* Federico Mayor Zaragoza was born in Barcelona in 1934. He holds a Ph.D. in Pharmacy from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid (1958). In 1963, he became a Professor of Biochemistry at the Facultad de Farmacia of the Universidad de Granada. In 1968, he became Rector of that institution, a job he held until 1972. The following year, he was named Professor in his specialty at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid. In these years it started up the National Plan of Prevention of Mental Handicap, to avoid, by means of precocious diagnosis, diseases that can evolve with serious mental deterioration.
In 1974, he was co-founder of the Centro de Biología Molecular Severo Ochoa at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid and of the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (High Council for Scientific Research, or CSIC). Among his other political responsibilities, Professor Mayor has been Undersecretary of Education and Science for the Spanish Government (1974-75), Member of the Spanish Parliament (1977-78), Adviser to the Prime Minister (1977-78), Minister of Education and Science (1981-82) and Member of the European Parliament (1987). In 1978, he became Assistant Director-General of the UNESCO. In 1987, he was elected Director-General of that Organization, and was reelected for a second term in 1993. In 1999, he decided not to run for a third term and, upon returning to Spain, created the Fundación Cultura de Paz, of which he is Chairman.PALABRAS CLAVE