12 April 2019 Fellow of the Royal Academy of Science and Arts of Barcelona

ICFO Director Lluis Torner becomes a full member of the Academy of Science and Arts of Barcelona On Thursday, 11 April, ICFO’s director, Lluis Torner, became a full member of the Royal Academy of Science and Arts of Barcelona (Reial Acadèmia de Ciències i Arts de Barcelona- RACAB). Membership in the Academy is an enormous honor, limited to only 75 numerary members, traditionally representing the most prominent scientists of the region. He is one of nine members of the Physics section.

In the induction ceremony, Prof. Torner gave a special talk to his fellow peers entitled “Photons: A key tool to explore the frontiers of the Natural Sciences”.


The ability of Humankind to explore and understand the phenomena that occur around it in broad terms, from the Universe as a whole to the smallest elements that constitute it, is limited by the instruments we have available to us at any point in time. In turn, understanding Nature’s laws and applying them following proper ethical standards, opens the door to the continuous improvement of the conditions of human life and wellbeing, the prevention and cure of diseases, sustained progress compatible with caring for the Earth and the environment, and to the ever increasing individual and collective realization of human potential. Photonics – the field of science and technology that studies the properties and applications of photons from the portion of the electromagnetic spectrum from the TeraHertz frequencies up to soft X-rays, including the entire infrared and visible bands – provides many of the essential elements of the toolkit. Photonics contributes not only systems for visualization and imaging, but also many other functionalities based on the use of exquisitely-controlled pulses and beams of laser light, and impacts several scientific disciplines, especially physics, chemistry, biology, medicine and many branches of engineering.

The talk was followed by a reply from Prof. Maria Yzuel, senior Academician in the Academy, on behalf of the corporation.

Congratulations Lluis on this important honor which not only recognizes a highly successful scientific career to date, but also foretells many future achievements to come.