Chain Bridge


29 June 2023 | AM 8

The AE Budapest Hub is saddened to announce the passing of Professor Benő Csapó

A great loss for the Hungarian education research community

The AE Budapest Knowledge Hub is deeply saddened by the passing, at the age of 70, of Professor Benő Csapó, a prominent science education researcher and a passionate advocate of the cause of science education development in Hungary.

Photo: MTA Kommunikáció

A winner of Hungary’s highly popular Prima Primissima Prize, Benő Csapó was a university professor, a Doctor of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (MTA), and chairman of MTA’s Presidential Committee on Public Education.

Benő Csapó was born on March 5, 1953 in Szentgál, Hungary. He graduated as a chemistry-physics secondary school teacher at József Attila University of Szeged in 1977. He obtained his candidate's degree in 1985, and was awarded the title of Doctor of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in 2002.

Heading the Institute of Education at the University of Szeged (SZTE), the SZTE Doctoral School of Education, the MTA-SZTE Skills Development Research Group and the SZTE Educational Theory Research Group, Benő Csapó was widely acknowledged in Hungary and abroad as a forward-looking expert in science education methodology. He joined MTA’s Presidential Committee on Public Education as a member in 2002, became its co-chairman in 2017 and chaired the Committee until his death.

As a strongly committed educational scientist, he assumed a fundamental role in MTA’s Content Pedagogy Research Programme, which covered the period 2016-2020, and from 2021, he has led MTA’s new programme in the subject, the Research Programme for Public Education Development, a major research scheme involving 27 research groups. Both programmes relied in their work on the expert advice and actual contribution of foreign educational scientists. Benő Csapó’s active involvement in and wide recognition by the international – especially European – educational science community was also evidenced by his being a member of the Science Education Working Group of ALLEA (All European Academies).

He also participated in several international research programmes. In 1989, he received the Humboldt Scholarship, between 1994 and 1995 he was a fellow of the Center for Advanced Studies in Behavioural Sciences at Stanford university, and between 1997 and 1999 he was involved in an educational programme related to the development of democratic thinking. In the 2003 and 2012 PISA examinations, he was a member of the respective working groups that developed the theoretical framework for problem-solving thinking. Between 2011 and 2015, he managed a European science teaching project in Hungary.

In addition to his scientific output and membership in a number of committees, he actively promoted evidence-based public education methodology and public education principles through his numerous public appearances. In honour of his communication and outreach activities, in 2015 he was awarded the “Prima Primissima Prize” in the category “Hungarian education and public education”, a prize which is held in high esteem by the Hungarian public.

The AE Budapest Hub was honoured to have Benő Csapó as a speaker at workshops organized by the Hub’s thematic mission for Science Education Methodology. He was always ready to offer his expertise as well as his ideas and suggestions in (public) educational matters. His contribution to the Hub’s efforts in Science Education Methodology, as well as to all areas relevant for the improvement of public education in general, will be greatly missed.

He leaves an irreplaceable void. He will be fondly remembered by all who knew him.

Our thoughts and condolences are with his family, friends and colleagues.