Nobel Prize winning neuroscientist’s sketches become inspiring art exhibit in Spain

Nobel Prize winning neuroscientist’s sketches become inspiring art exhibit in Spain

Back in the 1890s, the world didn’t know as much about neuroscience as we do now. And this is all thanks to Santiago Ramón y Cajal, a Spanish neuroscientist who questioned current beliefs about the brain. Originally planning to be an artist, he became a man of science as well. Back in the day, he produced a lot of sketches of the brain and its deepest, innermost structures. But because they are so striking, the Weisman Art Museum in Minneapolis decided to organize The Beautiful Brain, a traveling exhibit of his work.

According to Larry Swanson, a brain scientist at the University of Southern California, “Cajal was the founder of modern neuroscience. Most of the neuroscientists in the mid-19th century thought the nervous system was organized almost like a fishing net.” But Cajal thought otherwise, and began to study more. In fact, he won the 1906 Nobel Prize because of his extensive work.

Now, after years and years, an exhibition has been arranged to feature his intricate work. It will be a project made possible by the Spanish government and Madrid’s Cajal Institute. This would have been just a dream if it were not for the determination and perseverance of Alfonso Araque, a neuroscientist at the University of Minnesota who had previously worked at the Cajal Institute.