Science and research
Czech scientific successes


Most prestigious scientific award - “Česká hlava”

photo:  (www.ceskahlava.cz)

Being awarded the title Česká hlava (“Czech Brains”) is considered a huge success as it is the most prestigious award in the Czech Republic, in a sense the Czech Nobel Prize.

The “Česká hlava” Prize began as a project promoting science and technology in 2002. It is divided into several categories, the most prestigious of which is the National Prize of the Government of the CR - “Česká hlava”.  

The competition categories currently included in the completion are as follows:
- the National Prize “Česká hlava” of the Government of the CR
- the Kapsch Invention Prize
- the ČEZ Patria Prize 
- the Industry Prize of the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the CR
- the Prize of the Minister of the Environment of the CR 

- the Doctorandus Prize of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of the CR
- the Gaudeamus Prize of the General Health Care Insurance Company of the CR (VZP ČR)
- the Special Jury Prize

The “Česká hlava” Prize is closely linked to the project České hlavičky (“Little Czech Brains”), in which primary and secondary school students whose scientific research and activities aroused the expert jury’s interest are awarded the prize.  

The annual “Česká hlava” Award ceremony is an important social event attended, among others, by the members of parliament. It is aired in the prime time of the public service channel of the CR  Česká televize (Czech Television).

In 2013, the main prize, i.e. the National Prize “Česká hlava” of the Government of the CR, was awarded to Professor František Šmahel from the Centre for Medieval Studies in Prague by the Institute of Philosophy of the Academy of Sciences of the CR. Professor Šmahel is a prominent Czech historian, who specialises in medieval history, especially the period of the reign of the Luxembourg Dynasty and the Bohemian Reformation.

The Kapsch Invention Prize for an extraordinary scientific feat was given to engineer Ilona Millerová from the Institute of Scientific Instruments of the Academy of Sciences of the CR. She was awarded for her long-term and systematic research of electron microscopes. The Czech Republic was the third country in the world to devise an electron microscope. Engineer Müllerová continues the tradition of electron optics research at the Institute of Scientific Instruments in Brno.  
The Patria Prize is traditionally given to scientists or managers who have been successful abroad.  In 2013, the award went to Professor Mikuláš Popovič (Institute of Human Virology and University of Maryland, Baltimore). His first discovery proved that the human retrovirus is the cause of adult T-cell leukaemia (white blood cells that belong among the lymphocytes). This finding paved the way for identifying the retroviral origin of AIDS. Professor Popovič was the first one to determine the conditions for quantum spreading of HIV. This discovery was used for assembling the first diagnostic test of the HIV infection. As it soon started to be used in practice, this breakthrough prevented the worst-case scenario – spreading of the HIV infection through blood infusion.  

You may read about the other awarded people and prizes here.
Author: Ivana Jenerálová
Source: www.ceskahlava.cz
Added: 03.01.2014

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