Última modificación: 11/01/2017 - 09:33
The Faculty of Sciences as we understand it today had its origins in the second half of the nineteenth century - although it had been previously possible to study Mathematics, Chemistry and Natural Science in schools organized by popular initiatives such as the Aragonese Economic Society and the Zaragoza City Council. However, in 1868-1869, new legal frameworks established the context for a baccalaureate in science after two years of study common to each discipline, followed by a Degree course with two or three additional years of specialization leading to a Degree in the relevant subject. In the first year of these new courses, a provisional 'Faculty of Sciences' in effect emerged. During this first phase, Bruno Solano and Zoel Garcia de Galdeano, who later became lecturers themselves were pupils at the faculty. Despite this progress, new legislation closed the Faculty of Sciences in 1874. Thanks to the efforts of the academic staff, the City Council and a ministerial change, the faculty was reopened in September 1893 with new sections including Physical Chemistry and Physical Mathematics - officially and definitively constituting the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Zaragoza.
In 1900, following new directives from the Ministry of Public Education, mixed sections disappeared and in 1903 separated sections in Chemistry and Mathematics were created, and the latter incorporation of Physics in 1913. In comparison with Faculties in Madrid and Barcelona, Natural Sciences studies were still missing. Many years were needed before a new expansion in studies took place and it was not until 1973 that degree courses in Geological Sciences were first offered. Later, in 1990, a diploma in Statistics was established and in 1998 a second cycle degree course in Biochemistry was included.
As can be seen, the development of the studies of the Faculty of Sciences has sometimes been difficult, as indeed has been the development of its facilities. The Faculty of Sciences was initially established in the old Magdalena building of the University. When expansion was needed in 1893, the Faculty was moved to the new Faculty of Sciences and Medicine building in the Plaza de Paraíso, designed by the architect Ricardo Magdalena y Tabuenca. Finally in 1962, the Faculty was moved to the new Faculty of Sciences building on the main Campus (or Ciudad Universitaria).
The implementation of new courses, the increase in the number of students and lecturers, the developing needs in teaching and research laboratories, as well as the urgent expansion of the existing buildings around an already crowded campus were the main developments. As a result, the initial building (Sciences-A now) housed Physics, Biochemistry, Optics and Optometry, the Sciences-B building, opened in 1982, Mathematics and Statistics, and the so-called Sciences-C building, opened in 1984, Geology. Most recently, Sciences-D building ,aimed at Chemistry, has been in use since 1999.
In the lecture halls of the Faculty of Sciences, many students that have subsequently become outstanding scientists, completed their studies and began their careers in the scientific world. In addition, the Faculty´s own academic staff have gained such wide professional recognition that it is not possible to detail all their achievements here. As representatives of the Faculty, however, a list of the Deans and their duties follows.
For more information about the Faculty of Sciences up to 1962, consult the Biografía Científica de la Universidad de Zaragoza by M. Tomeo Lacrué, published in 1962. This volume was published by the Faculty of Sciences of Zaragoza to commemorate the inauguration of its new Building.