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Summary of the second year of the Academia Europaea Knowledge Hub in Wroclaw (January 2013 – December 2013)

The Wrocław Hub has now been fully active for over two years, with a full time staff and a few students from the University of Wrocław as interns. 2013 was a very busy year for the Hub. In 2013 we arranged a number of wide scope high quality international activities. These included: organization of three lectures, first seminar about Early Modern Print Culture in Europe and 25th Annual Conference of Academia Europaea. Also, we officially launched a promotion movie (which was produced in 2012), and produced a Planner Guide of Wrocław. During 2013 we also supported All European Academies (ALLEA) and the Young Academy of Europe (YAE).

25th Annual AE Conference

On 16-19 September 2013 the annual anniversary, international academic conference, titled „European Science and scholarship looking ahead – challenges of the next 25 years‟ was held in Wroclaw. 2013 marked a key anniversary – as it was the 25th annual conference of the Academia Europaea. The event brought together approximately three hundred and fifty scholars; two of who were Noble Prize laureates, as well as laureates of other major international academic awards (for example: Lasker Award, Turing Award, Abel Award or Gödel Prize).

The conference program was designed to create a platform for opinion exchange for the significant European scholars representing all academic fields. The discussions concerned the condition of contemporary science and education, as well as attempted to clarify key topics and European science agenda challenges that are to be tackled in the future. The possibility of establishing sustainable research programs was also being discussed. The conference itself as well as the European and Polish scholars’ ‘elite’ contribution presented a unique opportunity for science promotion within the Polish scientific environment. Furthermore, it was a special chance to introduce the distinguished personas of the Polish scientific community on an international arena and to demonstrate that the future success of Poland and development of science are strongly interconnected, particularly among the younger generation of scholars.

The conference gathered more than 350 participants, with approximately one third coming from within Poland. The lectures were held by internationally renowned scientists, such as Nobel Prize winners: Robert Huber (chemistry) and Bert Sakmann (Physiology or Medicine), laureates of the Gödel Prize: Moshe Y. VardiT. Kibble – co-discoverers of the „God particle‟, Martin Rees – astronomer, Salvatore Settis –Italian archeologist; laureate of the Gambrinus-Mazzotti Award, Jonathan Israel – notable historian of the Age of Enlightenment, Hans Joachim Schellnhuber–leading figure in global climate change research, Helga Nowotny – sociologist, Head of the European Research Council, Anne Glover – main scientific adviser to the European Commission, two distinguished scholars from Poland – sociologist Piotr Sztompka and physicist Tomasz Dietl, and last but not least Norman Davies – one of the most renowned historians of our days – laureate of this year`s ‘Erasmus Medal’, the highest scientific distinction of the Academia Europaea.

During the official Opening Ceremony, the diplomas were handed over to 10 outstanding young Polish scholars who received the2013 Burgen Scholarships of the AE. The awardees had an opportunity to say a few words of introduction and share their lists of accomplishments with invited guests during the Gala Dinner. The Mayor of Wroclaw, Rafał Dutkiewicz, and the President of Academia Europaea, Lars Walloe, greeted honorable guests at the Town Hall during the Welcome Reception. The Official Gala took place at the Wroclaw Congress Center the following day. During the dinner, the Burgen Scholars, as well as AE President Lars Walloe, First AE President, Sir Arnold Burgen, and the representative of the French Academy of Sciences, Prof. Yvon Le Maho and representative of the Royal Society of London – Professor Lord Rees of Ludlow (former President of the Royal Society), delivered their speeches of congratulation to the AE. The Wroclaw multimedia fountain display was a highlight of the evening.

The substantive part of the conference was prepared by AE Program Committee members. All the logistics was smoothly taken care of by the team of Academia Europaea Wroclaw Knowledge Hub, kindly assisted by the Convention Bureau – Wroclaw (working on behalf of the City of Wroclaw) and the Head office of the AE in London.

Additional events and meetings during AE Conference

Several additional events and meetings took place concurrently with the anniversary conference. These included: Board Meeting of All European Academies (ALLEA)Board Meeting with Annual Conference of the Young Academy of Europe (YAE), accompanying exhibition of young artists“Areas under Curves” and “Early Modern Print Culture in Central Europe Seminar”.

“Areas under Curves” Exhibition

The exhibition presented four artists related to the Academy of Young Scholars and Artists and employed at the Eugeniusz Geppert Academy of Art and Design.

The Academy of Young Scholars and Artists is a platform for interdisciplinary, free and intense intellectual exchange. The first in Poland, the Academy was launched in 2010. The Academy provides space for its members representing various fields to realize the ancient ideal of the unity of learning. Members of the Academy were actively involved not only in the exhibition, but also in the Annual Meeting of the Academia Europaea. They participated in the conference as individual session speakers (Ewa Jankowska) and Burgen Scholars (Adam Krężel and Bartłomiej Skowron). More information at:

“Early Modern Print Culture in Central Europe” Seminar 

The Wrocław Seminars is an initiative of Academia Europaea,University of Wrocław and Riksbankens Jubileumsfond appointed as a three-year project including three international seminars. This whole projectis intended mainly for young researchers (before the doctorate or right after it) from Central and Eastern Europe. AE Board wants to transform this initiative into multiannual program aiming at the development of scientific and research bridges between Western Europe and Central and Eastern Europe.

