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Akademie věd České republiky / The Czech Academy of Sciences 2014 a 2015

The Czech Academy of Sciences has issued a report accounting selected research results achieved by its scientific institutes in all research areas in 2014 and in early 2015.
Full version you can find here.


The new english expanded edition 




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The Czech Academy of Sciences 2014-2015: Selected Research Results

The Czech Academy of Sciences has issued a report accounting selected research results achieved by its scientific institutes in all research areas in 2014 and in early 2015. It outlines its research activities, as well as goals of the new research centres and facilities of the CAS and its new Strategy AV21, the main aim of which is to perform top level multilateral interdisciplinary research reflecting the needs of contemporary society. The book (printed version in PDF) documents the CAS´s efforts to transfer research findings into practical outputs and its co-operation with partners in the industrial sphere, it presents the CAS´s co-operation with various institutions on international, regional and local levels and mentions some of the major social events and anniversaries marked by the CAS in 2014 and 2015.


Table of contents:

Address of the CAS President Jiří Drahoš

The Czech Academy of Sciences in 2014: Facts and Figures

Selected Research Results
I. Mathematics, Physics and Earth Sciences
- Mathematics, Physics and Computer Science
- Applied Physics
- Earth Sciences
II: Life and Chemical Sciences
- Chemical Sciences
- Biological and Medical Sciences
- Biological-Ecological Sciences
III. Humanities and Social Sciences
- Social and Economic Sciences
- History Sciences
- Humanities and Philology

New Research Centres and Facilities

Science for Practical Applications

Published Books

The Academy as a Partner

Awards and Medals

Supporting Young Scientists and Equal Opportunities

Science and the Public
- Science Communication
- Science and the Arts

The CAS in 2015
- Strategy AV 21
- The CAS in 2015 – Science and Research
- The CAS in 2015 – Topical Events


Photo: Stanislava Kyselová, Akademický bulletin


The Czech Academy of Sciences has introduced its new Strategy AV21 with the aim of presenting itself even more distinctly as an institution conducting high quality research focused on challenges facing the whole of Society at present. The motto of the new strategy is “Top Research in the public interest”.
The point of the new strategy of the Academy of Sciences lies in creating a system framework for what has already existed to a considerable extent – that is interdisciplinary research. Moreover, the new strategy aims at boosting inter-institutional synergy not only inside the Academy but also through cooperation with universities, technical institutes, business organizations and the state administration. In this connection, I would like to emphasize that the system of the Academy of Sciences and its research institutes facilitates conceptual and efficient work while being flexible enough to allow research teams to respond both to world developments in a particular research area and to the demands of society. I am even convinced that the very flexibility of non-university research will become one of the significant competitive advantages of the Czech Republic in the future. The research institutes of the Academy of Sciences are strongly interlinked with education; in comparison with universities or other higher education institutions, they also have indispensable prerequisites and even an obligation to concentrate primarily on solving highly specialized or extensive interdisciplinary projects requiring costly infrastructure and the long-term concentration of capacities. Topics such as the future of energy in the Czech Republic, public health or the quality of public policies constitute complex sets of problems the solution of which requires broad-based interdisciplinary research. It is this very type of research that will grow at the Academy of Sciences under the new strategy.


What instigated the Strategy AV21?
Despite the fact that the Academy of Sciences is an institution of top--level fundamental research, we consider it important to increasingly serve public interests for the benefit of society. That means to respond to the important challenges of our times thus demonstrating that basic research is essential for the development of knowledge and at the same time it is a driving force for genuine innovation in many areas of human activities. Strategy AV21 is a part of our new concept where basic research remains a primary and typical activity of the Academy of Sciences and yet strongly accents the strategic orientation of its results to economically and socially important areas, be they industry or state administration. This is the meaning of the new strategy and its current interdisciplinary research programmes.


Fourteen research programmes have been formulated so far. Who can engage in them?
The programme framework for the Strategy in the form of fourteen research programmes was completed at the end of the year 2014 on the understanding that even new programmes could be proposed in the future. We expect the implementation of the Strategy 21 programmes to boost a more effective transfer of research findings into practical outputs and to the spheres of education and state administration thanks to the direct involvement of our partners at universities, technical institutions, the business sector and state administration. I believe that our existing cooperation will thus receive a new impulse, which will boost both particular projects of the cooperation between academic and business spheres and the emergence of scientifically based data for political decision-making. I would like to underline that we are ready for discussion concerning possible new forms of cooperation that the Strategy offers.


