Jan Velinger

Jan Velinger

Studied film directing at FAMU in Prague and began in current affairs in commercial television in 1996. Worked as a reporter and presenter at the English service of Czech Radio for more than sixteen years, before joining Charles University’s media team in June 2018. He is responsible for the English edition of Forum Magazine.

“When I started, the chances of curing the most common types of paediatric leukaemia were around 20 percent – today it is up to 90 percent. Not every doctor gets to live to see that,” says Professor Jan Starý, a paediatric haematologist at Charles University’s Second Faculty of Medicine and Motol University Hospital. 

“Of all the countries I have visited, Israel is among the most exceptional. It’s admirable that in such unfavourable conditions – both natural and political – they’ve built such a well-functioning society,” says hydrogeologist Zbyněk Hrkal, who has travelled to an incredible 79 countries around the globe.

Friday, 16 April 2021 08:37

Sci-fi: A sandbox for daring new ideas

“Have you ever imagined what life would be like if it evolved in a cold ocean beneath an impenetrable shell of ice, or on a world whose haze obscured the universe beyond?” That is a question posed by members of EAI such as Julie Nováková, a biologist and PhD student at Charles University, launching a campaign to publish a new sci-fi anthology.

In jest, he says that a recent Amazon exhibition in Prague’s Carolinum came together only by accident, after he came across a box containing Peru’s highest state honour while cleaning up. Back in 2007, Charles University’s Bohumír Janský became the first foreigner to receive the honour.

A new book provides a fascinating look at how restoration teams revived a unique rotunda from the 11th century (dedicated to St. Wenceslas). The book was edited by Jarmila Čiháková and Martin Müller and published by the National Heritage Institute.

It has been 110 years since Albert Einstein arrived in Prague for his tenure as a professor of theoretical physics – 16 months in his life that were often overlooked. Einstein in Bohemia by historian Michael D. Gordin changes earlier perceptions, showing that it was in Prague that Einstein shifted full-time to the study of gravity.

Monday, 29 March 2021 01:40

Views: Comenius would be proud

Sunday, 28 March, was Teachers’ Day in the Czech Republic, held on the anniversary of the birth of the renowned Czech educational reformer and theologian Jan Amos Komenský (Comenius) in 1592. Do today's teachers still rely on principles laid down by the great educationalist? And how have they fared during the pandemic?

Václav Šňupárek is a Master’s student at the Faculty of Physical Education and Sport who competed in many sports before becoming a professional cyclist. He is a member of Team Novo Nordisk, a team unlike any other whose athletes all have Type-1 diabetes. 

Wednesday, 24 March 2021 15:15

Experts: Outbreak was only a matter of time

Speakers at a one-day conference at Charles University focusing on the pandemic more than a year on agreed: an outbreak  such as the one we have seen was a ticking time bomb. Despite how prepared we might be in terms of knowledge, virologist Ladislav Machala said globalisation had shown we have never been “more vulnerable.“

Even as a little girl she dreamed of being a doctor one day and later admired the organisation Doctors without Borders. Now, med student Markéta Malecová is a few months away from completing her studies and becoming a doctor herself. She has already made an impact, helping children at a very special hospital in Uganda.

Wednesday, 17 March 2021 14:21

Stanislav Komárek’s Ukrainian Odyssey

Winning the “Book of the Year” award in one of Europe’s largest countries is a major success, not just for the author but for Czech culture as a whole. When it happens twice in a row, it speaks to something more: obsession, in a positive sense. That is the kind of success scientist Stanislav Komárek has enjoyed in Ukraine.

Monday, 15 March 2021 00:49

Why I dance, meditate and have a dog

Lucie Bankovská Motlová teaches at the Dept. of Psychiatry and Medical Psychology at the Third Faculty of Medicine at Charles University. She is outspoken about her field, how it can help patients live regular lives and gives valuable advice on how to maintain good mental health during the pandemic. 

The debate over whether to give birth in hospital or at home is one that has continued in the Czech Republic for years. Sociologist Anna Pospěch Durnová wanted to get to the heart of the issue and headed extensive research to find out what influenced expectant mothers' decisions. 

The Carpathian Mountains, ranging across seven countries including neighbouring Slovakia, are often considered one of the last areas of true wilderness in Central Europe, and for zoologist, microbiologist and ecologist Pavel Hulva they are something like a second home.

Wednesday, 03 March 2021 22:35

Clear masks are essential

The idea to sew face masks came to her long before they were widely needed during the pandemic: Faculty of Arts student Kristýna Šimralová attended a lecture on opportunities for the Deaf, showing how even tough barriers can be overcome. She opted to make face masks with a clear window, which make it easier to read lips.

A new study by economists at the CERGE-EI think-tank IDEA researching social interaction and the spread of Covid-19, provides answers to where mistakes were made during the pandemic. March 1 marks exactly one year since the Czech Republic registered its first two cases of the novel coronavirus.

If you understand Czech and are interested in Czech cuisine, you will want to look up the popular internet series Zmlsané dějiny co-hosted by historian Martin Franc. Franc, who teaches at Charles University, delights in debunking culinary myths but also gives credit where it is historically due.

Sunday, 21 February 2021 19:58

Med students gain from scientific training

Hematologist Jan Trka grew up in a family of teacher-scientists, so from an early age science was an integral part of life. Perhaps it is why he became the head of the scientific-diagnostic laboratory at  Motol University Hospital and is now the vice-dean at CU’s Second Faculty of Medicine.

Friday, 19 February 2021 07:55

A whale named Ilga

It was apparent that the complete but darkened skeleton of a small whale at the Museum of Human and Comparative Anatomy would eventually fall apart. But restorers achieved something remarkable: returning the skeleton – one of only two in the Czech Republic – to its former glory, while also preserving soft tissue. The team was headed by anthropologist and anatomist Andrej Shbat.

Kateřina Chládková is one of the few researchers in the world who study the earliest stages of language acquisition, which means she is often in contact with babies – even in the maternity ward. Her aim is to find out how we learn to speak from the very first moments of life.

Page 1 of 5