The University of Valencia presents its last two dissemination works at the Book Fair

  • Scientific Culture and Innovation Unit
  • October 21st, 2021
Valentín Villaverde (left) and Álvaro Martínez (right).
Valentín Villaverde (left) and Álvaro Martínez (right).

The Valencia Book Fair hosts this Friday, October 22, the presentation of the books La mirada neandertal. Orígenes del arte visual, by Valentín Villaverde, professor of Prehistory and Archaeology at the University of Valencia (UV), and El oxígeno. Historia íntima de una molécula corriente, by Álvaro Martínez, researcher at the Institute of Molecular Science (ICMol) and winner of the XXVI «Estudi General» European Award for the Dissemination of Science with this work.

The presentation of both works, at 7.15 pm in the Authors’ Space, will be conducted by Carolina Moreno, professor of Journalism and director of the UV scientific dissemination collection “Sense Fronteres”, as well as “Sin Fronteras”, in which both works are published.

The chemist and doctor in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Álvaro Martínez Camarena analyses the key role of oxygen in science and culture. The book, published in the “Sense Fronteres” and “Sin Fronteras” collections, is organised into six chapters and analyses those less known factors around molecular oxygen, such as its role in the development of degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s or how it can be used to remove tumours.

The work also deals with reactive oxygen species, a “rarity” to which the book dedicates, consisting of molecules that are produced in cells resulting from oxidation or reduction reactions where oxygen intervenes. With this work Álvaro Martínez wants to create a compendium of oddities about oxygen, in the style of the cabinets of curiosities of the palaces of the western nobles and monarchs of the sixteenth century, which were full of objects brought from exotic territories.

For his part, Valentín Villaverde explains the beginnings of visual art, one of the characteristic features of the human essence, in the book La mirada neandertal, a work that aims not only to document this prehistoric art but also to introduce reflections on the definition and origin of art. The work is published in the “Sin Fronteras” collection of the Scientific Culture and Innovation Unit of the University of Valencia, created to promote works that disseminate knowledge from the dissemination point of view.

The author wants to “establish an explanatory panorama of the birth of visual art” in order to explain the origins of this mode of expression and thus be able to know how it is internalized in human nature. Although there are currents that consider that images began to be used from homo sapiens sapiens, or modern man, the author defends that it is a behaviour “rooted in our evolutionary past”, in other species, such as Neanderthals.