Science is key to solving global problems such as pandemics and climate change, but we need leaders who listen to science. Physics professor and Nobel Prize Laureate Kip Thorne, who chaired the international jury of the ESET Science Award, called for respect for science in his speech. The ESET Science Award is an ambitious project run by global cybersecurity company ESET, which recognizes the best scientists in Slovakia whose work makes a difference on a global scale.
Bratislava, Slovakia, October 15 – Professor Kip Thorne received the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics for the first direct detection of gravitational waves whose signal was generated by the collision of two black holes 1.3 billion years ago. Professor Thorne is not only a phenomenal scientist, but he also consulted on and co-authored Christopher Nolan’s blockbuster film Interstellar.
In his latest speech as the ESET Science Award international jury chair, Professor Thorne pointed out the importance of listening to scientists and respecting scientific knowledge.
“Science and technology based on scientific research are key to solving problems such as pandemics or climate change. But I consider it equally important to encourage the respect of politicians and the public for science and scientists.”
Professor Thorne reiterated that viral diseases are one of humanity’s most serious problems today. “Many countries have ignored the voice of scientists in dealing with the pandemic. Slovakia can be a positive example for the world, on how scientific solutions can save many lives,” he explained with regards to the current COVID-19 situation, while pointing out the original Slovak research on the coronavirus.
Funded by the ESET Foundation, a team of Slovak scientists developed their own internationally validated COVID-19 tests. In a rapid response to the pandemic, the team donated 100,000 kits for routine testing to the Slovak Republic and has made the tests available to other countries.
Since joining as the chair of the international jury of the second year of the ESET Science Award, Professor Thorne is dedicated to support the initiative in the coming years. The ESET Foundation and ESET continue in their goal of supporting and recognizing scientists and researchers in Slovakia – and, in the future, in other parts of the world.
“We need new generations of leaders who will lead the world to responsible and science-based solutions. The key benefit of the ESET Science Award is this inspiration and recognition of how important science is for society,” said Professor Thorne.
The ESET Science Award is held under the auspices of Zuzana Čaputová, President of the Slovak Republic, and has received praise from international personalities such as Sir Roger Penrose, who is one the recipients of the 2020 Nobel Prize for Physics.
“I believe that the authority of science and scientists should be taken into account in the public discourse too. Because not only do we live in an era with a global pandemic, but also an infodemic, one which is defined by the systematic production of misinformation,” Mrs. Čaputová said in her opening address.
At the ceremony, Fedor Šimkovic was named laureate in the category Outstanding Personality of Slovak Science, Tamás Csanádi was named winner in the Outstanding Young Scientist under 35 category, and Ivan Varga became the Outstanding University Teacher laureate.
The ESET Science Award jury comprised other excellent scientists and researchers, namely, the Czech chemist Hana Dvořáková, British biologist Fiona Watt, German physicist Rolf-Dieter Heuer (former Director of CERN), German chemist Ralf Riedel and Hungarian mathematician Tibor Krisztin.
*Notes to editors
Photography available on request.
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