Àngel Simon, Executive Chairman of Agbar, defined Margalef as ‘an icon, an innovator in the past, for the present and the future’. ‘In the same way, Aigües de Barcelona was a pioneer in the nineteenth century, contributing to the building of the Eixample district and in the second half of the twentieth century in the field of water quality, thanks in part to Professor Margalef’s studies. We have innovated from day one, and we want to continue to do so, writing the present and the future in the place where we've always been, Barcelona’, he stressed.
Aigües de Barcelona General Manager, Ignacio Escudero, meanwhile recalled the professor’s importance to the company: ‘In the sixties, Ramon Margalef was a contributor to Agua magazine, published by the Water Studies and Research Centre, predecessor of the Agbar Foundation. Several studies published in the magazine enabled Aigües de Barcelona to be one of the first companies to include biological indicators in the assessment of water pollution’, he said.
Dídac Ramírez, rector of the University of Barcelona, viewed most positively the collaboration with the Agbar Foundation on the publishing of this book, confirmation that ‘the university must connect with its economic and social environment to contribute to improving the quality of life of our society’.
The event, which was part of Science Week, included a discussion moderated by journalist and chair of the Catalan Association for Science Communication Cristina Ribas, with the participation of Narcís Prat, Professor of Ecology at the University of Barcelona and coordinator of the book; Ramon Folch, Doctor of Biology and Martí Boada, Doctor of Environmental Sciences. A performance by cellist Pau Codina, winner of the Suggia Prize, amongst others, put the finishing touch to the evening.
Ramon Margalef was a professor at the University of Barcelona from 1956, where he taught the first Ecology courses before the discipline existed as a subject of study at Spanish universities. It was there that he received the first professorship in Ecology in Spain in 1967. Considered one of the three most prestigious Spanish scientists, along with Nobel laureates Severo Ochoa and Ramón y Cajal, he left a legacy of more than 500 publications, the result of over 65 years of research.