Famous Spanish Scientists

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

Vote for Your Favourite Spanish Scientists
 1 
Santiago Ramón y Cajal
(Father of Modern Neuroscience)
Santiago Ramón y Cajal
6
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.

 2 
Al-Zahrawi
(Physician, Surgeon, Chemist and Founder of Medieval Surgical and Medical Instruments)
Al-Zahrawi
3
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.

 3 
François Arago
(Astronomer, Mathematician, Physicist, Politician, Scientist, University teacher)
François Arago
3
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.

Recommended Lists:
 4 
Severo Ochoa
(Physician and Biochemist)
Severo Ochoa
5
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.

Recommended Lists:
 5 
Javier Solana
(Former Secretary General of NATO)
Javier Solana
4
Birthdate: July 14, 1942
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Madrid

Javier Solana is a Spanish physicist and politician. He is best known for his service as the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Spain from 16 June 1992 to 18 December 1995. Over the course of his career, Javier Solana has been honored with many prestigious awards, such as the Charlemagne Prize, Vision for Europe Award, and Charles V European Award.

 6 
Ibn Tufail
(Spanish Astronomer, Philosopher and Novelist Famous for Writing the First Philosophical Novel, ‘Hayy ibn Yaqdhan')
Ibn Tufail
4
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.

 7 
Francisco J. Ayala
(Biologist, Geneticist, Philosopher, University teacher)
Francisco J. Ayala
4
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.  

 8 
Margarita Salas
(Spanish Scientist Who is Known for Her Work in the Fields of Molecular Genetics and Biochemistry)
Margarita Salas
4
Birthdate: November 30, 1938
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Valdés, Spain
Died: November 7, 2019

Margarita Salas was a Spanish scientist, author, and medical researcher. She is best remembered for her work in the fields of molecular genetics and biochemistry. In 2016, Margarita Salas became the first woman to be honored with the Echegaray medal. She was also the first woman from scientific background to become a member of the Royal Spanish Academy.

 9 
José Manuel Rodriguez Delgado
(Spanish Scientist, Psychiatrist, and Educator)
José Manuel Rodriguez Delgado
4
Birthdate: August 8, 1915
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Ronda
Died: September 15, 2011

José Manuel Rodriguez Delgado was a Spanish scientist, psychiatrist, and educator. He is best remembered for his association with the Yale University, where he worked as a professor of neurophysiology. José Manuel Rodríguez Delgado is also remembered for his research on mind control with the help of electrical stimulation of the brain.

 10 
Antonio de Ulloa
(Astronomer, Explorer, Meteorologist)
Antonio de Ulloa
4
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.

 11 
Avempace
(Spanish Polymath, Philosopher, Mathematician and Astronomer)
Avempace
3
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.

 12 
Leonardo Torres y Quevedo
(Spanish Mathematician and Civil Engineer Who Was a Pioneer in the Development of the Automated Calculation Machines)
Leonardo Torres y Quevedo
4
Birthdate: December 28, 1852
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Besaya Valley, Spain
Died: December 18, 1936

Leonardo Torres y Quevedo was a Spanish mathematician and civil engineer. He was a pioneer in the development of the automated calculation machines and radio control. Torres is also credited with inventing a chess automaton and the Whirlpool Aero Car, which is located in Niagara Falls. 

 13 
José de Acosta
(Missionary)
José de Acosta
3
Birthdate: 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.

 14 
Abraham Zacuto
(Royal Astronomer Under King John II of Portugal)
Abraham Zacuto
4
Birthdate: August 12, 1452
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Salamanca, Spain
Died: 1515 AD

Abraham Zacuto was a Castilian mathematician, astrologer, astronomer, historian, and rabbi. He is best remembered for his service as the Royal Astronomer under King John II of Portugal. Abraham Zacuto's maritime charts and astronomical tables played a prominent role in the Portuguese and Spanish navigation capability; they were used by the likes of Christopher Columbus and Vasco Da Gama. 

Abraham ben David Halevi ibn Daud
3
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.

 16 
Juan de Herrera
(Architect)
Juan de Herrera
2
Birthdate: 1530 AD
Birthplace: Roiz, Spain
Died: January 15, 1597
 17 
Tomàs Molina
(Meteorologist, Journalist, Writer, Television presenter, Physicist)
Tomàs Molina
3
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.

 18 
José Celestino Mutis
(Spanish botanist)
José Celestino Mutis
2
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.

 19 
Abraham bar Hiyya
(Spanish Mathematician, Astronomer and Philosopher)
Abraham bar Hiyya
2
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.

 20 
Ibn al-ʿAwwām
(Islamic author)
Ibn al-ʿAwwām
4
Birthplace: Seville, Spain
Died: 1158 AD
 21 
Fausto Elhuyar
2
Birthdate: October 11, 1755
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Logroño, Spain
Died: February 6, 1833
Bernard Forest de Belidor
1
Birthdate: 1698 AD
Birthplace: Catalonia, Spain
Died: September 8, 1761
 23 
Diego de Torres Villarroel
(Spanish Writer Whose Memoirs are Among the Best Sources for Information on Life in 18th-Sentury Spain)
Diego de Torres Villarroel
12
Birthdate: June 17, 1693
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Salamanca, Spain
Died: June 19, 1770

Diego de Torres Villarroel was a Spanish poet, writer, doctor, dramatist, mathematician, professor, and priest. He achieved popularity as a writer and he wrote on many subjects. Although he wrote numerous poems and plays, Diego de Torres Villarroel is best remembered for his autobiography titled Vida, ascendencia, nacimiento, crianza y aventuras del Doctor Don Diego de Torres Villarroel.

Francisco de Paula Marín
5
Birthdate: November 25, 1774
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Jerez de la Frontera, Spain
Died: October 30, 1837
 25 
Marta Tufet
(Biologist)
Marta Tufet
0
Birthplace: United Kingdom