The motto of the Strategy, “Top research in the public interest”, suggests its direction towards research reflecting topical needs of society. What is the anticipated output and when do you expect the first results to appear?
Typical categories of the output will be specialized publications, studies, surveys, analyses, expert opinions and industrially applicable results. The research programmes will also bring further partial results in the forms of scientific debates, specialized and popularized lectures, or public discussions. Research programmes of the Academy of Sciences are to be regularly evaluated and, if necessary, subsequently rearranged on the basis of obtained results. Moreover, it will also be possible to propose new programmes drawn from the latest knowledge. Generally spoken, the coordinators of all the fourteen programmes are not bound by a strict time plan, but in about a year’s time we will examine how the particular programme works and what it can yield in the near future. The programmes that will not show relevant scientific quality and socially pertinent results will be discussed with their coordinators and either revised or terminated.
Prof. Ing. Jiři Drahoš, DrSc., dr. h. c.

Photo: Stanislava Kyselová, Akademický bulletin




The Czech Academy of Sciences is a public non-university research institution comprising a system of scientific institutes, the main mission of which is to conduct research in a broad range of sciences and humanities (from mathematics and physics through technical, chemical, biological, medical and Earth sciences to history and philosophy), to contribute to the advancement of knowledge and education as well as to promote the transfer of new findings into practical uses.


In 2014, the CAS and its institutes managed a total of 13,460 million CZK of which 33 % came from its own allocation of the state budget. 17 % of the CAS financial resources were granted from other state budget allocations in the form of special-purpose support for 1,590 specific research projects, a further 20 % came from Operational programmes financed from EU structural funds – in 2014 the institutes of the CAS participated in implementing 1,260 such projects – and the final 30 % of the total CAS resources stemmed from its own economic activities, including the sale of licenses, publications and services etc.


The total number of employees of the CAS amounted to 8,505 in 2014, out of which 4,935 were university-educated research workers who had passed the required certification. The average monthly income at the CAS was 36,155 CZK, which is a 2.3 % increase compared with 2013.

Photo: Pavel Řehák, Institute of Mathematics



The Czech Academy of Sciences consists of 54 public research institutes divided into three research areas: the first includes mathematics, physics and earth sciences, the second one covers life and chemical sciences and the third deals with humanities and social sciences.


Mathematics, Physics and Computer Science

Astronomical Institute of the CAS –
Institute of Physics of the CAS –
Institute of Mathematics of the CAS –
Institute of Computer Science of the CAS –
Nuclear Physics Institute of the CAS –
Institute of Information Theory and Automation of the CAS –

Research in the fields of mathematics, physics and computer science studies basic laws from the micro world of elementary particles to the breadth of the entire universe, from the behaviour of physical systems in both normal and extreme conditions, from processes and interactions in complex systems, such as the human brain or climate and ecology, to artificial intelligence. Scientists study the properties of materials exposed to high pressures, ultra-low temperatures and strong magnetic fields. They explore nanomaterials, super/para/magnetic nanoparticles, nanoelectronics and spintronics, nanoelectronics and nanoelectromechanical systems. Nuclear physics develops new diagnostic and therapeutic methods and so on.


In 2014, astronomers from the Astronomical Institute of the CAS used newly developed approaches and mathematical methods to re-analyse instrumental observations of the Benešov bolide of 7 May 1991 and to predict a revised impact location. Following on that, four small meteorites – fragments of the Benešov body – were found in the newly predicted area. Moreover, further analyses of the texture, chemical, and mineralogical composition of the recovered fragments, performed in co-operation with experts from other institutions, surprisingly revealed that the Benešov body consisted of at least three different types of material.
Pavel Spurný, Jakub Haloda, Jiří Borovička, Lukáš Shrbený and Patricie Halodová: Reanalysis of the Benesov bolide and recovery of polymict breccia meteorites - old mystery solved after 20 years, A&A 570 (2014) A39.

Photo: Pavel Spurný, Astronomical Institute
The first three Benesov meteorites recovered in 2011. From left to right: H5 chondrite 1.56 g , 7.72 g (with achondritic clast), and LL3.5 chondrite 1.99 g.


