Bratislava – At a time when the world is relying on scientists and science to help with the coronavirus pandemic, ESET Science Award is launching its second annual recognition contest. Its aim is to recognize outstanding scientists working in Slovakia and introduce them to the public, as well as to showcase the essential role that science plays in society. The international jury will once again be chaired by a Nobel Prize winner this year.
In 2019, ESET Science Award launched its second annual edition to recognize exceptional scientists and academics working in Slovakia. Laureates of the first award include chemist Ján Tkáč, molecular biologist Ľubomíra Tóthová, and bioinformatics scientist Tomáš Vinař.
One of the objectives of the ESET Science Award is to highlight the important role of science and scientists within society. “Today more than ever we, as a society, recognize that scientific knowledge can save thousands of lives and help us make better decisions,” says Richard Marko, CEO of ESET. “Results of a survey conducted before the launch of this year’s award show that as much as 86 percent of respondents agree that Slovakia needs stronger support for science and research. We believe that by recognizing outstanding personalities in science, we will be able to increase the public’s interest in the field, thus increasing the state’s support for it.”
The jury that decides on the laureates consists of world-renowned and respected representatives of science disciplines from around the world. The jury assesses the short-listed scientists in terms of the quality of their scientific work and research and how these overlap with society, with an emphasis on international standards. A complex evaluation process includes both quantitative and qualitative criteria, taking into account the analysis of professional work and its benefits for society, communication, and scientific ethics and integrity.
This year, a top-level evaluation process is to be overseen by an international jury chairman who is a Nobel Prize winner. As the award organizer, the ESET Foundation is hopeful that, despite the current situation with the coronavirus pandemic, it will be able to secure the chairman’s participation in person. “Accepting the award from a Nobel Prize winner has been an exceptional moment in my scientific career. Despite the laureates being decided by a high-quality international scientific jury, I am pleased that this award comes not only from scientific circles but also from the wider community. It symbolizes that society is slowly starting to recognize the role of science in people’s everyday lives,” says Jan Tkáč, the 2019 laureate in the main category, Outstanding Individual Contributor to Slovak Science.
Scientists, researchers, and academics working in Slovakia have until May 28, 2020, to submit an application for the ESET Science Award via the esetscienceaward.sk website. Like last year, this year’s award is to be split into three categories – Outstanding Individual Contributor to Slovak Science, Exceptional Young Scientist in Slovakia under the Age of 35, and Outstanding Academic. The award covers four scientific areas: natural sciences, medical and pharmaceutical sciences, technical sciences, and agricultural sciences. An award ceremony to announce the laureates is planned for October 14, 2020, subject to change based on the coronavirus pandemic situation. For more information, visit www.esetscienceaward.sk.
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