The Message of This Year’s Hlávka Awards Ceremony: Stand Up and Fight

úterý, 26 listopad 2013 15:19

On November 16, the night before the Students Day and the anniversary of the Velvet Revolution, notable academics and young researchers received the annual Josef, Marie and Zdeňka Hlávka Foundation Awards. Among the guests that gathered at the Lužany Chateau were Professor Jiří Drahoš, President of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Professor Václav Havlíček, Rector of the Czech Technical University, Mr. Michal Lukeš, General Director of the Czech National Museum and Professor Ivan Wilhelm, Czech government’s Commissioner for European Research and a Hlávka medal laureate. Charles University was represented by the prorector for doctoral programmes and academic qualifications, Professor Ivan Jakubec.

In his opening speech, the chairman of the foundation’s steering committee Prof. Václav Pavlíček, stressed the historical role of the foundation in the development of the award system for Czech scholars of all ages. Professor Jiří Drahoš from the Academy of Sciences seconded that opinion. In 1992, the Hlávka Foundation was the first one to award its Josef Hlávka Awards and Medals to best students, graduates and teachers at all public institutions of higher education in Prague, the Brno University of Technology and the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic.

“Each era has its own priorities, its problems, its utopian visions and unfulfilled hopes. Hlávka’s era was no less difficult than ours, but in his times, being a benefactor was a part of the moral code of an entrepreneur”, said Professor Jakubec, preparing the ground for the following speaker, Professor Rudolf  Zahradník, the President emeritus of the Academy of Sciences. Professor Zahradník pointed out the abysmal difference between the level of education among Czech ministers of education and their counterparts in other parts of the world, lack of professionals in the state institutions that are supposed to oversee and regulate research and the unwillingness of politicians and government officials to respond to criticism. He also criticised the tendency of Czech government officials to substitute their own research-related work by hiring third parties paid for by the EU.

Professor Zahradník called on the participants to “remain in good spirits and not be bitter, even when annoyed by the things you hear on TV or from some of the top representatives of our country”. He ended his speech by saying: “This is no time to hide in the corner like little boys and girls – you need to stand up and fight, at least a little.”

The Josef Hlávka Medals were awarded to the following academics from Charles University:

Professor  Jiří Kraus from the Faculty of Social Sciences (laudatio was given by Professor Jan Jirák)

Professor Josef Petráň from the Charles University Archive (laudatio was given by Professor Jaromír Pánek, Vicepresident of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic

The Josef Hlávka Awards were given to the following students:

Mgr. Jana Šustrová, Faculty of Law


MUDr. Jana Skalická, 1st


MUDr. Ester Mejstříková, 2nd


MUDr. Jiří Švec, 3rd


Jan Brůha, Faculty of Medicine in Plzeň


MUDr. Vladimíra Halečková, Faculty of Medicine in Hradec Králové


Mgr. Lenka Krčmová, Faculty of Pharmacy in in Hradec Králové


Mgr. Vlastimil Vyskočil, Ph. D., Faculty of Science


Mgr. Martin Tancer, Faculty of Mathematics and Physics


Mgr. Mikuláš Pštross, Faculty of Humanities (could not receive the award in person due to staying abroad)

Financial grants were awarded to:

the town of Přeštice to support the development of education and culture

Jaroslav Vrchlický Grammar School in Klatovy

National Museum to expand its collections

P. K.