The Institute of Physics studied the influence of high gradient magnetic fields on human leukaemia cells and demonstrated that specific micro-magnet arrays inhibited cell proliferation and induced apoptosis.
Zablotskii V, Syrovets T, Schmidt ZW, Dejneka A, Simmet T: Modulation of monocytic leukemia cell function and survival by high gradient magnetic fields and mathematical modeling studies. Biomaterials. 2014 Mar;35(10):3164-71.

Physicists from the Institute of Physics also introduced a new way of explaining the formation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and their abundance in interstellar space. According to this new theory those molecules, which are key to understanding the origin of life in the universe, form in interstellar space via atomic hydrogen adsorption on the graphite layers covering the surface of stardust particles, subsequent decomposition of graphene and the final release of polyaromatic molecules.
P. Merino, M. Švec, J.I. Martinez, P. Jelinek, P. Lacovig, M. Dalmiglio, S. Lizzit, P. Soukiassian, J. Cernicharo & J.A. Martin-Gago: Graphene etching on SiC grains as a path to interstellar polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons formation. Nature Communications 5, Article number: 3054.

The Nuclear Physics Institute investigated the chemical preparation of graphene materials and their contamination with metallic elements.
C. H. An Wong, Z. Sofer, M. Kubešová, J. Kučera, S. Matějková, M. Pumera: Synthetic routes contaminate graphene materials with a whole spectrum of unanticipated metallic elements. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 111 (2014) 13774–13779.
C. K. Chua, A. Ambrosi, Z. Sofer, A. Macková, V. Havránek, I. Tomandl, M. Pumera: Chemical Preparation of Graphene Materials Results in Extensive Unintentional Doping with Heteroatoms and Metals. Chem. Eur. J., 20 (2014) 15760–15767.
Z. Sofer, O. Jankovský, P. Šimek, K. Klímová, A. Macková, M. Pumera: Uranium- and Thorium-Doped Graphene for Efficient Oxygen and Hydrogen Peroxide Reduction. ACS Nano 8 (2014) 7106–7114.

The Institute of Computer Science developed a system predicting the occupancy of parking places for commercial vehicles on motorways.

The Institute of Information Theory and Automation improved one of the imaging methods used in nuclear medicine – the so-called planar scintigraphy.
Bayesian Blind Separation and Deconvolution of Dynamic Image Sequences Using Sparsity Tichy, O. Smidl, V.; Priors, IEEE Transactions on Medical Imaging; Volume: 34, Issue:1. .

Find more about research in this area at:
H. Kurebayashi,, Jairo Sinova, D. Fang, A. C. Irvine, T. D. Skinner, J. Wunderlich,, V. Novák, R. P. Campion, B. L. Gallagher, E. K. Vehstedt,, L. P. Zârbo, K. Výborný, A. J. Ferguson & T. Jungwirth: An antidamping spin–orbit torque originating from the Berry curvature. Nature Nanotechnology 9, 211–217 (2014).
Milan Paluš: Multiscale Atmospheric Dynamics: Cross-Frequency Phase-Amplitude Coupling in the Air Temperature. Phys. Rev. Lett. 112, 078702 – Published 21 February 2014.
Andrés G. Marrugo, María S. Millán, Michal Šorel, Filip Šroubek: Restoration of retinal images with space-variant blur; Journal of Biomedical Optics 19(1), 016023 (January 2014).¨
I. Krausová, R. Cejnar, J. Kučera, P. Dostálek: Impact of the brewing process on the concentration of silicon in lager beer. J. Inst. Brew. 120 (2014) 433–437.

Applied Physics

Institute of Photonics and Electronics of the CAS –
Institute of Physics of Materials of the CAS –
Institute of Plasma Physics of the CAS –
Institute of Hydrodynamics of the CAS –
Institute of Scientific Instruments of the CAS –
Institute of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics of the CAS –
Institute of Thermomechanics of the CAS –

Various branches of applied physics deal with photonics, fibre optic lasers, the synthesis and characterization of nanomaterials. Great attention is paid to novel optical biosensor technologies for applications in biomolecular research and bio-analytics. Research also focuses on numerous topics related to plasma, including plasma sources, controlled thermonuclear fusion, or the interaction of plasma with other states of matter.
Among the investigated topics are relations between the behaviour and properties of materials and their structural and microstructural characteristics, new concepts of energy conversion, transmission phenomena in liquid systems and the hydrosphere as well as the biomechanics of the cardiovascular system. Scientists are also concerned with hydrological modelling of changes in water resources caused by climate variability and by land use changes.

