09.12.2019 change 09.12.2019
Ludwika Tomala
Ludwika Tomala

Three Profs Receive Top Science Award for Outstanding Research

Three university professors have been awarded PLN 200,000 prize money for significant advancements and scientific discoveries.

Professors Andrzej Kossakowski, Marcin Drąg and Andrzej Wiśniewski received the 2019 Foundation for Polish Science (FNP) prize, which is considered the most important scientific distinction in Poland, in Warsaw last week. 

According to the FNP, the prize is given for scientific discoveries which shift cognitive boundaries and open new perspectives for research, provide an exceptional contribution towards the advancement of the nation's progress and culture, and assure Poland's significant position for undertaking the most ambitious challenges of the modern world. 

Foundation president Maciej Żylicz, said: "We want to reward those who have crossed the boundaries of knowledge, those who have made great scientific discoveries. We also want to set certain standards, reward those who are real authorities in our society.” 

He added that such scientists attract other prominent scholars to work in Poland.

prof. Żylicz

President of the Foundation for Polish Science Professor Maciej Żylicz during the award ceremony of the Foundation for Polish Science Prize at the Royal Castle in Warsaw. Credit: PAP/Rafał Guz 04.12.2019

Receiving his award, Professor Marcin Drąg from the Faculty of Chemistry of the Wrocław University of Science and Technology told the audience that “science is the greatest love of my life”.

He was awarded for his work in the field of chemical and material sciences for developing a new technological platform for obtaining biologically active compounds, in particular proteolytic enzymes inhibitors. The platform may be used to develop new therapies, drugs, and diagnostic methods.

prof. Drąg

Professor Marcin Drąg from the Faculty of Chemistry of the Wrocław University of Science and Technology received the 2019 Foundation for Polish Science Prize in the field of chemical and material sciences during the award ceremony of the Foundation for Polish Science Prize at the Royal Castle in Warsaw. Credit: PAP/Rafał Guz 04.12.2019

Professor Andrzej Kossakowski from the Institute of Physics of the Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń received the award in the field of mathematical, physical and engineering sciences for developing the theory of open quantum systems. This theory serves as the foundation for one of the most intensively developing fields of science: quantum information theory.

He said: ”I experience scientific research as an adventure," adding that science is a way into the unknown.

Prof. Kossakowski

Professor Andrzej Kossakowski from the Institute of Physics of the Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń received the 2019 Foundation for Polish Science Prize in the field of mathematical, physical and engineering sciences during the award ceremony of the Foundation for Polish Science Prize at the Royal Castle in Warsaw. Credit: PAP/Rafał Guz 04.12.2019

Professor Andrzej Wiśniewski from the Faculty of Psychology and Cognitive Science of the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań received the prize in the field of the humanities and social sciences for developing the concept of inferential erotetic logic. The solutions proposed by Prof. Wiśniewski may find application in such areas as machine learning, artificial intelligence development, internet search engine improvement and efficient database analysis.

prof. WIśniewski

Professor Andrzej Wiśniewski from the Faculty of Psychology and Cognitive Science of the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań received the 2019 Foundation for Polish Science Prize in the field of the humanities and social sciences during the award ceremony of the Foundation for Polish Science Prize at the Royal Castle in Warsaw. Credit: PAP/Rafał Guz 04.12.2019

Candidates are nominated by distinguished scientists personally invited by the Foundation’s Executive Board and Council. The FNP Council serves as the competition jury and selects the laureates on the basis of opinions from independent experts and reviewers (mainly from abroad), who evaluate the candidates' achievements.

The winners were congratulated by Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Science and Higher Education Jarosław Gowin who then outlined his priorities for the next four years. 

He said the first priority was to monitor the implementation of the Law on Higher Education and Science. The second to acquire funds from the Horizon Europe programme and the third goal was to introduce a new Law on the Polish Academy of Sciences. Gowin said that he did not yet know which way the changes in the academy would go but said that, like the Constitution for Science, the new Law on the Polish Academy of Sciences would be "prepared in a dialogue." The fourth goal would be to develop system support for centres of excellence in Poland and he invited participants "to think about how to ensure their continued operation."

Gowin

Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Science and Higher Education Jarosław Gowin during the award ceremony of the Foundation for Polish Science Prize at the Royal Castle in Warsaw. Credit: PAP/Rafał Guz 04.12.2019

The FNP Prize has been awarded since 1992. Including this year’s winners, there have been a total of 102 laureates. 

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