rodrigo

(25/04/2008-13/01/2012)

Granada, 1953

Bachelor degree in Mathematics and PhD in Physics from the University of Granada, he began his career as a researcher at the Institute of Astrophysics of Andalusia (CSIC) in 1975, of which he became director from 1990 to 2004.

Fotografía de Emilio Lora-Tamayo D'Ocón

Emilio Lora-Tamayo D'Ocón

(13/01/2012-17/11/2017)

Madrid, 1950

Holder of a PhD in Physics awarded by the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, he has been a researcher at various centres in France. He has also been guest professor at the UC Berkeley and Professor at the UAB. At the CSIC, he directed the Centro Nacional de Microelectrónica, was Vice-president as well as President of CSIC from 2003 to 2004.