In 2014, the Institute of Photonics and Electronics continued in developing very advanced optical biosensors with surface plasmon resonance used for the rapid and precise detection of various chemical and biological substances and elements, including pollutants and bacteria. They succeeded in improving the sensitivity of such biosensors to the extent that they are able to determine, among other things, very low concentrations of a carcinoembryonic antigen.

The Institute of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics performed micro tube measurements and real-time X-ray radiographic imaging to describe fluid penetration processes in porous Maastricht limestone used in historical buildings and for restoration purposes. Relations between the speed, depth and volume of the fluid penetration were determined on the basis of the gathered data. These together with the relevant numerical simulations can help detect and assess damage to historical buildings.
Koudelka_ml., Petr; Jandejsek, Ivan; Doktor, Tomáš; Kytýř, Daniel; Jiroušek, Ondřej; Zíma, Pavel; Drdácký, Miloš: Radiographical investigation of fluid penetration processes in natural stones used in historical buildings. Journal of Instrumentation 2014, roč. 9, č. 5, c05040.

The Institute of Thermomechanics examined the properties of supercooled water, which is common in clouds, and, as a result, excluded one of its assumed anomalies, namely a dramatic increase in its surface tension with decreasing temperature. The new experimental data could be used in applications such as atmospheric modelling.
Hrubý, Jan; Vinš, Václav; Mareš, R; Hykl, Jiří; Kalová, J.: Surface Tension of Supercooled Water: No Inflection Point down to-25 degrees C.
Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters. Roč. 5, č. 3 (2014), s. 425-428. ISSN 1948-7185

The Institute of Scientific Instruments presented a new method for very precise scientific measurements and new related complex sensors.


Photo: Archive of Institute of Scientific Instruments
A device using the new method for very precise scientific measurements presented by the Institute of Scientific Instruments.


Find more about research in this area at:
T. Kruml, K. Obrtlík: Microstructure degradation in high temperature fatigue of TiAl alloy, Int. J. Fatigue 65 (2014), 28-32.
P. Beran, M. Petrenec, M. Heczko, B. Smetana, M. Žaludová, M. Šmíd, T. Kruml, L. Keller: In-situ neutron diffraction study of thermal phase stability in a γ-TiAl based alloy doped with Mo and/or C, Intermetallics 54 (2014), 28-38.

R. Pivokonsky, P. Filip: Predictive/fitting capabilities of differential constitutive models for polymer melts – reduction of nonlinear parameters in the eXtended Pom-Pom model; Colloid and Polymer Science; November 2014, Volume 292, Issue 11, pp 2753-2763.
Radek Pivokonsky, Petr Filip, Jana Zelenkova: The role of the Gordon–Schowalter derivative term in the constitutive models—improved flexibility of the modified XPP model
Colloid and Polymer Science, April 2015, Volume 293, Issue 4, pp 1227-1236

Earth Sciences

Institute of Geophysics of the CAS –
Institute of Geology of the CAS –
Institute of Atmospheric Physics of the CAS –
Institute of Geonics of the CAS –
Institute of Rock Structure and Mechanics of the CAS –

Earth Sciences investigate our planet Earth, its inner structure, crust and lithosphere and their development over the aeons, as well as geological and geochemical processes and the development of biosphere and environment from the oldest geological periods to the present, deposits of minerals, and geodynamic processes in the upper layer of the Earth´s crust caused by human activities. They also study tectonic and seismic motions, hydrological processes, the Earth´s atmosphere and long-term changes in its atmospheric circulations, and also the ionosphere and magnetosphere of the planet.

Illustrative photo: Stanislava Kyselová, Akademický bulletin


Scientists at the Institute of Geophysics analysed the 2013 North Korean nuclear explosion characterized by significant non-isotropic radiation which was manifested by distinct seismic waves. They demonstrated that these were not generated by a tectonic earthquake triggered by a nuclear explosion but resulted rather from the strong stress in the surrounding rock.
Vavryčuk, V.; Kim, S.G.: Nonisotropic radiation of the 2013 North Korean nuclear explosion, Geophysical Research Letters, 41, 2014.

