Curator #198: Estanislau Fons


Hello, dear friends of @catalanvoices. I’m Estanislau Fons i Solé, @estanislaufons since April 2010. I was born 50 years ago in Clariana de Cardener, a small village close to the very center of Catalonia, at Solsonès county. I grew up in an isolated country house, surrounded by pine tree woods and next to Cardener river, a small tributary to Llobregat river. A livestok farm of pigs and cattle, a family orchard and the agricultural activities around the year made up my days until I went to the university. Rural traditions as picking mushrooms in the forests, choose and cut our own Christmas tree, slaughter one or two pigs a year, and grow our own vegetables in the orchard shaped my childhood.

During those days I studied in Solsona, a small city (9000 inhabitants today) at both primary and secondary schools. Solsona is an amazing city, with a beautiful old town where city walls are clearly limiting a dense net of narrow streets, with nice stone buildings. It is famous for its massive, thrilling and somehow crazy Carnival, really worth visiting. Capital of Solsonès county, an extense and low-populated area where you can enjoy loneliness, great landscapes and the feeling of the wild, and practice lots of outdoor sports, from running and cycling to skiing.

I studied agricultural engineering in Lleida, the one and only big (or middle, depending on what you compare to) city inland of Catalonia, and since then I work at @ETSEA_UdL teaching Food Engineering, at @UdL_info. I also devote part of my time within a big research group on postharvest of fresh fruits, where my speciality is postharvest engineering, specially refrigeration systems and controlled atmosphere storage. Lleida has been my place for the last 30+ years; a city cast at a human scale, with an amazing old church and castle up a hill presiding the old town, and crossed by river Segre, which provides water for the extense fruit orchards that fill the plains surrounding the town. As a once newcomer to Lleida, I can’t get used to the winter fog that fully covers the city for weeks every year, and I am not very fond of eating “caragols a la llauna”, grilled snails, a dish that drives mad most of my fellows in the neighborhood.

In the past, I lead a few cooperation programs with Bosnia and Herzegovina universities from 1997 to 2003, and since 2003 to 2011 I spend some years in the political business, being for 4.5 years CEO at AGAUR, the Catalan agency for university and research grants. After that, I was also for two years head of presidency at Diputació de Lleida, a 2nd level local administration devoted to help municipalities in their current affairs. In that period I wrote a novel, “Canicula”, a story of love and death, sex and violence, located in Lleida and involving its peoples and institutions.

I am quite active on Twitter @estanislaufons, and on Facebook too. No time for other social media. I love reading science books and I feel deeply involved in the struggle for rational thinking and combatting pseudoscience. Lately I amb contributing an article on Science once a month, in the Sunday supplement of the local newspaper Segre.

But my best moments belong to my children Nil (17) and Martina (11), and my life mate Marta, plus an extense family spread all over.

During this week as @catalanvoices curator I will tweet about whatever I feel worth commenting with you.


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