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The General Assembly of the members of the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences was held on 12 April 2022. At the beginning of the event, the Presidium of the Academy of Sciences, the members of the scientific divisions and all the participants observed a minute of silence in memory of Academician Vincentas Dienys. Algirdas Vaclovas Valiulis, Jūratė Sprindytė, Gytis Juška, Romualdas Karazija, Vaidutis Kučinskas, Zenonas Dabkevičius, and Rymantas Jonas Kažys, members of the Academy, were awarded commemorative medals of the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences.
Then the prizes named after outstanding Lithuanian scholars were awarded. The chairs of the scientific divisions Vytautas Nekrošius, Leonas Valkūnas, and Gintautas Dzemyda introduced the winners and their works.
The Kazimieras Būga Prize in linguistics was awarded to Prof. Bonifacas Stundžia, a member of the Academy, for his fundamental research in Baltic studies and consistent continuation of Kazimieras Būga traditions. The Juozas Matulis Prize in chemistry was awarded to Prof. Sigitas Tumkevičius for his research study ‘Design of functional heterocyclic organic materials, development of synthesis methods, study and application of their properties’. The Adolfas Jucys Prize in theoretical physics was awarded to Prof. Gediminas Gaigalas for his scientific work ‘Secondary quantisation and additional symmetries in atomic physics: theory and practical applications’, and the Kazimieras Baršauskas Prize in electronics and electrical engineering went to Dr Alvydas Lisauskas and Dr Kęstutis Ikamas for their scientific work ‘Terahertz electronics: application of plasma waves to the operation of semiconductor devices above the cutoff frequencies’.
The meeting continued with the awards to the winners of the competitions for the best research works by young researchers and doctoral students and the winners of the best research performed by students in higher education. Based on the results of the competition, twelve prizes and three certificates of merit were awarded to young scientists and doctoral students, and fifteen prizes and four certificates of merit went to the students in higher education. Prof. Zenonas Dabkevičius, Vice President of the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences, read the resolutions of the Presidium on the winners of the competitions, and Prof. Jūras Banys, President of the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences, handed the insignia of excellence to the laureates.
Professor Banys introduced the 2021 Scholarship Diploma of the Theodor von Grotthuss Foundation of the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences. The scholarship was awarded to Šarūnė Daškevičiūtė-Gegužienė, a doctoral student of Kaunas University of Technology, as certified by Prof. Aivaras Kareiva, the chair of this foundation.
The time then came for yet another ceremony: the awards of the State Commission of the Lithuanian Language, with which this organization traditionally honours the authors of the most fluent Lithuanian-language works submitted to the competitions of the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences. Audrys Antanaitis, chair of the commission, said in his introductory address that he was immensely pleased at the respect and love shown by the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences to the Lithuanian language. It is very important that the Academy and its members nurture and promote the Lithuanian language through their work.
Professor Banys presented to the assembly the report on the activities of the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences for 2021. He emphasised that five general assemblies of the members of the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences were held last year. Since one of the Academy's most important functions is that of expert advice, five resolutions had been drafted with proposals on pandemic management and vaccination, management of water resources, development of the IT system in Lithuania, and communication security at the state border. Members of the Academy participated in the activities of international associations of which the Academy is a member. The pandemic also led to the emergence of innovative events. One of them was a remote meeting of the members of the Division of Biological, Medical, and Geosciences with foreign members in order to establish closer cooperation with them and learn about their work. The leadership of the Academy met with representatives of foreign embassies, other academies of sciences, and a delegation from Taiwan. Thus, the year 2021 was memorable and active.
At the end of the general assembly, a vote was taken to approve the Academy’s activity report for 2021 and the report on the use of budgetary funds. This was followed by a vote on the 2022 estimates for the Academy’s programme ‘Developing research and improving the efficiency of the use of research results’. Both resolutions were adopted by consensus. At the end of the meeting, Prof. Banys invited the leaders of the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences, the State Commission of the Lithuanian Language, the president of the Theodor von Grotthuss Foundation, and the winners of the competitions for a joint photo.
Dr Rolandas Maskoliūnas, chief specialist for public relations
Photo Virginija Valuckienė
Translated by Diana Barnard