Palaeomagnetic and palaeogeographic investigations at the Institute of Geology concluded that the Prague Basin was a continental rift basin situated on the presumed Perunica microplate at the southern subtropical palaeolatitudes of 24° in Late Silurian, which drifted and rotated during the Variscan Orogeny.

Using laboratory experiments and numerical modelling, scientists from the Institute of Geology, the Institute of Rock Structure and Mechanics and Charles University discovered the mechanism explaining the formation of large unique landforms, such as arches, alcoves, pedestal rocks and pillars, produced by the weathering and erosion of sandstone.
Jiri Bruthans, Jan Soukup, Jana Vaculikova, Michal Filippi, Jana Schweigstillova, Alan L. Mayo, David Masin, Gunther Kletetschka, Jaroslav Rihosek: Sandstone landforms shaped by negative feedback between stress and erosion. Nature Geoscience 7,597–601 (2014).

Experts of the Institute of Atmospheric Physics explained differences in the impact of hot and cold spells on acute and chronic ischaemic heart diseases. This could result in better treatments for sufferers of these diseases.
Hana Davídkovová, Eva Plavcová, Jan Kynčl, Jan Kyselý: Impacts of hot and cold spells differ for acute and chronic ischaemic heart diseases
BMC Public Health 2014, 14:480.

The Institute of Geonics focused on the aspects of the safe performance of underground mining operations at a depth of about 1,000 metres from the point of view of their stability and temperature, and proposed the relevant methodology and safety procedures based on experimental data.

The Institute of Rock Structure and Mechanics employed a whole complex of analytical techniques to study and identify changes in the structure and other characteristics of coal caused by radioactive elements, namely uranium, as well as by tectonic and hydrothermal activities.
Havelcová, Martina; Machovič, Vladimír ; Mizera, Jiří; Sýkorová, Ivana; Borecká, Lenka; Kopecký, L.: A multi-instrumental geochemical study of anomalous uranium enrichment in coal. Journal of Environmental Radioactivity 2014.


Chemical Sciences

Institute of Analytical Chemistry of the CAS –
Institute of Inorganic Chemistry of the CAS –
Institute of Chemical Process Fundamentals of the CAS –
J. Heyrovsky Institute of Physical Chemistry of the CAS –
Institute of Macromolecular Chemistry of the CAS –
Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS –

Illustrative photo: Stanislava Kyselová, Akademický bulletin


The research institutes in this field focus on both the structural and functional characterization of new organic and inorganic compounds, on the advancement of knowledge in genomics, proteomics, medicine and environmental protection. Their activities are directed towards topics on the boundary of inorganic chemistry and materials science and other disciplines. They conduct fundamental research in physical chemistry, electrochemistry and chemical physics, develop new methods for analytical and bioanalytical chemistry as well as polymeric biomaterials for targeted therapeutic applications. The investigated topics include polymeric drug carriers, polymeric layered systems for contact with biological media, bio-analogous polymers, hydrogels for biomedical applications. The research is also oriented at nanotechnologies and nanomaterials that can find applications in chemical catalysis, photo catalysis and electrochemistry, and are used as adsorbents, membranes, sensors, optical, self-cleaning and protective materials, etc.

A team from the J. Heyrovsky Institute of Physical Chemistry and the Institute of Biophysics has contributed towards the breakthrough solution to one of the most fundamental issues of contemporary science: i.e. how biological substances came into existence on our planet or in outer space. Their experiments have demonstrated that extraterrestrial impacts could have contributed to the synthesis of the building blocks of the first life-giving molecules which appeared on Earth some 4–3.85 billion years ago, during the period of Late Heavy Bombardment of the Earth´s surface with extraterrestrial bodies. The scientists have simulated the high-energy synthesis of nucleobases from formamide during the impact of an extraterrestrial body and demonstrated that impacts could have contributed to the formation of biogenic molecules.
Martin Ferus, David Nesvorný,Jiří Šponer, Petr Kubelík, Regina Michalčíková, Violetta Shestivská, Judit E. Šponer, Svatopluk Civiš:: High-energy chemistry of formamide: A unified mechanism of nucleobase formation, PNAS vol. 112 no. 3, 657–662,

Basic research into the relationship between the structure, physical, chemical and biological properties of water-soluble polymers or supramolecular structure-forming polymers onducted at the Institute of Macromolecular Chemistry has resulted in the development of drug carriers and carriers of other biologically-active molecules for use in human medicine. Special attention has been paid to the development of actively-targeted drug delivery systems bringing polymer-bound cytotoxic drugs into tumours or to the receptors expressed in a membrane of the tumour cells.
Chemists at the Institute of Macromolecular Chemistry also confirmed the possibility of preparing biosensors directly revealing infectious agents in patients´ sera.

