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Javier S. Burgos presents his book “Geografía de la locura”

  • February 18th, 2021

What does the painter Théodore Géricault have to do with today's science? What obscure connections link the genius of French Romanticism with the scientific method? Why have his portraits influenced the development of modern neurology? What has survived from those post-Napoleonic investigations?

Javier S. Burgos will discuss one of the sixteen stories from the book "Geography of Madness" (Geografía de la locura, West Indies, 2020), retracing an event that takes us back to a time when science and history are intertwined in an attempt to understand the essence of our brain, and how it degenerates into the irreversible process of disease. And it is at that moment, when the embryo of psychiatry that has come to our days is incubated, in a process that tries to reach an understanding of the organ that makes us human, and its exploration through art, by means of a primeval experiment that first explored the insanity evolution, and that recovers a great part of the essential questions about how the disease evolves, and the capacity that we intuit to interfere in that journey that concludes with dementia and death.

In the February 2021 issue of The Lancet Neurology Burgos identifies a lost portrait by Géricoult "Portrait of a man. Homo melancholicus" belonging to a series of works commissioned by the psychiatrist Étienne-Jean Georget to paint the portraits of ten of his patients. Until now, only five of these portraits were known, belonging to different museums in Europe and the United States.

This talk by Javier S. Burgos will be followed by a debate on the book "Geografía de la locura" with the participation of Javier Buceta, Isabel Fariñas and Juli Peretó. The activity can be followed online via the link:

Javier S. Burgos Muñoz (Puerto de Sagunto, Valencia, 1971) has a degree in Biological Sciences (Biochemistry) from the University of Valencia and a PhD in Sciences (Molecular Biology) from the Autonomous University of Madrid. He has been a lecturer and researcher at several universities and research centres of excellence. He has developed his scientific career in the field of the aetiology of Alzheimer's disease and in the development of new drugs against neurodegeneration. He has supervised three doctoral theses (one of which received the Extraordinary Doctorate Prize from the Autonomous University of Madrid), has published around fifty indexed scientific articles and is listed as the inventor on ten transferred patents. In the field of management and senior management, he has been Scientific Director and General Manager of the biotechnology company Neuron Biopharma. He has subsequently been Managing Director of the Foundation for Biosanitary Research in Eastern Andalusia (FIBAO) and of the Granada Institute for Biosanitary Research and La Fe Institute for Health Research. He is currently the General Director of Research and Health Inspection of the Valencian Community. In his role as a populariser of science, he collaborates by writing texts on science and giving talks on platforms such as Naukas, Jot Down and Desgranando Ciencia, among others. In 2019 he won the Jot Down - Formentor amateur journalism prize, and in 2020 he won the first Jot Down science fiction prize. His first book is “Geografía de la locura” (West Indies, 2020).