Winners For ESET Science Award 2023 Announced

ESET presented the ESET Science Award for the fifth time to outstanding personalities of science and education in Slovakia earlier this month. The ESET Science Award pays tribute to scientists based in Slovakia and highlights their efforts and scientific activities that impact all areas of life.

The laureate of the Outstanding Scientist in Slovakia category is Igor Lacík, who works at the Institute of Polymers of the Slovak Academy of Sciences, where he and his team have successfully found applications for polymer materials in treating diabetes.

The laureate in the category of Outstanding Scientist in Slovakia under 35 years of age is Matej Baláž, who works in the Institute of Geotechnics of the Slovak Academy of Sciences in Košice on solvent-free chemistry, so-called mechanochemistry.

Daniela Ostatníková, Head of the Institute of Physiology and Vice-Dean for International Relations at the Faculty of Medicine of the Comenius University in Bratislava, who is researching the causes of autism, is the laureate of the Outstanding Academic in Slovakia category.

The international jury selected the laureates from among the finalists in the categories for Outstanding Scientist in Slovakia and Outstanding Scientist in Slovakia under the age of 35. This year, the international jury was chaired by astrophysicist and Nobel Prize laureate Michel Mayor. The other members of the international jury were Anne Leriche, a researcher and professor, Maria Grazia Valsecchi, an oncologist based in Italy, Dominique Bonvin, a professor based in Switzerland, and Jan Konvalinka, a Czech biochemist.

The chair of the international jury, Michel Mayor, who presented the award in the main category at the gala, praised the science in Slovakia: “Congratulations to our ESET Science Award laureates, as well as to all the finalists who have shown us that Slovakia is home to immense scientific talent. Today, we celebrate not only their work but also the hope and possibilities that science brings to all of us. They remind us that science is an endless journey, and its potential knows no bounds. Their passion, hard work, and dedication are an inspiration to us all.”

The laureate in the category of Outstanding Academic in Slovakia was selected by a committee composed of representatives of Slovak universities. Laureates of all three types are chosen based on demanding criteria, including current scientific research results and publications, measurable scientometric data, involvement in international scientific projects, communication and popularization of scientific knowledge, cooperation with other scientific disciplines, and feedback from close colleagues or students.

“The ESET Science Award is our way of recognizing outstanding scientists. This year’s theme, “Science without Borders”, highlights the need for international collaborations, knowledge sharing and open access to scientific discoveries regardless of geographical or interdisciplinary boundaries. This year’s laureates show us through their work that scientific research is a universal language that transcends borders. Their contribution is a testament to the importance of science to society and the ways in which it can fulfill the lives of us all,” said Richard Marko, CEO of ESET, whose philanthropic arm – the ESET Foundation – is the organizer of the ESET Science Award.