The Pro Scientia Lifetime Achievement Award was presented at the General Meeting. The SZAB Presidency established the award in 2019 in recognition of longstanding scholarly activity, scholastic work and creative work. The prize is a statuette by sculptor László Bánvölgyi’s work entitled Albert Einstein 1933, a larger version of which has graced SZAB Székház Square for years.
This year, biologist and biochemist Pal Venetianer, a regular member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, received the prize. In his eulogy it was said that he received a teaching degree in 1957 in the Department of Chemistry and Biology at ELTE. He began his research career at the Institute of Medicinal Chemistry at Semmelweis University. When the MTA Szeged Center for Biological Research was established, he moved to Szeged as a colleague of one of its founders, Professor F. Bruno Staub. He began working at the Institute of Biochemistry, which he later headed as director. Between 1994 and 1996, he was Director General of the Research Center and, as of 1997, Research Professor.
He has conducted research abroad for extended periods on several occasions, including in the United States and Japan. Early in his career, his main research area was gene isolation, which he and his colleagues were the first to apply in Hungary. Later his interest turned to the study of enzymes, which are the most important tools of the molecular biologist. He defended his academic doctoral dissertation in 1975. In 1991 he became a member of the European Molecular Biology Organization, and later its vice-president. In 1992 he was elected a member of the European Academy, and in 1993 a member of the German Leopoldina Academy of Natural Sciences. In addition to more than 120 scientific publications, he is the author of numerous educational articles and several science publishing books. Among others, he was awarded the Imre Szörényi Prize of the Hungarian Society of Biochemistry, the Ferdinand Springer Prize of the European Biochemical Society, and the Middle Cross of the Order of Merit of the Hungarian Republic.
– In 2014, it became the Educational World of the Year, and since then its name has been preserved by kisbolegó. He is a frequent contributor to science media shows, and passionately argues against pseudoscientific opinions, particularly in discussions about genetically modified plants and foods.
The laureate was praised by Tibor Kristen, who, together with SZAB Vice President Lajos Kimiani, presented the award to PAL Venetianer.
“Friendly thinker. Wannabe social media geek. Extreme student. Total troublemaker. Web evangelist. Tv advocate.”