A symposium entitled "The University and its Students" was held at the CU Law Faculty and attended by more than 250 students and teachers from the CR, other European countries, the USA and Canada.
The aim of the conference was to reflect on the role and mission of university teachers and students in the spirit of the idea embraced by Charles IV when he originally founded Charles University - to contribute, in the framework of European or world co-operation, to the development of mutual understanding between "academic people" regardless of nationality, race or religion.
On the occasion of the official ceremonial opening of the symposium on the 9th of September, 1998, the CU Rector, Prof. Karel Maly presented prizes to the winners of a student essay competition on the theme of "Universities after the Year 2000". There had been 21 entries (2 of them written in Slovak and one in English) from twelve universities and higher educational institutions. Most of these addressed the serious existing and potential problems that will face universities in the next century, focusing on various different aspects such as teacher qualifications. international relations and contacts, the globalization and internationalization of inter-university co-operation or the influence of new technologies on the content and methods of teaching in the future.
The committee agreed on the choice of the best six essays, and on the basis of its recommendation the CU Rector decided to award the prizes in this order: First Prize - Lukas Jelinek (Law Faculty of the Masaryk University in Brno), Second Prize - Ing. Vaclav Vinklarek (Law Faculty of Masaryk University in Brno), and Third Prize - Petr Pechacek (Technical University in Liberec).
At the ceremonial conclusion to the symposium on the 12th of September 1998 in the Valdstejn Palace in Prague, the Chairman of the Czech Senate, Petr Pithart spoke of the university as a place where truth can be sought and found through discussions and in dialogue. A second similar meeting planned for 2000 is to be held, once again, at Charles University in Prague.
On the 17th of November, 1998, a ceremonial meeting of the Expanded CU Research Board marked the Day of Student Struggle for Freedom and Democracy. This special meeting was attended not just by students and teachers at Charles University, but also by many leading figures from public and political life, headed by the Czech Prime Minister Milos Zeman.
Part of the meeting of the Research Board was devoted to presentation of the CU Rector's Prizes and the Special CU Rector's Prize. The CU Rector's Prize has been awarded annually since 1995 to the best graduates in Masters' Studies, in medical fields (the Prof. MUDr. Karel Weigner Prize), social sciences and humanities (the Prof. JUDr. Karel Englis Prize), natural sciences (the Prof. RNDr. Jaroslav Heyrovsky Prize), theology (the Josef Dobrovsky Prize) and education (the Prof. PhDr. Vaclav Prihoda Prize). This year the winners of the CU Rector's Prizes were as follows: MUDr, Jiri Pavlu (1st Med. Fac.) for deep interest and excellent results in the field of pathological physiology; Mgr. Lenka Bradacova (Law Fac.) for results in important student competitions, Mgr. Ludmila Drhova (Pharmaceutical Fac. at Hradec Kralove) for deep interest in the field and outstanding motivation in practical service in pharmacies' Mgr. Marketa Holubova (Hussite Theol. Fac.), for outstanding academic ability in the field of Judaistic studies; Mgr. Vit Laitl (Pedagogic Fac.) for many-sided and outstanding activity in his field of studies.
The Special CU rector's Prize, which has also been awarded since 1995, was presented to two students of Charles University: Jana Pokorna, who provided first aid to a fellow student and according to doctors summoned to the scene saved here life, and Jiri Svanda, who helped to hold and disarm the perpetrator of a crime.
As a member country of the European Laboratory for Particle Physics, CERN in Geneva, the Czech Republic is taking part in the prestigious and scientifically very important project of the atlas detector at the LHC accelerator in CERN. A group of researchers from the laboratories of the CU Mathematics and Physics Faculty, the Czech Academy of Sciences, and the Czech Technical University are contributing their work to the construction of the TILECAL calorimeter, which is part of this detector. Representatives of the more than twenty laboratories collaborating on the project have regular working meetings to discuss both the planning, technical and financial problems, and the purely scientific problems to be solved in the framework of the project. On the 7th-10th of November, 1998, one of these meetings was held at the CU Mathematics and Physics Faculty in the context of the celebrations of the 650th anniversary of the founding of Charles University. The meeting also provided an opportunity for the award of medals honouring the work of two important scientists from abroad. A Charles University medal was presented to Dr. Marzio Nessi (CERN) and a CU Mathematics and Physics Faculty Commemorative Medal was presented to Prof. Matteo Cavalli-Sforza (Universidad Autonoma, Barcelona).
