Academy elects new leaders

The 188th General Assembly has elected the full-time leaders of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. For the upcoming three years, László Lovász will again serve as the President of the Academy, the Secretary-General will remain Ádám Török and the Deputy Secretary-General Beáta Barnabás. The three Vice Presidents during this term will be József Bokor, Tamás Freund and Lajos Vékás.


9th May, 2017


The nominations were presented by László Keviczky, full member of the MTA and President of the Nominations Committee. László Lovász was re-elected by a large majority as the 20th president of the Academy, while Ádám Török was re-elected as Secretary-General, and Beáta Mária Barnabás as Deputy Secretary-General.

The three Vice Presidents will be Tamás Freund (living natural sciences), Lajos Vékás (social sciences) and newcomer, József Bokor (lifeless natural sciences).

The three full-time officials of the Academy are the President, the Secretary General and the Deputy Secretary-General. They are elected by the General Assembly for three years. The three Vice Presidents also serve a three-year-long term. The President leads the Academy based on the decisions and resolutions passed by the General Assembly, in accordance with the Academy’s Charter. He officially represents the Academy and practices ownership rights regarding the Academy’s estate.

The Secretary-General manages the Secretariat of the Academy and is consequently responsible for the administrative leadership of the research network as well. The Secretary-General is also by default the president of the Council of Research Institutes (AKT).

The Deputy Secretary-General assists the Secretary-General in his work, filling in for him if need be. Vice Presidents are assigned tasks delegated to them by the President and are accountable to the General Assembly.

The members of the General Assembly have also elected the members of the Presidium. Although the primary decision-making body of the Academy is the General Assembly, between two sessions the Presidium serves as the decision maker. The Presidium is composed of the President, the Vice Presidents, the elected chairs of the scientific sections, a representative of the Regional Committees of the MTA, the Secretary-General, the Deputy Secretary-General, three academician and three non-academician representatives elected by the General Assembly and three presidents of research institutes elected by the General Assembly, representing mathematics and lifeless sciences, living natural sciences and social sciences respectively.

The President of the MTA

Mathematician László Lovász was born in Budapest in 1948. He earned his degree equivalent to a PhD in mathematics in 1970, while he received his degree in mathematics and a Dr. rer. nat. title at the Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest in 1971. In 1977, he earned a DSc in mathematics. He was elected as a corresponding member of the MTA in 1979 and as a full member in 1985. His field of research is combinatorics and graph theory together with their application in computer-science and operation theory. His name is associated with several mathematical theories like the Lovász local lemma, the Lovász theta function and the Lenstra–Lenstra–Lovász (LLL) lattice basis reduction algorithm. He played a significant role in elevating one of the main pillars in Hungarian mathematical studies, namely combinatorics, to a level that has made it a defining field within modern mathematics today. Recently, he has dealt with the mathematical bases of large networks, as well as working out a theory of graph limes. László Lovász was awarded the Bolyai Prize in 2007, and the Széchenyi Grand Prize in 2008. Of the great international prizes, he has received the Kyoto and the Wolf Prizes. He has served as the President of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences since 2014.

Secretary-General of the MTA

Economist Ádám Török was born in Budapest, in 1952. He earned a degree at the Marx Károly Economics University, Budapest in 1976. He became a staff member of the MTA Institute of World Economics. His research focused on competition policies, market theories, international economics, economic policy and political aspects of research and development. As a director, he led the Academy’s Industrial and Enterprise Economic Research Institute for seven years between 1991 and 1998. He received the Academy’s doctoral title in 1994. He became a corresponding member in 2001 and a full member in 2007. In 2004, he was elected to be the President of the Academy’s Economic and Law Section, which got him into the Presidium of the MTA. He was elected to be a member thereof on his own right in 2008. Ádám Török has participated in many economic and professional organizations: he led the supervisory board of the Hungarian National Bank between 1993 and 1994. In 2009 he became a member of the Budgetary Committee. He has taught at several Hungarian universities and worked as a visiting professor at several universities abroad. Presently, he is Professor of Economy at the University of Pannonia. He received the Knight’s Cross of the Order of Merit of the Hungarian Republic in 2006. He was elected Secretary-General of MTA in 2014.

