Lajos Vékás receives the Academic Gold Medal from Tamás Freund.
In his first speech following his election, Tamás Freund said that the main goal of science policy in Hungary is to create a transparent and efficient RDI system that recognizes excellence, encourages competition and cooperation, is attractive to the research community, and offers prospects and benefits society, the economy, and the state.
Common goal of cooperation between the academy and the government
Prior to the renewal, at the public ceremonial session of the General Assembly on Monday, Tamás Freund said that only a meaningful academic role and cooperation between the Academy and the government can bring about a stable, predictable and efficient national RDI system that goes beyond governmental cycles and the utilization of the results to strengthen the nation.
As he said:
In science it is a basic truth, but in politics, especially in policy, it is also an empirical fact that the one who nods to everything does not help us achieve our goals. Rather, it is the one who engages us in debate. This is particularly true when there is agreement on the initial assessment of the situation and when the intention and the goal are shared.”
In his report, which summarized the achievements of the past period and the most important processes determining the fate of the academy, the President of the Academy of Sciences called the launch of three major national research programs of the academy a symbolic achievement, and confirmed that improving the career opportunities of women remains a priority task of the Academy.
He recalled that the Academy has been drawing the attention of decision-makers to the negative trends in Hungarian public education for many years. He confirmed that the Academy would continue to offer the knowledge and experience of its members and bodies, in particular the Scientific Committee on Pedagogy and the Presidential Committee on Public Education, to help create the conditions for a scientifically sound, modern public education.
Academic Gold Medal, lecture by Nobel Prize-winning researcher
Academic awards were presented on the first day of the most important decision-making body of the MTA. Lajos Vékás, full member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Professor Emeritus of the Faculty of Law and Political Sciences of Eötvös Loránd University, received the most prestigious scientific award of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, the Academic Gold Medal, which is awarded as a lifetime achievement prize.
At the ceremony, a lecture was given by Nobel Prize-winning astrophysicist Didier Queloz, who together with his subject leader Michel Mayor and Canadian-American astrophysicist James Peebles, won the 2019 Nobel Prize in Physics for the discovery of the first planet orbiting a sun-like star outside the Solar System in 1995.
President Tamás Freund addresses the 196th General Assembly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, (Photo: MTI/Lajos Soós)
Forum of External Members
As tradition has it, the Forum of External Members was held on the second day of the Annual General Assembly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences at the MTA Headquarters. Freund, President of the Academy, said in his welcome speech:
Our scientists living beyond our borders have a special role to play in the life of the academy. My aim is that our external members, as they become academics, will not only enjoy the title, but will increasingly become active participants in the Academy’s scientific life and contribute to our common success through their active professional work.”
via MTI, Features image: MTI/Lajos Soós