Four scientists have received the 2023 Foundation for Polish Science Prizes. The 2023 FNP Prize Ceremony was held at the Royal Castle in Warsaw.
The Prize of the Foundation for Polish Science (FNP) is the most prestigious scientific award in Poland and has been awarded annually since 1992. It also hailed as the “Polish Nobel Prizes”. The FNP Prize is awarded for special scientific achievements and discoveries that push the boundaries of cognition and open new cognitive perspectives, make an outstanding contribution to the civilisational and cultural progress of our country and provide Poland with a significant place in tackling the most ambitious challenges of the contemporary world.
On 6 December this year, the FNP Prize went to four leading scientists. The laureates are professors Maria Lewicka, Krzysztof Liberek, Marcin Stępień and Rafał Latała. Each of the winners received a statuette and prize money of PLN 200,000.
The decision on selection of laureates is made by representatives of the Council of the Foundation for Polish Science . The verdict is based on opinions of eminent scholars, specialists in given fields, acting as experts and reviewers. The FNP Prize is awarded in four areas:
- Life and Earth Sciences;
- Chemical and Material Sciences;
- Mathematical and Physical Sciences and Engineering;
- Humanities and Social Sciences.
Prof. Krzysztof Liberek from the Intercollegiate Faculty of Biotechnology of the University of Gdańsk and the Medical University of Gdańsk received an award in the area of life and earth sciences. The FNP Council honoured the researcher ‘for demonstrating the role of chaperone proteins in recovering proteins from aggregates and folding them into an active form. The laureate is a pioneer in the field of research on chaperone proteins also known as ‘molecular chaperones. Prof. Krzysztof Liberek’s discoveries on the mechanisms of action of chaperone proteins have important biomedical implications.
Prof. Marcin Stępień from the Faculty of Chemistry of the University of Wrocław received an award in the area of chemical sciences for thedesign and preparation of new aromatic compounds with unique structures and properties. The compounds created by the scientists may one day find applications in LED devices and photovoltaics, medical diagnostics and phototherapy, among others.
Prof. Rafał Latała from the Faculty of Mathematics, Informatics and Mechanics at the University of Warsaw received this year’s FNP Prize in the area of mathematical, physical and engineering sciences. The FNP Council recognised the researcher for developing mathematical tools that made it possible to prove Talagrand’s hypothesis on Bernoulli processes.
The fourth laureate this year was Prof. Maria Lewicka from the Faculty of Philosophy and Social Sciences at the Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń. She received the FNP Prize in Humanities and Social Sciences for formulating and testing a psychological model of place attachment and place memory. The social psychologist has shown that attachment to one’s roots and memory of one’s place are fundamental to human psychological and social functioning.
The FNP Prizes have been awarded for the 32nd time and already include 117 Laurestes.
The Foundation for Polish Science has existed since 1991 and is an independent, self-financing, non-profit, non-governmental institution that pursues the mission of supporting science. It is the largest non-budgetary source of science funding in Poland. The statutory objectives of the FPS include supporting outstanding scientists and research teams and working towards transferring scientific achievements into economic practice. The Foundation pursues them by awarding individual prizes and scholarships for scientists, granting subsidies for implementing scientific achievements into economic practice and supporting important undertakings serving science (such as publishing programmes or conferences). The Foundation is also committed to supporting international scientific cooperation and increasing the scientific independence of the younger generation of scientists.
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