The first ever Polish Science Day was celebrated on 19 February. The new public holiday was established on the anniversary of Nicolaus Copernicus’s birthday.
One of the key points on the agenda was the first Polish Science Gala. The ceremony, during which outstanding Polish scientists were honoured, took place on 19 February 2020 at the Cultural and Congress Centre Jordanki in Toruń. In recognition of their achievements, the researchers were presented with awards of the Prime Minister for the distinguished doctoral dissertations, habilitation theses and scientific activity, as well as awards of the Minister of Science and Higher Education for lifetime, scientific, teaching, implementation and organisational achievements.
During the ceremony, which was attended by Prof. Andrzej Kowalczyk, the Rector of the University of Silesia, scientists from the University of Silesia were honoured for their significant achievements. The winners of the awards of the Minister of Science and Higher Education include:
- Prof. Andrzej Ślebarski from the Faculty of Science and Technology – for scientific activity,
- Prof. Wiesław Banyś – Rector of the University of Silesia in 2008–2016, Vice-Chairman of the Main Council of Science and Higher Education – for organisational activity,
- Prof. Ewa Rott-Pietrzyk from the Faculty of Law and Administration – for teaching activity,
- Assoc. Prof. Dorota Tarnawska from the Faculty of Science and Technology – for organisational activity,
- as well as Prof. Marek Szczepański from the Faculty of Social Sciences – for organisational activity.
Overall 138 scientists were distinguished. 88 awards of the Minister of Science and Higher Education were presented. A majority of them are individual prizes. They were awarded to 75 academics.
The scientific award “Ratio et Spes”, established by the Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń together with the Joseph Ratzinger-Benedict XVI Vatican Foundation, was also presented during the gala. The international award, whose aim is to promote the interdisciplinary scientific reflection on current issues that are important for the humanity, was presented for the first time.