The National Science Centre Award for outstanding young researchers handed out for the 5th time
Dr Szymon Świeżewski, prof. dr hab. Anna Brożek and dr hab. Adam Rycerz are the laureates of the 5th edition of the National Science Centre Award. The three researchers will receive the equivalent of nearly €12,000 each, in recognition of their accomplishments in basic research.
The National Science Centre Award is an annual initiative launched to promote eminent researchers who carry out basic research in Poland. Any researcher under 40, whose achievement comes as a result of experimental or theoretical work carried out with a view of gaining new knowledge, not directly commercial application-oriented, is eligible. Research work under scrutiny in the selection procedure must be done in projects carried out in Polish research institutions, documented with publications affiliated in Poland.
In the field of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, the Award was granted to prof. dr hab. Anna Brożek of the Institute of Philosophy, University of Warsaw, for her original theory on the function of interrogative and imperative sentences and her contribution to the studies on the history of the Lvov-Warsaw school of logic, preceded by meticulous archival research.
One of logic’s practical uses is to minimise the risk of error inherent in three types of processes: knowledge acquisition, knowledge processing and knowledge transmission, explains professor Brożek. My research seeks to achieve this goal through logical analysis of questions and imperatives. These expressions play a significant role in cognitive processes, thinking and communication.
In the field of Life Sciences, the Award was conferred on dr Szymon Świeżewski of the Institute of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Polish Academy of Sciences. His nomination for the Award came in recognition of his work on functions of IncRNA in regulating the key stages of plant growth: sprouting and flowering.
I study the mechanisms behind dormancy time in seeds. At the same time, I try to use the merits of my research system for the discovery of new universal mechanisms of gene expression, says dr Świeżewski.
A laureate in the field of Physical Sciences and Engineering is dr hab. Adam Rycerz of the Institute of Physics, Jagiellonian University. The physicist from Krakow received the 2017 Award for theoretical analysis of quantum charge transport in grapheme nanoparticle systems. The Award Committee found the description’s mechanism of valley polarisation control through electrostatic fields to be a particularly important achievement.
What fascinates me most about condensed-matter theory is that we can predict – at a relatively low cost and effort – entirely new physical phenomena, whose practical use is virtually within arm’s reach, says dr hab. Adam Rycerz. Although cases of this kind of research plan succeeding are rare (normally it is an experimental discovery that precedes the laborious process of developing theory), to give up on such endeavours would be tantamount to the end of our civilisation.
One purpose of the National Science Centre Award is to bring together the worlds of science and economy. The Award is funded by entrepreneurs, this year’s sponsors being: Grupa Adamed, Grupa Azoty, Jastrzębska Spółka Węglowa and PKN Orlen.
The sponsors, who gave the money checks to the laureates, had taken part in the work of the Award Committee. The Committee comprises representatives of the Council of the National Science Centre, the Centre’s Director and the sponsors. The three winners have been selected out of 42 candidatures submitted by eminent Polish scholars.
The award gala took place on 10th October 2017 at the 19th-century Polish Art Gallery – the Sukiennice. The sponsors’ representatives gave the laureates memorial statuettes. At the close of the ceremony, hosted by Grażyna Torbicka, Paweł Kaczmarczyk gave his piano recital.