As is already traditional, on the 2nd of October, 1998, the Emanuel Boricky Prizes - medals that the CU Natural Sciences Faculty has now been awarding for twenty years to leading scientists who have contributed to the development of petrography and mineralogy, and also to the development of the Prague Natural Sciences Faculty itself - were presented in the Great Hall of the Carolinum. This year the presentation was all the more splendid because it took place as part of the celebrations of the 650th anniversary of the founding of CU. Two Boricky Medals were awarded: to Professor Alan Bruce Thompson from the ETH in Zurich and Professor Jean-Marc Lardeaux, who teaches at the Blaise Pascal University in Lyons. The ceremony was attended by Prof. P.Cepek, CU Vice-Rector, the Vice-Dean of the Natural Sciences Faculty Doc. E. Jelinek, Doc. K. Schulmann, Director of the Institute of Petrology and Structural Geology, and Dr. F. Holub, Advisor for studies at the same institute.
This year, at its 24th conference, the International Byron Society, dedicated to the works of the great English romantic poet, discussed the theme "Byron: East and West". Organized as part of the celebrations of the 650th anniversary of the founding of CU, the conference took place at the CU Philosophical Faculty (last year the IBS had held its annual meeting in Versailles). The conference organizer was doc. PhDr. M. Prochazka, CSc., from the faculty's Centre for Comparative Studies, who also gave the main address. Most of the papers focused on one of three basic thematic areas: East and West in Byron's work, Byron's influence on Eastern and Western culture, and the reading of Byron's texts in the context of past and present cultural, ideological, political or economic traditions.
In honour of the 650th anniversary of the founding of Charles University the CU Pharmaceutical Faculty in Hradec Kralove held a European symposium from the 1st-4th July, 1998, on the theme of "Antimicrobial Agents: Mechanism on Action and Structure - Activity Relationships". At the ceremonial opening of the symposia, the Dean of the Pharmaceutical Faculty in Hradec Kralove, Prof. Eva Kvasnickova, presented a Charles University Commemorative Medal to Prof. H. D. Stachel from the University of Munich. The Chairman of the Association of Chemical Societies, Prof. Simanek awarded a Hanus Medal to Prof. J. K. Seydl from Borstel. Prof. K. Waisser from the CU Pharmaceutical Faculty in Hradec Kralove became an honorary member of the Czech Chemical Society. Contributions presented in the form of plenary lectures, brief verbal reports and posters were made by 86 experts from countries all over Europe.
The Board of the International Association of Egyptologists (IAE) met in Prague this year from 21st-23rd of September. Over these three days, representatives of countries actively involved in Egyptological scholarship discussed the activities and aims of the association in the Imperial Room in the Carolinum. In the interests of strengthening newly established Egyptological centres, the board approved the provision of financial support for the library of the Aigyptos Foundation in Bratislava and the library of the university in Sohag, Egypt. On the basis of a proposal by Prof. Gaballa, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, the IAE passed two resolutions appealing for preservation research in the Nile Delta and the protection of the historical legacy of the necropolis at Giza. At the same time the IAE board approved the launch of the project to reconstruct the Temple of Esset in Behbet el-Haraga, the main goal of which is to increase international interest in the Nile Delta.
The 6th international symposium on information science - ISI '98 - was held from the 4th-7th of November, 1998, in the Carolinum as part of the 650th anniversary of the founding of CU. Its main theme was the problem of knowledge management and communication systems.
This year's meeting was arranged by the CU Philosophical Faculty's Institute of Information Studies and Librarianship, in collaboration with the German "Association of Universities for Information Science," represented during the several days of events in Prague by the Department of Information Science of Saarbrucken University. The symposium was launched in the Great Hall of the Carolinum by the CU Rector Prof. Karel Maly and by Prof. Harald Zimmerman, the representative of the Association of Universities for Information Science. The programme of the four-day symposium was divided into sessions in six expert sections, augmented by the formal announcement of the winner of a competition for the best student work in the field and a seminar on the theme of the Virtual Academy. The international symposium in Prague can be counted among the events that are paving the way for the society of future years, often called the "information society".
