Federico Mayor Zaragoza was born in Barcelona, in 1934. Doctor of Pharmacy from the Complutense University of Madrid (1958). In 1963, he became Professor of Biochemistry in the Faculty of Pharmacy at the University of Granada, where he was Rector (1968-1972). Professor of Biochemistry at the Autonomous University of Madrid (1973-2004). Co-founder of the Severo Ochoa Molecular Biology Centre. Minister of Education and Science of the Spanish Government (1981-1982). Member of the European Parliament in 1987. Director-General of UNESCO from 1987 to 1999. President of the European Research Council Expert Group (2002-2005). Chairman of the Initiative for Science in Europe (2007-2010). Chairman of the International Commission against the Death Penalty (2010-2017). In 2000 he created the Foundation for a Culture of Peace, of which he is President. In February 2010, he co-chaired the University Institute of Human Rights, Democracy and Culture of Peace and Non-Violence (DEMOS-PAZ), at the Autonomous University of Madrid.
In addition to his numerous scientific publications and books of poetry, Prof. Mayor has published several Essay Books: Mañana siempre es tarde (1987), La nueva página (1994), Memoria del futuro (1994), Science and Power (1995), UNESCO, un idéal en acción (1996), Un mundo nuevo (1999), English, French and Spanish; Gordian Knots (1999), The Word and the Sword (2002), The Power of the Word (2005), Due Voice, Voice of Life (2007), Time for Action (2008), Crime of Silence (2011), Enough! A different democracy, a different world order (2012): in 2028 he published Memories for the Future, which is the first of three volumes where he writes about people who have left an indelible mark on him.