The Institute of Analytical Chemistry has tested a novel method of treating glass surfaces and etching channels in glass microchips with supercritical water.

Find more about research in this area at:
mj.: P. Karásek, J. Grym, M. Roth, J. Planeta, F. Foret. Etching of glass microchips with supercritical water. Lab Chip. 2015 Jan 7;15(1):311-8.

J. Hynek, V. Kalousek, R. Žouželka, P. Bezdička, P. Dzik, J. Rathouský, J. Demel, K. Lang: High photocatalytic activity of transparent films composed of ZnO nanosheets.
Langmuir 30 (2014) 380-386. DOI: 10.1021/la404017q.

J. Demel, J. Hynek, P. Kovář, Y. Dai, C. Taviot-Guého, O. Demel, M. Pospíšil, K.
Lang: Insight into the Structure of Layered Zinc Hydroxide Salts Intercalated with Dodecyl Sulfate Anions. J Phys. Chem. C 118 (2014) 27131-27141.
Janne Savolainen, Frank Uhlig,,Saima Ahmed, Peter Hamm & Pavel Jungwirth: Direct observation of the collapse of the delocalized excess electron in water. Nature Chemistry 608/2014; 6. 697-701( 2014).

Patent: Kaštánek F., Šolcová O., Maléterová Y., Spáčilová L., Maternová H., Mašín P., Žebrák R.: Device for Photo-Catalytic Decontamination of Water Containing Organic Compounds, Especially Endocrine Disruptors. Pat. No. PV 2013-522.
Spáčilová L., Maléterová Y., Morozová M., Kaštánek F., Dragounová P., Matejkova M., Mašín P., Ezechias M., Kresinova Z., Šolcová O.: Wastewater Treatment on Photocatalytic Pilot Plant Unit. (Eng) Res. Chem. Intermed., accepted (2014).


Biological and Medical Sciences

Institute of Biophysics of the CAS –
Institute of Biotechnology of the CAS –
Institute of Physiology of the CAS –
Institute of Microbiology of the CAS –
Institute of Experimental Botany of the CAS –
Institute of Experimental Medicine of the CAS –
Institute of Molecular Genetics of the CAS –
Institute of Animal Physiology and Genetics of the CAS –

Here researchers have given priority to the structure, evolution and function of living systems and processes going on at different levels – from molecules through cells to whole organisms. Disorders of the nervous, immune, cardiovascular and reproductive systems as well as genetic bases of diseases have been surveyed. The scope of research topics ranges from DNA integrity and cell division control through animal embryology to animal models of human diseases. Experimental medicine centres on neuropathology, cancer research, molecular embryology, stem cells and nervous tissue regeneration. Microbiologists study genetics and physiology of microorganisms and their resistance to antibiotics, production of microbial metabolites, the role of microorganisms in the onset of autoimmune diseases and focus also on immunotherapies of oncogenic diseases. Basic research in plant biology, namely in plant genetics, physiology and biotechnology, centres on hormonal and ecological control of plant growth and development, plant viruses as well as design and preparation of vaccines from plants.

Illustrative photo: Stanislava Kyselová, Akademický bulletin


The Institute of Biophysics has followed on from the above-mentioned study concerning the synthesis of nucleobases from formamide and has worked out a theoretical model explaining how in the earliest stages of evolution nucleotide molecules could have self-polymerised without the catalytic activity of enzymes to form short chains which subsequently developed the required catalytic functions and formed longer strands of RNA and eventually complex biomolecules.
Judit E. Šponer, Jiří Šponer, Alessandra Giorgi, Ernesto Di Mauro, Samanta Pino, and Giovanna Costanzo: Untemplated Nonenzymatic Polymerization of 3′,5′cGMP: A Plausible Route to 3′,5′-Linked Oligonucleotides in Primordia. J. Phys. Chem. B, 2015, 119 (7), pp 2979–2989.

