The Czech Academy of Sciences has given its highest award to a Hungarian physicist. The medal was presented to Norbert Kroo, who is also the general secretary of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. It was presented for what the Czech Academy says is his outstanding contribution to research, science policy and international scientific affairs. Radio Budapest spoke to Professor Kroo about his work...
"Well, my scientific work is what I loved and what I still love and my science policy work is what is my main activity now. Of course, as Secretary General of the Hungarian Academy being in charge of research network with about six thousand people, or as member of the European research advisory board, practically the scientific council of the European Union, or as my activity in the European Academy of Sciences, or in the European Science foundation, are all going along that line but from a person, who is not only a Hungarian citizen but a citizen of the European Union."
And what about your cooperation with Czech scientists?
"As an institute director and afterwards here in the academy, we paid a lot of attention to improve our relations with those countries with whom we had strong cooperation in the past, during the Communist times, but after the political changes somehow lost the momentum. I myself have been working very hard in order to speed up relations again. Foe example, we organised regular meetings of leaders of academies of the Visegrad countries - the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary [and Poland] to try to boost cooperation. This was also partly connected to our accession process to the European Union as we tried to harmonise our efforts that were partly connected with networking.
"The most recent idea that I am pushing for very strongly is to realise the originality of these countries in science. Scandinavia countries, for example, have within the European Union organised a Scandinavian region and my dream is to organise an equally efficient Visegrad region of the four countries, possibly not excluding other scientists from surrounding countries like Austria, Slovenia, and maybe Croatia, on equal terms. So, it should be cooperation of countries where there is no leading country but there is very strong cooperation on equal terms."