Famous Spanish Scientists

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

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 1 Christina Ochoa

Christina Ochoa
Famous As: Actress, Science communicator
Birthdate: January 25, 1985
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Barcelona, Spain

Christina Ochoa is a Spanish actress best known for her portrayal of Grace D'Argento in the American science fiction series, Blood Drive. Ochoa is credited with founding QE Productions, which produced the critically acclaimed short film, Stay with Me. Also a science communicator, Christina Ochoa has been the host of many scientific shows and conferences.

 2 Santiago Ramón y Cajal

Santiago Ramón y Cajal
Famous As: Father of Modern Neuroscience
Birthdate: May 1, 1852
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Petilla de Aragón, Navarre, Spain
Died: October 18, 1934

While he apprenticed as a cobbler and a barber in childhood, Santiago Ramón y Cajal later took up medicine inspired by his father, a professor of anatomy. Cajal’s study of the microscopic structure of the human brain later formed the basis of neuroscience and earned him a Nobel Prize.

 3 Al-Zahrawi

Famous As: Physician, Surgeon
Birthdate: 0936 AD
Birthplace: Córdoba, Spain
Died: 1013 AD

Al-Zahrawi was an Arab Andalusian chemist, surgeon, and physician. Dubbed the father of modern surgery, Al-Zahrawi is widely regarded as the greatest surgeon of the Middle Ages. Al-Zahrawi was the first surgeon to use catgut for stitches and his pioneering contributions had an enormous effect in the West and East. Some of his discoveries are part of modern medical sciences.

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 4 François Arago

François Arago
Famous As: Astronomer, Mathematician, Physicist, Politician, Scientist, University teacher
Birthdate: February 26, 1786
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Estagel
Died: October 2, 1853

French physicist and mathematician François Arago discovered rotatory magnetism, named Arago's rotations. He is also remembered for his research on the wave theory of light and for the reforms he introduced as the French minister of war and the navy. The Eiffel Tower has his name inscribed on it.

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 5 Severo Ochoa

Severo Ochoa
Famous As: Physician and Biochemist
Birthdate: September 14, 1905
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Luarca, Spain
Died: November 1, 1993

Nobel Prize-winning Spanish biochemist Severo Ochoa is remembered for his discovery of the enzyme polynucleotide phosphorylase and his subsequent success in synthesizing RNA. His research took him to top institutes such as the universities of Oxford and Heidelberg. He had also taught at the New York University.

 6 Javier Solana

Javier Solana
Famous As: Physicist, Diplomat, Politician, Professor
Birthdate: July 14, 1942
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Madrid

 7 Abraham ibn Ezra

Abraham ibn Ezra
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: 1089 AD
Birthplace: Tudela, Spain
Died: January 23, 1167
A significant figure of the Golden Age of Spanish Judaism, Abraham ibn Ezra was a renowned poet, a Neoplatonic philosopher, a biblical commentator, and an astronomy enthusiast. He traveled throughout Europe, North Africa, and Egypt, and also translated the works of Hispano-Hebrew grammarians. He inspired Robert Browning's poem Rabbi Ben Ezra.
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 8 Ibn Tufail

Ibn Tufail
Famous As: Polymath
Birthdate: 1105 AD
Birthplace: Guadix, Spain
Died: 1185 AD

Ibn Tufail was a 12th-century Arab polymath from Andalusia and a significant figure of the Islamic Golden Age. Best known for his philosophical romance Ḥayy ibn Yaqẓān, he had also penned medical works in Arab and had been the court physician of Abū Yaʿqūb Yūsuf.

 9 Francisco J. Ayala

Francisco J. Ayala
Famous As: Biologist, Geneticist, Philosopher, University teacher
Birthdate: March 12, 1934
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Madrid

Francisco J. Ayala is a Spanish-born American evolutionary geneticist and molecular biologist, best known for his investigation on the process of genetic variation and natural selection at molecular level. He also undertook research on public health, providing new ideas on the prevention and treatment of diseases and expounded how Darwin’s theory of evolution is well-matched to religious theory of creation.  

 10 Margarita Salas

Margarita Salas
Famous As: Biochemist
Birthdate: November 30, 1938
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Valdés, Spain
Died: November 7, 2019

 11 José Manuel Rodriguez Delgado

José Manuel Rodriguez Delgado
Famous As: Teacher, Scientist, Psychiatrist
Birthdate: August 8, 1915
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Ronda
Died: September 15, 2011

 12 Antonio de Ulloa

Antonio de Ulloa
Famous As: Astronomer, Explorer, Meteorologist
Birthdate: January 12, 1716
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Seville
Died: July 3, 1795

Spanish mariner Antonio de Ulloa was sent by the government to explore America and ended up being captured by the British while returning. His scientific zeal made him a Fellow of the Royal Society there. He is remembered for his metallurgical, astronomical, and geographical discoveries and treatises.

 13 Avempace

Famous As: Polymath
Birthdate: 1085 AD
Birthplace: Zaragoza, Spain
Died: 1138 AD

Spanish Arab philosopher and scholar Avempace excelled in a variety of subjects, such as astronomy, music, medicine, and poetry. His treatise on botany Kitāb an-Nabāt described how plant sexes differ. His other works include Tadbīr al-mutawaḥḥid. He was believed to be an atheist by many.