Deputy Secretary-General of the MTA

Plant biologist Beáta Mária Barnabás was born in 1948, in Budapest. She earned her degree at the biology-chemistry program, at the Faculty of Science of Eötvös Loránd University. She started her research career at the Agricultural Institute of the MTA. She is specialized in the biology of plant reproduction and biotechnology. Since 1992, she is the head of the Biology Section of the Martonvásár Research Institute as scientific deputy director. She was responsible for creating Hungary’s only plant reproduction workshop. She became a Doctor of the Academy in 1989 and was elected as corresponding member of the MTA in 2007. Recently, she has enriched our knowledge of the processes in the background of the yield-decreasing effects of drought. She has also pursued research focusing on the differentiation of genotypes with varying degrees of resistance to aridity. In 2013, she was elected as full member of the MTA. She is also the Vice-President of the Veszprém Regional Centre of the MTA. She has received several honors, including the Széchenyi Prize in 2012. She has served as Deputy Secretary-General of MTA since 2014.

Vice President of the MTA (living natural sciences)

Neurobiologist Tamás Freund was born in 1959 in Zirc, Hungary. He received his biologist’s degree from Eötvös Loránd University in 1983. He is an internationally recognized scholar of the cortex and serves as the head of the MTA Institute of Experimental Medicine. He received his Doctor of the Academy title in 1992. The MTA elected him as a corresponding member in 1998 and as a full member in 2004. His outstanding scientific results have been recognized by many prestigious prizes both in Hungary and abroad. Together with two other Hungarian academicians, György Buzsáki and Péter Somogyi, he was honored with the 2011 Brain Prize, i.e. the Nobel Prize in brain research, for his research results relating to the organization and functions of the cortex and the hippocampus, the latter being of key importance in processes regarding learning and memory. Tamás Freund is president of the consortium of the National Brain Research Program, launched in 2014 with 12 billion HUF of budgetary resource.

Vice President of the MTA (social sciences)

Scholar of law Lajos Vékás was born in Kolozsvár (Cluj-Napoca, Romania) in 1939. He received his legal doctorate at the Eötvös Loránd University in 1963. With a fresh degree, he started teaching at the Civil Law Department of ELTE, which he was to head later on. At first, he worked as vice-chancellor at his university, followed by a three-year term as rector. He, as a founding rector, led Collegium Budapest for five years. He defended his Doctor of the Academy dissertation in 1984 as a researcher of Hungarian civil law, comparative law and international private law. He had studied several fields of civil law including the law of inheritance and economic law. He also made a comparative study of Hungarian and German common law and the system of Hungarian property law. In 1990, he was elected to be a corresponding member, and in 1995, as a full member of the MTA. As the leader of the Codification High Committee, he undertook a major role in preparing the new Civil Code. Besides a number of other awards, his work was recognized in 2004 with a Széchenyi Prize. He has served as Vice President since 2014.

Vice President of the MTA (lifeless natural sciences)

Electrical engineer József Bokor was born in Tiszadob, Hungary in 1948. He received his degree from the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Budapest University of Technology in 1972. After graduation, he worked as a research fellow at the Institute for Control Engineering and Information Technology of Csepel Works, Budapest. He defended his doctoral thesis in 1977 and in 1983 earned his PhD in engineering sciences. He has been working for the MTA Institute for Computer Science and Control since 1987, and in 2008 was elected Director of Research. He has been lecturing at the Budapest University of Technology and Economics (and its predecessor) since 1982. He received his DSc from the Academy in 1990. In 1992, he was appointed as a university professor at the Control and Transportation Automation Department and two years later he was appointed as head of the department. In 1998, he was elected as a corresponding member of the Academy and since 2001 he has been a full member. His main field of research is automation, especially the theory and automation of linear and multivariable dynamic systems. He is a member of several professional organizations. His results are widely used in the design of vehicles and vehicle dynamics models. In 1987 he was presented with the Academy’s Outstanding Award and in 1994 the Dénes Gábor Medal. Later in 2007 he received the Széchenyi Award and in 2013 the Commander Cross of the Order of Merit of the Hungarian Republic. He was elected a member of the Presidium of the Academy by the General Assembly in 2014.