Book cover of "Sięgając po niezbadane".
Over the last thirty years, the Foundation for Polish Science has donated over one and a half billion PLN to various undertakings related to the development of the scientific community in our country. Which of these initiatives were the most important? It turns out that among the 30 most influential pieces of research financed by FNP, as many as five were carried out by scientists from the University of Gdańsk.
The Foundation for Polish Science was established in 1991. It aims to support the research and development of scientific community. Currently, it is the largest extrabudgetary source of science financing in Poland.
FNP has prepared a book "Reaching for the unexplored" as a summary of its activity so far. Its heroes are scientists who carried out the most influential research funded by the Foundation in the last three decades of its activity. The laureates were selected based on high-quality criteria. Awarded papers had to be among the top 1 per cent of the most highly cited worldwide in a given field.
Five out of the thirty chapters of the edition were devoted to research in which scientists of the University of Gdańsk participated. Among them are:
- Prof. dr hab. Ryszard Horodecki, prof. dr hab. Michał Horodecki, prof. dr hab. Paweł Horodecki, prof. dr hab. Karol Horodecki, prof. UG - International Centre for Theory of Quantum Technologies UG. The chapter "Why quantum entanglement can be a philosophical issue? And what does the cocky egg-man, i.e. Humpty Dumpty, an expert in semantics, whom Alice met on the other side of the mirror, have to say about it?"
- Prof. dr hab. Natalia Marek-Trzonkowska - International Centre for Cancer Vaccine Science (ICCVS), UG and Department of Family Medicine GUMed and prof. dr hab. med. Piotr Trzonkowski - Department of Medical Immunology GUMed. Chapter "Third revolution".
- Prof. dr hab. Tomasz Puzyn - Laboratory of Environmental Chemoinformatics, Faculty of Chemistry UG. The chapter "How to design nanomaterials efficiently and safely? How to develop a method that will allow the analysis of billions of nanoparticle variants, while significantly reducing costs, working time and the number of laboratory animals used?"
- Prof. dr hab. Marek Żukowski - International Centre for Theory of Quantum Technologies, UG, chapter "How does it feel to conduct research on understanding the laws of quantum mechanics with the knowledge that a great deal has already been said on the subject? And yet to propose something original?"
- Prof. dr hab. Karol Życzkowski - National Centre for Quantum Informatics UG, Faculty of Physics, Astronomy and Applied Computer Science UJ. The chapter "Which problems can be solved using a system of mutually unbounded bases? How to use symmetry properties to find a distinguished quantum measurement? How do quantum games differ from classical games?"
The book launch took place on April 12 this year. All winners of the FNP award were invited to the event. - 'I was once watching a horse race and my attention was drawn to a horse named "Reaching for the moon",' - the President of the Foundation, prof. dr hab. Maciej Żylicz began the ceremony - 'Later it turned out that this was the horse of Queen Elizabeth II. I thought then that this is a good motto for the activities of scientists, namely reaching for something that has not yet been explored.'
prof. dr hab. Tomasz Puzyn
- 'In the book and our discussions today, we talk about examples of thirty people whose successes are in some way connected with support from the Foundation. My current score with FNP is 4:3, 4 grants approved and 3 rejected', - said during the book launch, prof. Tomasz Puzyn from the University of Gdańsk. - 'However, I would like to say that these three failures were in some way a springboard to success. The Foundation is one of the few institutions that provide very reliable feedback in case of grant rejections. After receiving such a message you still feel like correcting everything and sending your application to another financing centre. That is why I think that this result is not 4:3, but actually 7:0.'
Prof. dr. hab. Krzysztof Meissner and dr Patrycja Dołowy during the official premiere of the book "Sięgając po niezbadane"
The event was chaired by prof. dr hab. Krzysztof Meissner, an outstanding physicist and populariser of science, and dr Patrycja Dołowy, one of the co-authors of the book, a science journalist and writer. Together they briefly presented each of the featured studies.