Pedro Duque deposits in the Caja de las Letras the 1906 Nobel Medal of Ramón y Cajal

The gold medal, which the Bank of Spain guards, will remain until July 25 in the old vault of the Instituto Cervantes, which will later house a permanent legacy from the father of neuroscience.

The Minister of Science and Innovation recalled that "the most important" of the legacy he left Santiago Ramón y Cajal They were "the foundations that science laid in Spain" and stressed the importance of increasing budgets for science because "it is the most productive investment", which will allow us "to equip ourselves with the most developed countries". "The commitment to knowledge and innovation is also the only way to get out of the current situation," he concluded.

For his part, the director of the Cervantes Institute, Luis García Montero, stressed that Ramón y Cajal was "a patriot who, in the face of hoaxes, superstitions and confrontations, bet on working from science for the development of society" . His figure, he added, is "decisive" for his discoveries about the human brain and because "he saw science as a patriotic bet in defense of society." "Today we are honoring a patriot," he said.

On behalf of the Higher Council for Scientific Research (CSIC), its vice president of Organization and Institutional Relations, Rosina López-Alonso, has highlighted the relevance of his work as president of the Board for the Extension of Studies (from its creation in 1907 until his death de Cajal), with which the best Spanish scientists and intellectuals were trained and worked, always with a spirit of modernity and renewal.

After the speeches held in the Cervantes auditorium, the minister deposited the Nobel medal in the Caja de las Letras as a legacy in memoriam in safe deposit box number 1,721, located above the mailbox dedicated to the Machado brothers. García Montero announced that, when it opens in two months, it will host another legacy consisting of a first edition of Tales of Holidays (a book of stories by the researcher) and two editions (of 2002 and 2017) of his autobiography, among other objects. Another legacy of his disciple Severo Ochoa is also being prepared.

Santiago Ramón y Cajal (1852-1934) laid the foundations for science in Spain, and brought it to the forefront of international science. He was a multifaceted man who was also interested in photography, drawing (his nerve cell drawings are known worldwide), painting and writing. In his honor a prestigious century was created a century ago, in 1920, Cajal InstituteIntegrated in the CSIC since 1939. Directed by Ricardo Martínez Murillo, the Cajal Institute is the largest neuroscience research center in Spain and continues to study the functioning of the complex structure of the human nervous system.

Boost Spanish as a language of science

Today's tribute is part of the collaboration agreement signed on October 1 by the then acting Minister of Science, Innovation and Universities and Luis García Montero. It represents an important step towards the creation of the working group "Spanish, the language of science and technology", whose main challenge will be the active incorporation of the Spanish language into the world of scientific research.

This initiative of the Ministry of Science and Cervantes will resume next September after postponing its first meeting, which was to be held on March 23. For García Montero, both parties want to work so that "science and technological innovation are an essential benchmark for Spanish." "The best way to help the progress of the Hispanic community is to promote Spanish in science and technology," said the director of Cervantes.

The minister joined this idea and recalled how Ramón y Cajal himself regretted that Spanish was "an unknown language of the wise" when he traveled to Germany to show his research.

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