The Learned Society is an association of distinguished scholars of the Czech Republic.
Its main goal is to support the free conduct of research and the furtherance of scientific knowledge.
In 1952, the Czech scientific community lost its freely elected representation - The Royal Bohemian Society of Learning (founded in the end of the 18th century) and the Czech Academy of Sciences and Arts (founded in 1890). Many excellent scientists then became members or corresponding members of the newly established Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences. However, this was a strongly politicized body that was dissolved after 1989. Efforts of distinguished scientists including Professor Otto Wichterle led in 1994 to establish the Learned Society as a new organization, representing Czech science following in its best tradition.
17 January 2023
The Learned Society of the Czech Republic organises a panel discussion on the access to scientific publications:
Heroic Librarians Fighting Publishing Sharks
on Tuesday, January 17, 2023, 4 p.m.
Czech Academy of Sciences, Národní 3, Praha 1, Room 206
Zoom: invited guests will receive their access data shortly before the start
First, there will be short presentations of each of the panelists. Moderated discussion will follow.
- Vinciane Gaillard (participates remotely) - Deputy Director Research & Innovation at European University Association (EUA)
- Jiří Jirát - Member of the Czech negotiation team CzechELib
- Gerard Meijer - Director at the Fritz Haber Institute of the Max Planck Society and Vice-chair of the German negotiation team DEAL
- Martin Svoboda - Head of the negotiating team for electronic resources, Director of the Czech National Library of Technology
The discussion is organized by Prof. Martin Loebl from the Section of Mathematical and Physical Sciences of the Learned Society.
Poster for download (pdf)
2 January 2023
Prof. Petr Nachtigall died at the age of 59
At the beginning of the new year, we received the sad news. On 28 December 2022, a member of the Learned Society, Prof. Petr Nachtigall, Ph.D., died at the age of 59.
Photo Hynek Glos, Charles University
Petr Nachtigall, a physical and theoretical chemist, internationally renowned expert in the theoretical study of materials, studied physical chemistry at Charles University. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh. After returning to Prague, he worked at the J. Heyrovsky Institute of Physical Chemistry of the Czech Academy of Sciences and later at the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS.
In 2009, he joined the Faculty of Science of Charles University, where he headed the (Nano)Materials modeling group at the Department of Physical and Macromolecular Chemistry. He co-founded the Charles University Centre of Advanced Materials - CUCAM, and most recently participated in the preparation of the new bachelor program Science.
His research was focused on the theoretical investigation of surface properties of solids (e.g. zeolites), related mainly to gas adsorption and catalytic processes involving microporous and nanostructured materials.
The last farewell will take place on 6 January 2023 at 2 pm at Rajská zahrada park in Prague 3.
Funeral announcement (pdf)
16 July 2022
The Learned society of the Czech Republic endorses the statement of the Czech Rectors Conference on the Russian attack on the university in Mykolaiv
At least ten Russian missiles hit two universities in Mykolaiv, Ukraine, on Friday, 15 July. The Czech Rectors Conference (CRC) strongly condemned the attack in its statement which the Learned Society fully endorses.
"Yesterday's attack on Ukrainian universities only further confirms Russia's disrespect for any civilizational values and deep hatred of freedom. [...] In this context, the Czech Rectors Conference calls on all members of the Czech Republic's political representation to continue to work systematically with European partners and allies to ensure that similar crimes committed by Russia do not go unanswered and that support and assistance to Ukraine continue..."
You can find the full text of the statement below. The Learned Society condemns the barbaric Russian attack on Ukrainian educational institutions and fully supports the CRC statement.
On behalf of the Council of the Learned Society of the Czech Republic:
prof. RNDr. Libor Grubhoffer, CSc. - President
prof. RNDr. Martin Loebl, CSc. – 1st Vice-president
prof. Mgr. Pavel Jungwirth, DSc. – 2nd Vice-president
RNDr. Ivo Starý, CSc. – Scientific Secretary
RNDr. Šárka Nečasová, DSc. – Member
prof. Ing. Michal Hocek, CSc., DSc. – Member
prof. MUDr. Michal Anděl, CSc. – Member
prof. Lenka Karfíková, Dr. theol. – Member
full text of the statement:
Statement of the Czech Rectors Conference on the Russia's Attack on Universities in Mykolaiv, Ukraine
Rectors of Czech Republic HEIs, members of the Czech Rectors Conference, are deeply shaken and outraged by Russia's missile attack on universities in Mykolaiv, Ukraine. Yesterday's attack on the two largest universities in this Ukrainian city is another in a series of war crimes committed by Russia on the territory of a sovereign and independent neighboring state. After the attacks on theaters, hospitals, churches and shopping centers, universities are now coming next.