 14 Leonardo Torres y Quevedo

Leonardo Torres y Quevedo
Famous As: Engineer
Birthdate: December 28, 1852
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Besaya Valley, Spain
Died: December 18, 1936

 15 José Echegaray

José Echegaray
Famous As: Civil Engineer
Birthdate: April 19, 1832
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Madrid, Spain
Died: September 14, 1916

Initially a math professor, José Echegaray later held several government posts. As the minister of finance, he developed the Banco de España. He later established himself as a prominent dramatist, with plays such as El gran Galeoto, and became the first Spanish to win the Nobel Prize for Literature.

 16 José de Acosta

José de Acosta
Famous As: Missionary
Birthdate: September 30, 1540
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Medina del Campo, Spain
Died: February 15, 1600

Spanish Jesuit missionary José de Acosta had penned the earliest available treatise on the New World, Natural and Moral History of the Indies. While on his mission in Peru, he wrote the first printed book of the country. The altitude sickness he experienced is now named Acosta's disease.

 17 Abraham Zacuto

Abraham Zacuto
Famous As: Astronomer
Birthdate: August 12, 1452
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Salamanca, Spain
Died: 1515 AD

 18 Abraham ben David Halevi ibn Daud

Abraham ben David Halevi ibn Daud
Famous As: Astronomer
Birthdate: 1110 AD
Birthplace: Córdoba, Spain
Died: 1180 AD

Best known for his treatises Sefer ha-kabbala and Sefer ha-emuna ha-rama, Abraham ben David Halevi ibn Daud was a 12th-century Spanish-Jewish philosopher, historian, and physician. Also known as Rabad I, or Ravad I, he was the first real Aristotelian Jew. Some historians believe he died a martyr.

 19 Juan de Herrera

Juan de Herrera
Famous As: Architect
Birthdate: 1530 AD
Birthplace: Roiz, Spain
Died: January 15, 1597

 20 Tomàs Molina

Tomàs Molina
Famous As: Meteorologist, Journalist, Writer, Television presenter, Physicist
Birthdate: September 26, 1963
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Badalona

TV3 weather presenter Tomàs Molina is a renowned meteorologist who heads Televisión de Cataluña’s meteorology department and is also associated with the Catalan channels Canal Méteo and Teletiempo. The IABM vice president has authored several books and won the Spain Zapping Award for the Best TV Personality in 2012.

 21 José Celestino Mutis

José Celestino Mutis
Famous As: Spanish botanist
Birthdate: April 6, 1732
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Cádiz, Spain
Died: September 11, 1808

Spanish botanist José Celestino Mutis had initially studied medicine and served as the royal physician of Ferdinand VI. While working in South America later, he studied the medicinal properties of plants. He also built a massive botanical garden and penned a treatise that contained over 6,000 illustrations of plants.

 22 Abraham bar Hiyya

Abraham bar Hiyya
Famous As: Mathematician
Birthdate: 1070 AD
Birthplace: Barcelona, Spain
Died: 1136 AD

Known for his works on math, philosophy, and astronomy, Catalan Jewish philosopher and scientist Abraham bar Hiyya was one of the first to enrich Hebrew scientific literature. Apart from translating books from Arabic to Latin, he had also penned works such as Liber Embadorum, a treatise on geometry and algebra.

 23 Ibn al-ʿAwwām

Ibn al-ʿAwwām
Famous As: Islamic author
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: Seville, Spain
Died: 1158 AD

 24 Fausto Elhuyar

Fausto Elhuyar
Famous As: Chemist
Birthdate: October 11, 1755
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Logroño, Spain
Died: February 6, 1833

 25 Bernard Forest de Belidor

Bernard Forest de Belidor
Famous As: Engineer
Birthdate: 1698 AD
Birthplace: Catalonia, Spain
Died: September 8, 1761

 26 Raimon Panikkar

Raimon Panikkar
Famous As: Priest
Birthdate: November 2, 1918
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Barcelona, Spain
Died: August 26, 2010

Born to a Spanish Catholic mother and an Indian Hindu father in Barcelona, Raimon Panikkar grew up to be a Catholic priest and a philosophy professor. An expert in comparative religion, he compared the tenets of Catholicism and Hinduism in his doctoral thesis. He also penned several spiritual texts.

 27 Diego de Torres Villarroel

Diego de Torres Villarroel
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: June 17, 1693
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Salamanca, Spain
Died: June 19, 1770

 28 Francisco de Paula Marín

Francisco de Paula Marín
Famous As: Nobleman
Birthdate: November 25, 1774
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Jerez de la Frontera, Spain
Died: October 30, 1837

 29 Marta Tufet

Marta Tufet
Famous As: Biologist
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: United Kingdom

 30 Simeon ben Zemah Duran

Simeon ben Zemah Duran
Famous As: Author
Birthdate: 1361 AD
Birthplace: Majorca, Spain
Died: 1444 AD

Simeon ben Zemah Duran was the first Spanish Jewish rabbi to earn a regular salary from the community, going against the trend of the rabbi’s post being honorary. He excelled in subjects such as philosophy, math, and medicine, and is best remembered for his commentary Magen Avot.