On the occasion of the recent scientific conference of medical students at the CU Medical Faculty in Plzen, which was held to mark the important jubilee of the 650th anniversary of the founding of CU, the Association of Students at the Plzen Medical Faculty promised to give 650 litres of blood. This represents an appeal for not just the members of the academic community of their faculty, but all the students, teachers and staff of Charles University, to come and donate blood.
An international symposium, "The Year 1898 in Hispanic Thought and Literature" organized by the CU Philosophical Faculty's Institute of Romance Studies, took place at the Philosophy Faculty on the 7th and 8th of October 1998. It was an occasion marking both the 650th anniversary of the founding of Charles University and the 100th anniversary of the war between Spain and the United States of America.
The symposium was formally launched by the Dean of the CU Philosophical Faculty, doc. PhDr. Frantisek Vrhel, CSc., who greeted those present, including ambassadors of Latin American countries in the CR, representatives of the Czech Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Education, representatives of Spanish, Czech and Slovak universities, students and other guests. The opening lectures were delivered by Jose Luis Remedi Zunini and doc. Josef Forbelsky. They dealt mainly with the importance of 1898 and reactions to it in the Hispano-American and Central European context.
The international symposium on "The Year 1898 in Hispanic Thought and Literature", a fitting tribute both to the university anniversary and to the anniversary of a year so important for the Hispanic world, met with a warm response among the representatives of Ibero-American embassies in the CR, academics and students who attended the meeting in large numbers.
A symposium entitled "Prague and its University in German Literature and Literature Written in German in the Czech Lands" took place on the 12th-13th of November, 1998 in the Carolinum. It was organized by the Department of German, Dutch and Nordic Studies at the CU Philosophical Faculty, as part of its programme of collaboration with the University of Hamburg.
The Hamburg and Prague Germanists concentrated on the subject of Prague German writers, and their relationship to Prague and its university. Attention was focused on the central theme of the symposium, i.e. the life and work of Franz Kafka and Rainer Maria Rilke. The different methodological approaches to this theme taken in Hamburg and Prague proved to be a stimulus to discussion between the students and teachers of both universities, and comparison was fruitful for each side. An important aspect of the event was the participation of Prof. E. Goldstucker, whose name has long been synonymous with the promotion of Prague German literature in Western Europe and elsewhere in the world.
A conference on the theme of "Traditions of Antiquity in Central European Architecture of the Later 19th Century" was held from the 9th-15th of November as part of the programme of co-operation between the University of Vienna and Charles University, and also as one of the events organized for the 650th anniversary of the founding of Charles University. The papers presented and discussion showed that the traditions of Antiquity remain a living common legacy that already linked us in the 19th Century and can still do so today. Not even in the contemporary world can new architecture and its decoration emerge without reference to the inheritance of ancient art, although at different times precedence has been given to different stylistic models. The traditions of antiquity were particularly strong among the historicizing styles of the 19th century, and these in turn became precursors of the next artistic movement, Art Nouveau, which had an even more striking effect on the appearance of Prague. This movement, of course, drew less on classicism than in the then newly discovered Egyptian antiquities of the Bronze Age.
One of the events scheduled as part of the celebrations of the 650th anniversary of the founding of CU in Prague was the European Meeting of members of the Paleopathological Society. This year's European meeting (26th - 29th of August, 1998) was the twentieth such annual event and the first to be held in a former socialist country. This was the result of efforts by the Institute for the History of Medicine at the CU 1st Medical Faculty in Prague together with the Society for the History of Science and Technology in Prague and the Anatomy Institute of the Medical Faculty of Masaryk University in Brno. The meeting was attended by a hundred researchers from nineteen European countries and four overseas states - the USA, Canada, Egypt and Jordan.
