Sònia Fernández-Vidal, renowned scientific disseminator, joins the Royal Academy with a reflection on the last frontier of Humanity

Sònia Fernández-Vidal, doctor in Quantum Information and Optics and renowned scientific disseminator, entered as a full academician of the Royal European Academy of Doctors-Barcelona 1914 (RAED) during a ceremony held on November 8 in the Assembly Hall of Spanish labour Promotion of National Work. The recipient read her admission speech “Abrir las puertas de la Biblioteca de Alejandría” (Opening the doors of the Library of Alexandria). Full academician and president of the Institute of Interdisciplinary Research of the RAED José Ramón Calvo answered on behalf oh the Royal Corporation.

Professor of Physics of the Autonomous University of Barcelona, ​​the new academician addressed the major milestones in the evolution of thought, science and technological development, ensuring that only curiosity and research, beyond all established prejudices and models, can take Humanity to a more prosperous and egalitarian future. That is why, with data in hand, she influenced the need to invest and implement R&D policies.

“According to the Bloomberg Innovation Index, the 10 countries in the world that show the highest levels of well-being are also the most innovative. The point they have in common: they invest in research, development and innovation between the 2 % and 3% of its GDP -says Fernández-Vidal in his speech- 2.8% of the GDP invested in research by the United States is directly responsible for more than half of its development since the Second World War. For every dollar spent on the Apollo project, 14 went back to the US economy. And as the report of the Spanish Civic Opinion Circle shows, if Spain had invested in R&D the same percentage as the rest of the OECD countries since 1970, in 2005 we would have been 20% richer per capita”.

According to the Bloomberg Innovation Index, the 10 countries in the world that show the highest levels of well-being are also the most innovative”

The new academician concludes this reflection with a maxim that sums up the meaning of his work: “We can evolve as a civilization or we can reach self-destruction, as happened in Alexandria. To avoid destruction we must bring knowledge to all human beings on the planet”. At this point, she reflects on the latest frontier of science: the development and the technological application of quantum physics, reviewing its latest innovations.

Sònia Fernández-Vidal was selected by the magazine “Forbes” as one of the 100 most creative people in the world. She has worked and collaborated as a researcher in some of the most prestigious centres such as the European Centre for Nuclear Research (CERN), the Los Alamos National Laboratory, in the United States, or the Institute of Photonic Sciences (ICFO) in Barcelona. She is the author of the trilogy “La Puerta de los Tres Cerrojos” (The Door of the Three Locks), novels of popular science for both children and adults and translated into 12 languages. She is also the author of “Quantic Love”, a novel set at CERN that approaches science from the most human side. Her book “Desayuno con partículas” (Breakfast with particles) is a work of dissemination of quantum physics aimed at all audiences, while “El universo en tus manos” (The universe in your hands), her latest work, enters the children’s audience in the mysteries of the universe.

Admission speech