The smoke screen of constant Russian lies, manipulations and fabrications cannot hide the true nature of reality, which is the senseless, unjustifiable and criminal Russian aggression against independent Ukraine and the brutal and bloody offensive war waged against the entire Ukrainian society and its democratic establishment.
With its current aggressive war policy, Russia cannot be considered a civilized state. With its actions in Ukraine, Russia has not only been systematically committing war crimes for many months, but also fulfills the signs of state terrorism with its barbaric attacks on civilian targets and the civilian population. Yesterday's attack on Ukrainian universities is another such act that only further confirms Russia's disrespect for any civilizational values and deep hatred of freedom.
In this context, the Czech Rectors Conference calls on all members of the political representation of the Czech Republic to continue to systematically work together with European partners and allies to ensure that similar crimes committed by Russia do not go unanswered and that support and assistance to Ukraine continue, including support and assistance to workers and students of Ukrainian universities who may be affected or threatened in any way.
Brno, 15 July 2022
On behalf of the Czech Rectors Conference
Prof. Martin Bareš
Statement of the CRC (pdf)
3 March 2022
Give honorary EU membership to Ukraine now!
Appeal to the governments of the European Union and to the European Council
The Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky signed the EU membership application of Ukraine on Monday February 28. We are convinced that Ukrainians have earned already the moral right for EU membership by their heroic fight for their as well as our freedom and democracy. At the same time, we understand that the formal procedure for acquiring EU membership takes time. However, in face of the escalating military aggression of the Russian army against Ukraine there is no time to waste. Therefore, we appeal urgently to the governments of the EU and to the European Council to grant Ukraine a honorary EU membership and start accession talks towards full EU membership of Ukraine now! At the same time and for the same reason, we urge you to bestow the Honorary Citizenship of Europe (which should also serve as a blueprint for establishing the honorary EU membership) upon president Volodymyr Zelensky.
In name of the Board of the Learned Society of the Czech Republic
Pavel Jungwirth (president)
Appeal for download (pdf)
1 March 2022
Joint Statement in Support of Ukraine
On the sixth day after the invasion of Ukraine by the Russian army, the representatives of umbrella organizations of scientists involved in basic research in natural sciences and humanities and academics in the medical and engineering sciences reiterate their condemnation of this reckless, cruel, inhuman, and senseless act, and identify with previous statements of the Learned Society of the Czech Republic. We call for maximum help to invaded Ukraine and call on the Russian aggressor to stop all fighting and to withdraw the Russian army completely from the territory of Ukraine.
At the same time, we express solidarity with our colleagues from Ukraine and with all the people of this cruelly tested country. The determination and heroism of the Ukrainians defending their homes, cities, the entire country, and its freedom and independence, inspires our deep admiration and sympathy.
Our respect goes also to the large number of Russian academics, artists, journalists, students and many others who have raised their voices to stop the war. This war not only leads to death and injury to body and soul, but also significantly erodes the trust that has prevailed for many decades among ordinary people in the West and East of the European continent. It is the voice of these people that we see as a hope not only for an end to this criminal war, but also as the seed for future trust between the states of the European Union and Russia.
Rebuilding trust will be a very long process. Its first step must be the unconditional cessation of fighting by the Russian aggressor and the withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine. As academics from a small country in the centre of Europe, we are convinced that the path to future peace is not only possible but absolutely necessary, and we are ready to help in any way we can.
On behalf of the Learned Society of the Czech Republic
Pavel Jungwirth, President
On behalf of the Czech Medical Academy
Michal Anděl, President
On behalf of the Engineering Academy of the Czech Republic
Petr Zuna, CSc., President
Statement for download (pdf)
26 February 2022
No time to waste!
Urgent appeal to the governments of the European Union and the United States
Ukrainians are fighting heroically for their freedom and democracy. But they are also fighting for our freedom and democracy and, if only for that reason, we must help them efficiently and without any delay. How much longer can they stand alone against the Russian military aggression? Time now counts in days if not hours, therefore, time to act decisively is now!
We thus urge you to do the following:
- Provide all possible military and non-military help to the Ukrainians and assist them efficiently in defending their country now.
- Impose the harshest possible sanctions on the Russian aggressor, including disconnection from the SWIFT banking system, immediately.
