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Fernando Ballesteros Rosselló. Observatòri Astronòmic of the Universitat de València.

Mars sells. Its presence in any scientific news captures the attention of the public. And it is that Mars, more than any other world, offers the promise of “extraterrestrial life!” How has this curious association of ideas between Mars and life been forged? In this seminar, we will make a historical review of Mars and its Martians, both in relation to science and literature, cinema, press… and we will see why and how the “MarsMania” was born, to the point that in our language, the word “Martian” has been fixed as a synonymous with intelligent extraterrestial. A fascination that today, as the unfortunate case of the face of Mars demonstrated, enjoys a good health.


Brief Curriculum

Fernando J. Ballesteros Rosselló is currently Head of Instrumentation of the Observatòri Astronòmic of the Universitat de València. He graduated (1992) and got his doctorate (1996) in Physics by the Universitat de València. He worked on the design and development of the INTEGRAL gamma space telescope, of the European Space Agency, currently in orbit around the Earth, as well as the LEGRI space telescope aboard Minisat 01 (INTA). Later, his interests evolved towards astrobiology, carrying out his research work on topics such as the emergence of complexity and life in the universe. He is currently involved in the JPAS project, a study carried out in the new Observatorio Astrofísico de Javalambre (Teruel), and working on the design of the study areas.

He has published 24 articles in indexed journals, which have received a total of 977 citations, being the first author of 9 of these articles, and he has co-authored textbooks such as "Mathematical Foundations and Applications of Graph Entropy" (Wiley), "ET Talk" (Springer), "Habitability of the Universe before Earth" (Elsevier - forthcoming) and "NEXUS "of the high school subject "Sciences for the contemporary world "(Pearson Alhambra).

He got the PRISMA 2016 prize due to his book Fractales y Caos, la Aventura de la complejidad (Fractals and Chaos, the adventure of complexity), the European Prize for General Scientific Dissemination 2006 due to his book Gramáticas Extraterrestres (Extraterrestrial Grammatics) and co-author of the books “10.000 años mirando estrellas” (Alianza Editorial), “Astrobiología, un puente entre el Big Bang y la Vida” (Akal), "A la luna de Valencia" (PUV), “Un breve viaje por la ciencia” (University of La Rioja), “Mirada retrospectiva desde el S. XXI sobre Edgar Allan Poe” (Peter Lang AG) and “La Universitat de València y sus entornos comarcales” (PUV). He has published more than 60 popular articles in magazines specialized in science communication such as Mètode, Astronomía or Tercer Milenio (Heraldo de Aragón) and in widely distributed newspapers. He is also a scriptwriter of several popular science documentaries, two of them received a national prize "Eclipses y Tránsitos" (Science in Action Award, 2007) and "Make the Mass" (National Center for Particle Physics prize, 2013), and A third, "Arco de choque", received an international award at the SciOn festival (Ren, Nevada, 2016).

Estimulant les vocacions científiques is a project carried out by the Scientific Culture and Innovation Unit of the Universitat de València, with the support of the Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology and the Ministry of Economics, Industry and Competitivity.


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