The first seminar Early Modern Print Culture In Central Europe took place at the same time as 25th Conference of Academia Europaea from16 to 18 September 2013, at the Faculty of Philology, University of Wrocław. Support and substantial assistance of the Dean of Faculty Prof. Marcin Cieński and professor of the Netherlands Philology Prof. Stefan Kiedroń were of invaluable help.

The program of the seminar was designed to enable a development of a platform to exchange opinions between experienced scientists from Europe and USA and young researchers mainly from Central and Eastern European countries who are at the beginning of their academic careers. The seminar gathered more than 50 persons, with 24 presenting their papers. Such great personalities as Prof. Jonathan Israel – great historian of the Age of Enlightenment or Prof. Andrzej Borowski from the Jagiellonian University, Prof. Bela Mester from the Budapest Unviersity and Prof. Anne-Marie Rimm from the Uppsala University participated in the seminar.

The seminar’s Scientific Committee decided on connecting the event with the annual conference of Academia Europaea taking place in Wrocław at the same time. This decision gave young scholars from Central and Eastern Europe the unique chance to participate in such an important European scientific event as AE conference.

The International Seminar Early Modern Print Culture In Central Europe will be implemented in Wrocław for several years as the project named The Wrocław Seminars. The project has established foundations for integration of various scientific communities, especially for developing bridges connecting scholars from Central and Eastern Europe with those from Western Europe. Financial support of the conference by Riksbankens Jubileumsfond funds contributed to accomplishment of assumed goals and affected positively internationalization and development of research and development potential in Poland.

Visiting Lectures
As in 2012, the Wrocław Hub arranged a series of lectures for local students. The purpose of these visits is to bring distinguished researchers to Wrocław in order to enhance the quality of higher education and supplement various faculties of the University.

The first visiting lecture was held at Wrocław University of Environmental and Life Sciences and led by Professor Lars Walløe, the president of Academia Europaea. In this lecture, Professor Lars Walløe talked about “Epidemics of the bubonic plague, their causes and consequences for European history in the late medieval and early modern period”.

In addition, Academia Europaea Knowledge Hub –Wrocław invited two AE members to make a contribution to “Summer School on Democracy: How old and new democracies cope with the economic crisis” organized by the University of Wrocław in cooperation with the University of Koblenz – Landau, Université libre de Bruxelles, the Babes-Bolyai University and the University of Bucharest. Professor Pieter Emmer, the Board Member of the AE shared his view on the impact of decolonisation on European politics between 1945 and 1975. Professor Klaus von Beyme, one of the most important representatives of comparative political science, gave a lecture about transformations of politics and economics in Eastern Europe. All lectures were streamed live.

Students interships and bilateral agreements

Thanks to two bilateral agreements signed between the Academia Europaea, Jan Nowak-Jeziorański College Foundation of Eastern Europe in Wrocław and the University of Wrocław the Wrocław Hub is open for MA students. In 2013 four students were pursuing their traineeships at AE Office: Anna Malanda (MA Student from the Faculty of English, University of Wrocław), Patrick Kozakiewicz (Dual MA Student of Political Science Department, University of Wrocław), Patrycja Piątkiewicz (MA Student from the Faculty of Romance Philology, University of Wrocław) and Mateusz Ball (MA Student of Political Science Department, University of Wrocław).

Internship basic duties, among other things, were: familiarization of the structure and operations within the AE, editing the AE website (text structure, text selection, editing, formatting) and working with Wiki syntax, helping with co-organising lectures and conferences, translation, verification, writing and proofreading of documents and texts.

In addition, all parties of the agreements decided to make a commitment to the development and maintenance of long-term cooperation in the areas of higher/further education, science and promotion of scholarships. Cooperation between the parties is executed through programs of mutually agreed activities: co-organisation of international scientific conferences, seminars and summer schools, exchange of experiences in the field of education and training programs to adapt to the needs of the labour market, internationalisation of scholars from Wrocław with Academia Europaea members.

Daily work

Simultaneously to already mentioned activities the Academia Europaea Knowledge Hub – Wrocław:

  • supports Graz Information Centre in updating website and profiles,
  • supports Nomination Process in preparing and sending welcome packs to new members of Academia Europaea (elected in Bergen and in Wrocław),
  • organizes Board Meetings in Wrocław (June and September 2013),
  • produced and officially launched promo movie planner guide of Wrocław,
  • refreshed promotional materials of the Academia Europaea (leaflets, folders, roll-ups, brochures, Directory 2012 and 2013, etc.).