In our country, due to historical experience, we know very well what totalitarianism is and we perceive sharply when freedom is in danger. We have also learned from history that aggression must be fought back immediately and by all means and that in face of evil one cannot remain neutral. We accept the fact that efficient help to Ukraine implies costs and sacrifice on our side as well. But let us not be mistaken – at the gates of Kyiv the fight is not only for Ukraine, but also for us and whole free world!
President of the Learned Society of the Czech Republic
Biologist and theologian
Appeal for download (pdf)
25 February 2022
Open letter from Russian scientists and science journalists against war with Ukraine
(News in English: EU Reporter)
Reaction of the Learned Society of the Czech Republic:
We have great respect for Russian science and all that it has contributed, and what you yourself contribute, to the world treasury of knowledge. That is why we welcome and highly appreciate your brave stance on the aggression unleashed by your country's leadership against Ukraine and its people. We stand with you and we wish that common sense and respect for international law prevail, as you have demanded from the representatives of your country, the Russian Federation.
With great admiration and assurance of our solidarity, on behalf of the Learned Society of the Czech Republic,
president of the Learned Society of the Czech Republic
initiator of the letter, member of the Learned Society of the Czech Republic
Мы высоко ценим русскую науку и все её достижения, как и Ваш личный вклад, который Вы делаете в мировую сокровищницу знаний.
Именно поэтому мы горячо приветствовали и высоко оценили Вашу мужественную позицию в отношении агрессии, которую Ваша страна развязала против Украины и других народов.
Мы стоим на Вашей стороне и желаем Вам, чтобы победил здравый разум и уважение к международному праву, которых Вы требуете от представителей своей страны, Русской федерации.
С большим почтением и уверением о нашей солидарности с Вами, от имени Учёного сообщества Чешской республики,
президент Учёного сообщества Чешской республики
инициатор письма, член Учёного сообщества Чешской республики
24 February 2022
In the Name of Science: Urging for Peace!
An open letter from the scientific community of the Czech Republic to the Russian Academy of Science.
Dear Russian colleagues,
We were greatly appalled to receive the news about the open war that Russia has begun against Ukraine.
The community of scholars in the Czech Republic is appealing to you, as members of the worldwide scientific community, as well as citizens of the Russian Federation, to address the government of your country with a call to listen to the voice of reason; no international disagreements, no differences of opinion, and no alleged fears about the future of national minorities in the nearby countries, give anyone the right to employ military force, nor do they justify the destruction of cities and villages, and the killing of civilians and soldiers who defend their land.
We are calling upon you, in the name of science that admits no borders and gives us the common field in which the multi-national worldwide community of researchers draws their delight, to make an appeal to the Russian government: The undeclared and brutal aggression against Ukraine must stop. Russia has to respect international laws and agreements that it signed in recent decades. It is necessary to listen to the voice of reason and with it to the voice of humanity. War runs over the principles on which the community of scholars stands, and it is to this community that you and we belong. Help us to stop the war!
In the name of the Learned Society of the Czech Republic
Pavel Jungwirth (president)
Во имя науки: прошение о мире!
Открытое письмо учёного сообщества Чешской республики к Российской академии наук.
Дорогие российские коллеги,
Мы с ужасом восприняли новость о том, что войска Российской федерации начали открытую войну против Украины. Учёное сообщество Чешской республики призывает Вас, как членов мирового содружества учёных, а также граждан Российской федерации, обратиться к властям своей страны с требованием прислушаться к голосу разума: ни международные разногласия, ни различия во мнениях, ни тем более мнимые страхи за судьбу национальных меньшинств в соседних странах, не дают права для военного насилия, не оправдывают уничтожение городов и посёлков, а также убийства гражданского населения и военных, защищающих свою землю.
Обращаемся к Вам с просьбой во имя науки, которая не знает границ и является площадкой отрады для многонационального мирового содружества исследователей, донести призыв к российским властям: необходимо остановить необъявленную, и от того ещё более жестокую, агрессию против Украины. Необходимо вернуться на уровень международного права и уважения договоров, которые Россия подписала за прошлые десятилетия. Необходимо прислушаться к голосу разума, а вместе с ним и к гуманности, идущих рука об руку друг с другом. Война является попранием тех принципов, на которых зиждется сообщество учёных, членами которого и мы с Вами. Помогите её остановить!
От имени Учёного сообщества Чешской республики
Pavel Jungwirth (президент)