The conference was ceremonially opened in the Carolinum on the 27th of August, 1998. After addresses by university dignitaries and the President of the Association, Eva Cockburn, the Vice-Rector Prof. MUDr. J. Koutecky presented jubilee and commemorative university medals to three distinguished foreign representatives of paleopathology: Prof. Dr. D. J. Orten (Washington), Prof. Dr. M. Schultz (Gottingen) and Ms. Eva Cockburn (Detroit). Doc. MUDr. P. Hach, Dean of the CU 1st Medical Faculty, then awarded faculty commemorative medals to four Czech paleopathologists: RNDr. A. Nemecek, Prof. MUDr. E. Vlcek, Prof. MUDr. L. Vyhnanek and Prof. MUDr. PhDr. E. Strouhal.
In honour of the 650th anniversary of the founding of CU, the 1st CU Medical Faculty organized the 8th conference on research into pigmentary cells, in collaboration with the Czech Dermatovenereological Society and the Czech Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.
The focus of discussion was pigmentary cells and tissue in multidisciplinary perspective with the aim of developing uses for their properties in the treatment of pigmentary disorders and for the diagnosis and therapy of malignant melanoma, cases of which have been increasing alarmingly not only in the CR, but elsewhere in Europe and in the USA. The conference was attended by most of the leading scientists in this field from 14 countries of Europe, the USA, Japan and Australia. At the ceremonial opening, 1st Medical Faculty Commemorative Medals were presented to Prof. P. A. Riley (Great Britain), for long-term support of CU staff, Prof. F. Meyskems (USA) for deepening co-operation between the CR and the USA in the field of research on malignant melanoma, and Prof. J. Duchon (CR) for training a series of researchers in the field.
On the eve of the 80th anniversary of the establishment of the Czechoslovak Republic (the 27th of October, 1998), this important event was recalled in the Great Hall of the Carolinum by participants at a formal meeting of the CU Research Board together with the Edvard Benes Society. Presiding over the meeting were CU Rector Prof. Karel Maly, members of his Collegium (Vice-Rectors Prof. Koutecky and Prof. Panek), and all the deans of the CU faculties.
After the guests had been welcomed the Rector of Charles University spoke first. In his address, Prof. Maly summarized the reasons for the existence of the Czechoslovak and Czech state, but did not. of course, dwell only on historical reminiscences; after recalling the struggles of our predecessors to forge a modern nation in the 19th Century he went on to mention the present path being taken by the Czech nation to membership of the EU. According to the Rector, this should not be a matter of hesitant steps by an impoverished, terrified relation, but of confident entry by a partner state, aware of the spiritual and intellectual qualities which it can contribute to the development of the cultural wealth of Europe.
The meeting continued with a formal lecture by Prof. PhDr. Robert Kvacek of the Institute of Czech History at the CU Philosophical Faculty. In an excellent speech he returned to the very roots of the idea of an independent state, and also briefly summarized the ideals, opinions and political principles of T. G. Masaryk. He then went on to consider the nationalities policy of the new state and the sources of the personality and authority of President Masaryk (who was President for 17 years). At the end of his lecture this important 20th-century Czech historian looked at the escalation of German nationalism, and in his final summary emphasized the still living "legacy" of the twenty-year period of the First Republic, which he called a major experiment in democracy in Central Europe.
A conference entitled "Investor Expectations in a Global Market Place - the Role of Corporate Governments", was arranged by three institutions" Georgetown University, Washington D.C., USA, the Woodstock Theological Center, Washington D. C., and the Faculty of Social Sciences at Charles University.
The discussion centered on two themes in particular, which the speakers considered from a wide range of perspectives. The first theme was that of strategic partnerships between companies, and the second, more tightly defined, was that of the practices of company management and the relationship between owners and managements in these concerns (corporate government).
If you are interested in who's who in the Czech Republic (or who is with whom, where, why and what), all you need to do is drop into your nearest book shop and buy the new, third edition of the present series of the society-wide encyclopaedia called "Who's Who in the Czech Republic at the turn of the 20th Century" [Kdo je kdo - v Ceske republice na prelomu 20. stoleti].
This new edition of Who's Who contains 5,000 entries, which means - for illustration - 4,000 pages of typescript and 736 printed pages. Here the reader will find detailed information on 5,000 living personalities in the CR from all areas of human activity. In addition to biographical data, you can learn about their hobbies and favourite activities, and discover what their parents or siblings do or did, their credo in life, and in appropriate cases a list of their works.