The Department of phototrophic microorganisms of the Institute of Microbiology has enhanced our knowledge of one of the most fundamental processes on Earth: photosynthesis. Studying the cyanobacterium Synechocystis, researchers have discovered a chlorophyll and b-carotene binding protein complex involved in the early steps of the assembly of photosystem II, which is vital for the process of photosynthesis.
Knoppová, J., Sobotka, R., Tichý, M., Yu, J., Halada, P., Nixon, P.J., Komenda, J. (2014) Discovery of a Chlorophyll Binding Protein Complex Involved in the Early Steps of Photosystem II Assembly in Synechocystis. Plant Cell 26, 1200-1212.
Chidgey, J.W., Linhartová, M., Komenda, J., Jackson, P.J., Dickman, M.J., Canniffe, D.P., Koník, P., Pilný, J., Hunter, C.N., Sobotka, R. (2014) A Cyanobacterial Chlorophyll Synthase-HliD Complex Associates with the Ycf39 Protein and the YidC/Alb3 Insertase. Plant Cell 26:1267-79.

The International Wheat Genome Sequencing Consortium, involving Czech scientists, has published a chromosome-based draft sequence of the large and complex genome of bread wheat. Its genetic blueprint has been obtained using the chromosome-based strategy developed by a research team at the Institute of Experimental Botany. For the first time, researchers and breeders have at their disposal a set of tools enabling them to rapidly locate specific genes on individual wheat chromosomes throughout the genome. This can accelerate the breeding of varieties with higher yields and better grain quality as well as being more resistant to disease and pests or abiotic stress.

New findings can help fight cancer: working within the framework of an international team, researchers from the Institute of Biotechnology have discovered that cancer cells deprived of mitochondrial DNA are able to acquire it from the cells of the host (a mouse). As a result they could renew their mitochondrial functions, namely to restart cellular respiration, and regain the ability to create tumours. The Institute of Molecular Genetics threw light upon why some metastatic cells resisted radio-therapy. The new findings can open the way towards reducing and overcoming the resistance and increase the patients´ chances of survival.
An S. Tan, James W. Baty, Lan-Feng Dong, Ayenachew Bezawork-Geleta, Berwini Endaya, Jacob Goodwin, Martina Bajzikova, Jaromira Kovarova, Martin Peterka, Bing Yan, Elham Alizadeh Pesdar, Margarita Sobol, Anatolyj Filimonenko, Shani Stuart, Magdalena Vondrusova, Katarina Kluckova, Karishma Sachaphibulkij, Jakub Rohlena, Pavel Hozak, Jaroslav Truksa, David Eccles, Larisa M. Haupt, Lyn R. Griffiths, Jiri Neuzil, Michael V. Berridge: Mitochondrial Genome Acquisition Restores Respiratory Function and Tumorigenic Potential of Cancer Cells without Mitochondrial DNA, Cell Metabolism Volume 21, Issue 1, p81–94, 6 January 2015.

Researchers at the Institute of Animal Physiology and Genetics and their foreign colleagues have made a fundamental discovery concerning the multiple role of an enzyme called Polo-like Kinase-1 in oocytes undergoing maturation and identified its different functions during meiotic cell division and mitosis.
Solc P, Kitajima TS, Yoshida S, Brzakova A, Kaido M, Baran V, Mayer A, Samalova P, Motlik J, Ellenberg J. Multiple requirements of PLK1 during mouse oocyte maturation. PLoS One. 2015 Feb 6;10(2):e0116783.

Find more about research in this area at:
Zeng,Y.,Feng F.,Medová H.,Dean J.,Koblížek M.: Functional type 2 photosynthetic Reaction centers found in the rare bacterial phylum Gemmatimonadetes: PNAS 111,7795-7900,2014
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA; doi: 10.1073/pnas.1400295111.

Hynek Strnad, Miroslav Patek, Jan Fousek, Juraj Szokol, Pavel Ulbrich, Jan Nesvera, Vaclav Paces, Cestmir Vlcek: Genome Sequence of Rhodococcus erythropolis Strain CCM2595, a Phenol Derivative-Degrading Bacterium; Genome Announcements, March/April 2014 vol. 2 no. 2 e00208-14;

Soudek P., Petrová Š., Vaňková R., Song J., Vaněk T.: Accumulation of heavy metals using Sorghum sp.; CHEMOSPHERE 104: 15-24, 2014.

Petrasek T., Prokopova I., Sladek M., Weissova K., Vojtechova I., Bahnik S., Zemanova A., Schönig K., Berger S., