José Francisco Salgado, PhD

Astronomer • Experimental Photographer • Visual Artist


José Francisco Salgado is an Emmy-nominated astronomer (BS in Physics, Univ. of Puerto Rico; PhD in Astronomy, Univ. of Michigan), experimental photographer, visual artist, and public speaker who creates multimedia works that communicate science in engaging ways. As the Executive Director and co-founder of KV 265, a non-profit science and arts education organization, Dr. Salgado collaborates with orchestras, composers, and musicians to present films that provoke curiosity and a sense of wonder about the Earth and the Universe.


His "Science & Symphony films" have been presented in more than 115 concerts and have reached a combined audience of more than 265,000 people in concert halls, museums, and lecture halls spanning more than 50 cities in 15 countries. Some of the orchestras that have presented these works include the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Boston Pops, the San Francisco Symphony, the Orchestra Teatro Regio Torino, and the Czech National Symphony Orchestra. His first two films were named by the International Astronomical Union and UNESCO as Special Projects for the International Year of Astronomy (IYA2009). In 2012 his film "Gustav Holst's The Planets" was chosen for Ravinia Festival’s One Score, One Chicago initiative. In 2014, his collaboration with composer Chris Theofanidis, "The Legend of the Northern Lights" was premiered with Grant Park Orchestra to critical acclaim in front of 32,000 people.


From 2006 until 2008 Salgado hosted "Nuestra Galaxia", a weekly astronomy news segment on Univision Chicago (WGBO) for which he received an Emmy nomination. Dr. Salgado also produces and presents short science films with musician/composer Tom Bailey (from British pop group Thompson Twins) as part of the audiovisual ensemble Bailey-Salgado Project, and with harp duo Beyond Pluck.


As an experimental photographer, Salgado has visited more than 30 scientific sites in places including the South Pole, the Atacama desert, the French Pyrenees, and the South African Karoo and has contributed visuals to documentaries produced for the History, Discovery, BBC, and National Geographic channels. As a public speaker, he has given presentations about science and art in all seven continents, including a presentation at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station.

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  • JoinedSeptember 2007
  • OccupationAstronomer & Visual Artist
  • HometownSan Juan
  • Current cityChicago
  • CountryUSA
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Write a testimonial
moraima_D says:

great person, super smart and amazing photographer. i'm happy to call him my friend!!!!

October 23, 2008