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barcons ifca.unican.es
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Xavier Barcons was born in L'Hospitalet de Llobregat (Catalonia, Spain), on July 16th,  1959.  He obtained his Physics degree at the University of Barcelona (1981) and his PhD in Science at the University of Cantabria (1985). He was Teaching Assistant (1981-87) and Lecturer/Associate Professor (1987-1993) at the University of Cantabria. He also enjoyed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Institute of Astronomy (Cambridge, UK) during 1986/87; he returned to IoA as a sabbatical visitor in 1997.  In1993 he obtained a Research Scientist position at the Spanish Council for Scientific Research (CSIC). He was promoted to CSIC Research Professor in 2002. He was founding member and was appointed first Director (1995-1999) of the Instituto de Física de Cantabria, a joint centre shared by CSIC and the University of Cantabria.


Has advised the European Space Agency (ESA), as a member of the Astronomy Working Group (2001-2002) and of the Space Science Advisory Committee (2003-2005). He's been part of a number of space projects, namely: XMM-Newton,  as co-I of the XMM-Newton Survey Science Centre,  serving in the Users Group (which now chairs) and on a number of times in the Observing Time Allocation Committee; XEUS/IXO as member of the Science Advisory Group and Science Study Team, and co-chairing the IXO Science Definition Team. He also served in ESA's Athena (Advanced Telescope for High Energy Astrophysics) Study Team and chaired the Athena Science Definition Team (2011). From 2004 to 2006 he was manager of the Astronomy & Astrophysics National Programme on behalf of the Spanish Ministry of Education and Science. Since then he's been advisor of the Ministry on Astronomy matters, mostly in infrastructure-related topics. He coordinated the negotiations with ESO of the in-kind contributions from Spain, which resulted in the accession of Spain to ESO in 2006. He headed the Spanish delegation to ESO, serving as Council delegate from 2007 to 2011. In 2011 he was elected ESO Council Vicepresident, and in 2012 ESO Council President. He served in ESO's Scientific Strategy Working Group (2007-2008), and in the ALMA Board (2008-current). In 2007 he founded on behalf of the Ministry of Science and Innovation of Spain, the Network of Astronomical Infraestructures (RIA), of which he was appointed coordinator until end 2010.


He conducts research in Astronomy, in particular in Active Galaxies and X-ray sky surveys. He promoted the first X-ray astronomy group in Spain in Santander, still a refence in the national and international context. He's also leading the Spanish participation in the development of an X-ray microcalorimeter hopefully to be flown in a space X-ray observatory mission like Athena.  He's published well over 100 papers in international journals, which have received over 3500 citations (H=35). He's delivered many dozens of conferences by invitation to international meetings, has supervised 6 PhD students and develops significant activities in public outreach. 

Instituto de Física de Cantabria
Edificio Juan Jordá
Avenida de los Castros, s/n
E-39005 Santander
Cantabria, España

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El Instituto de Física de Cantabria es un Centro Mixto del Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas y de la Universidad de Cantabria.

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