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 (Life Sciences), Lajos Vékás (Social Sciences) and newcomer, József Bokor (Physical 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 Life Sciences, Physical Sciences and Social Sciences respectively.

The President of the MTA

Mathematician László Lovász was born in 1948 in Budapest. He earned the title of Candidate of Mathematics in 1970, while he earned a mathematics degree and a Dr. rer. nat. title at the Eötvös Loránd University of Sciences in 1971. In 1977 he became a Doctor of Mathematics, and was elected as an academician in 1979, to be elected as an ordinary member of MTA in 1985. His field of research was combinatorics and graph theory together with their application in computer science and operation theory. He has to his name the “Lovász local lemma,” “the Lovász theta function,” and the “Lenstra-Lenstra-Lovász algorithm.” He has played a great role in one of the main fields of Hungarian mathematics, combinatorics, which became a defining field in modern mathematics. Recently, he has dealt with the mathematic basis of large networks and has worked out a theory of graph lines. Professor Lovász earned a Bolyai Prize in 2007 and a Széchenyi Grand Prize in 2008. Of the great international prizes, he has received the Kyoto and Wolf Prizes.

Secretary-General of the MTA

Economist Ádám Török was born in Budapest in 1952. He earned a degree at the Marx Károly Economics University in 1976, becoming a staff member of the MTA’s World Economics Research Institute. Occupying a central role in his research were competition policies, market theories, international economics, economic policy and research and development. As a director, he led the MTA’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 MTA’s Economy and Law Section, which led to him becoming part of the Presidency of the MTA. He was elected to be a member thereof in his own right in 2008. Ádám Török has participated in many economic and professional organisations: he led the supervisory committee of the Hungarian National Bank in 1993 and 1994, and in 2009 he became a member of the Budgetary Committee. As an educator, he taught at many Hungarian institutions of higher learning and as a guest professor at several foreign universities. Presently, he is Professor of Economics at Pannon University. Among his decorations, he received the Knights’ Cross of the Order of the Hungarian Republic in 2006.

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 Faculty of the Natural Sciences Division of Eötvös Loránd University of Sciences. She started her research work with the Agricultural Research Institute of the MTA. Her specialist area was the biology of plant reproduction and biotechnology. Since 1992, she has led the Biology Section of the Martonvásár Research Institute as Scientific Deputy Director. She has been responsible for creating Hungary’s only plant reproduction workshop. She received the title Doctor of the MTA in 1989 and was elected as a corresponding member of the Academy in 2007. Recently, she has enriched our knowledge of the processes in the background of the yield-decreasing effects of drought. She has also directed research focusing on differentiating between genotypes with varying degrees of resistance to aridity. In 2013 she was elected as a full member of the MTA. The Vice-President of the Veszprém Regional Centre of thr MTA has been recognised with several distinctions, including the Széchenyi Prize in 2012.

Vice President of the MTA (Life Sciences)

Neurobiologist Tamás Freund was born in 1959 in Zirc. He earned his Biology degree from Eötvös Loránd University of Sciences in 1983. He is an internationally acknowledged cortex scholar and Director of the MTA’s Experimental Medical Research Institute. He acquired the Doctor of the Academy title in 1992. The Academy elected him as a corresponding member in 1998 and as an ordinary member in 2004. His outstanding scientific results have been recognised with many prestigious prizes at home and abroad. Together with two other Hungarian academicians, György Buzsáki and Péter Somogyi, he was decorated with the 2011 Brain Prize, the Nobel Prize of brain research, for his research results regarding the organisation and functions of the cortex and the hyppocampus, the latter of which is of key importance in learning and memory processes. Tamás Freund is President of the consortium of the National Brain Research Program, started in 2014 with a budget of 12 billion HUF.

Vice President of the MTA (Social Sciences)

Scholar of Law Lajos Vékás was born in Kolozsvár in 1939. He received his legal doctorate at the Eötvös Loránd University of Sciences in 1963. With his new diploma he started teaching as the Civil Law Chair of ELTE, which he was to lead. He worked at first as Vice-Chancellor at the university, followed by a three-year term as Rector. As a founding rector, he 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 studied many fields of civil law including inheritance law and economic law, and he carried out a comparative study of Hungarian and German common law and the system of Hungarian property law. He was elected in 1990 to become a corresponding member of the MTA, and in 1995, an ordinary member. As leader of the Codification High Committee, he undertook a major role in preparing the new Civil Law. In addition to many other medals, his work was recognised in 2004 with a Széchenyi Prize.

Vice President of the MTA (Physical 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 Csepel Works Institute for Control Engineering and Information Technology in 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 organisations. His results are widely used in the design of vehicles and vehicle dynamics models.Porfessor Bokor has received several designations: in 1987 he received an MTA Award; in 1994, the Dénes Gábor Medal; in 2007, the Széchenyi Award; and in 2013, the Commander Cross of the Order of Merit of the Hungarian Republic. He was elected as a member of the Presidium of the Academy by the General Assembly in 2014.