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IN THE MIDST OF POLITICAL TURBULENCE

SPAIN

As a scientist in the corridors of power, Arcadi Navarro is uniquely placed to defend the interests of science. After a long scientific career he leads the Secretariat for Universities and Research of the Government of Catalonia. He does politics and policy-making in turbulent times, as Catalonia declares independence from Spain. After several months of political uncertainty, everything changes for Arcadi Navarro.

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Part 1 - The phone-call that changes everything

It rarely happens, but sometimes a journalist is fortunate to be exactly at the right time on the right spot. The beginning of this story is an end. And the main character is Arcadi Navarro, who loves policy-making more than politics.

Part 2 - Destination: resurrection

After being removed from his position as the Secretary of Universities and Research in Carles Puigdemont's Catalan Government, scientist Arcadi Navarro spends four months on sabbatical with his family in Edinburgh. His time in politics was his second expedition into life outside science. He is now getting his strength back, before returning to research.

Part 3 - A return to science and calmer waters

Arcadi Navarro has returned to research after a brief and intense period as the Secretary of Universities and Research in the Catalan Government, in a time that saw the independence referendum take centre stage. A few months' sabbatical in Edinburgh provided him with some time off between his life in politics and his life in science. He returned to the latter at the beginning of this year.

Núria Jar

The journalist

 

Núria Jar is a freelance journalist based in Barcelona. Currently, she writes for La Vanguardia, Muy Interesante, SINC Agency and she has written for the Spanish edition of Scientific American. She also runs a weekly radio section for the most popular radio programme in Catalonia, Via Lliure at RAC1. In addition, she coordinates radio lessons at Master’s degree level in scientific, medical and environmental communication at Pompeu Fabra University.

Arcadi Navarro

The scientist

 

Arcadi Navarro became Secretary for Universities and Research of the Government of Catalonia in January 2016, when Carles Puigdemont was sworn in as president of Catalonia. It was the first time he had held a political position. Professor of Genetics, he was ICREA Research Professor at Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF), where he led a research group in Evolutionary Genomics within the Programme of Evolutionary Biology and Complex Systems of the Department of Experimental and Health Sciences, a Department of which he was the Director.

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