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.
The last year-and-a-half brought many changes and challenges for the education sector, given little choice but to adapt - as quickly and effectively as possible. Many enrolled at Charles University reassessed their aims with new vigour. Tracy Okine writes about two foreign students who took stock of the situation and persevered.
The last three weeks brought about a dramatic turn of events in Afghanistan with the collapse of the central government and the return of the Taliban. How did the US get into such a position after almost 20 years’ involvement? Forum discussed the situation with Jiří Pondělíček of Charles University’s Department of North American Studies.
This week saw the start of the 6th Summer Seminar on Nationalism, Religion and Violence co-organised by Charles University and Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, in Prague. The event began with a keynote lecture by Oxford University’s Stathis Kalyvas, entitled “The Landscape of Political Violence” focusing on everything from classic warfare to asymmetrical conflict.
“Riding an electric bike is a euphoric experience. You no longer feel the bump of cobblestones or curbs. You can just pedal and revel in the speed,” says Forum’s Jitka Jiřičková. The new bikes should be available to staff at CU in September. Two of our vice-rectors, Radka Wildová and Jan Royt, tried the bikes ahead of time… as did our reporter.
“We both have degrees in international relations and we like to talk about what’s going on in the world, so we decided to record our conversations. Let’s see what’s next door,” is how Barbora Chaloupková and Hana Martínková explain their podcast Za Humny (Not far from home) which examines international relations and public affairs.
In French, it’s known as terrain vague – vague terrain, as in a wasteland or empty lot. But in reality it is any disused or largely inaccessible space, sometimes wild, sometimes industrial, where form and function stop. Social anthropologist Radan Haluzík and a group of fellow researchers and artists made vague terrain their subject of study for years.
Jan Jehlička is a pioneer of the new 21st century discipline of exobiology. Together with colleagues, and using advanced devices such as Raman spectrometers, he searches for answers to questions such as: Does life exist beyond planet Earth? Did it exist in the past? Last year he won Charles University’s Donatio award.
Over the last few years, more and more young people in the Czech Republic have taken up longboarding, a hobby and sport related to skateboarding but different in many respects. Longboards, as the name suggests, utilise a longer deck but feel very different, offering a more stable ride on softer polyurethane wheels.
“Genetic testing makes sense in combination with other biochemical markers and various sensors for individual training. But there is no way it should lead to conclusions such as if you don’t have a sprinter’s genes, give up running,” says Associate Professor Miroslav Petr from the Faculty of Physical Education and Sports.
Belarusian opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya is on a four-day visit to the Czech Republic. The leader was invited to Prague by the speaker of the Senate, Miloš Vystrčil. On Monday afternoon, she and her team met for talks at Charles University. On the agenda: ways to help students and to support democracy in Belarus.
“We expected the biggest changes in vegetation to be at the end of the Ice Age. Instead, we were surprised they were in the last four thousand years," says paleoecologist Petr Kuneš of the Faculty of Science. Kuneš and fellow experts' findings were published in the prestigious scientific journal Science.
“Is there anything nicer than walking out onto the course at 6 am and taking in the sight of the dew-covered grass?” psychologist Lenka Šulová of the Faculty of Arts wonders. Fifteen years ago she fell in love with golf, a sport she cannot imagine being without in her free time or on travels in Europe and further abroad.