31st FNP Prize: Award Ceremony Report

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On December 7 at the Royal Castle in Warsaw, we held the award ceremony for the FNP Prize, considered the most important scientific award in Poland. The winners of this prestigious award this year included Professors Marcin Nowotny, Bartosz Grzybowski, and Adam Łajtar. A video recording of the event is available online.

The Foundation for Polish Science (FNP) awarded its Prizes for the thirty-first time. This year?s three FNP Prize winners were recognized in the following areas: life and earth sciences; chemistry and materials sciences; humanities and social sciences. The winners received statuettes, diplomas, and cash awards of PLN 200,000.

The award ceremony was held in the company of excellent guests. The laureates were accompanied by colleagues, family, friends, and numerous representatives of the world of science and the media.

Fot. Statuetki i dyplomy dla laureatów 31. Nagrody FNP
Photograph: Statuettes and diplomas for 31st FNP Prize winners.

 

Event Opening

The award ceremony began at 4 p.m. The guests were welcomed by the journalist Krzysztof Michalski, a member of the Science Promotion Council of the Polish Academy of Sciences, who conducted the ceremony. The opening speech was given by the FNP President, Professor Maciej Żylicz, who emphasized the role of supporting ?good science? regardless of whether it concerns basic or applied research. Professor Żylicz also referred to the challenges that the world of science in Poland is currently facing, such as attracting and retaining scientific talent in the country and developing the science financing system as well as research achievements evaluation. Moreover, he thanked the 2022 FNP Prize winners for their contribution to science, as their achievements push the boundaries of cognition and open new research perspectives.

The first part of the event was accompanied by a clarinet concert. The piece by Francis Poulenc ?Sonata for two clarinets? in three movements ? Presto, Andante, and Vif ? was performed by Mirosław Batalionek and Jeremi Tabęcki of the Polish Children?s Fund.

Fot. Koncert Klarnetowy podczas Gali 31. Nagrody FNP
Photograph: Clarinet concert at the 31st FNP Prize award ceremony.

 

Award Ceremony

The presentation of the FNP Prizes was preceded by a speech by the Chair of the FNP Council, Professor Tomasz Guzik, who summarized the work of the Foundation Council. The council acts as a jury and decides on the selection of FNP Prize winners by relying on the opinions of experts and reviewers, mainly from abroad.

The first to receive the 2022 FNP Prize was Professor Marcin Nowotny of the International Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology in Warsaw, recognized for the explanation of the molecular mechanisms of DNA damage recognition and repair. Professor Nowotny received the FNP Prize in the area of life and earth sciences.

Fot. (od lewej): prof. Marcin Nowotny, prof. Tomasz Guzik, prof. Maciej Żylicz
Photograph (from left): Professors Marcin Nowotny, Tomasz Guzik, Maciej Żylicz.

 

In the category of chemistry and materials sciences, the FNP Prize was presented to Professor Bartosz Grzybowski of the Institute of Organic Chemistry of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw and the Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology, Ulsan, Republic of Korea, for the development and empirical verification of an algorithmic methodology for planning chemical synthesis.

Fot. (od lewej): prof. Tomasz Guzik, prof. Bartosz Grzybowski, prof. Maciej Żylicz
Photograph (from left): Professors Tomasz Guzik, Bartosz Grzybowski, Maciej Żylicz.

 

In the area of humanities and social sciences, the FNP Prize was given to Professor Adam Łajtar of the Faculty of Archaeology at the University of Warsaw for the interpretation of epigraphic sources explaining the religious-cultural aspects of the functioning of medieval communities living in the Nile Valley.

Fot. (od lewej): prof. Adam Łajtar, prof. Tomasz Guzik, prof. Maciej Żylicz
Photograph (from left): Professors Adam Łajtar, Tomasz Guzik, Maciej Żylicz.

 

This year the FNP Council decided to award no Prize in the area of mathematical, physical, and engineering sciences.

The ceremony was closed with a short speech by Professor Maciej Żylicz, who highlighted the Foundation?s fundraising activities, thanking individual and institutional donors: Zygmunt Zaleski Stichting and PZU Foundation. Thanks to the donated funds, the FNP can provide comprehensive support to young scientists in the START program and scientists from Ukraine in the FOR UKRAINE programme.

 

Video report

The FNP Prize award ceremony was broadcast online on the FNP channel on YouTube.

 

About the FNP Prize

The FNP Prize is an individual award, granted by the FNP Council through a competition in four areas: life and earth sciences; chemistry and materials sciences; mathematical, physical, and engineering sciences; humanities and social sciences. Candidates for the FNP Prize are submitted by prominent representatives of science invited by name by the Foundation Board and Council. The FNP Council acts as the Chapter of the competition and selects the winners based on the opinio

ns of independent experts and reviewers ? mainly from abroad ? who evaluate candidates? achievements.

In the current term, the FNP Council consists of professors:

  • Tomasz Guzik (Jagiellonian University Medical College) ? Chair of the Council,
  • Grażyna Jurkowlaniec (Institute of Art History, Faculty of Arts and Culture Sciences, University of Warsaw) ? Vice-Chair of the Council,
  • Piotr Garstecki (Institute of Physical Chemistry of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw),
  • Jan Kotwica (Institute of Animal Reproduction and Food Research of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Olsztyn),
  • Tomasz Łuczak (Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science, Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań)
  • Aleksandra Łuszczynska (SWPS University of Social Sciences and Humanities),
  • Maria Nowakowska (Faculty of Chemistry, Jagiellonian University).
Fot. Publikacja o laureatach 31. Nagrody FNP
Photograph: Publication about 31st FNP Prize winners.

 

The FNP Prizes have been awarded since 1992. The group of laureates, including this year?s winners, already includes 113 people.

Photograph: Paweł Kula_FNP Archives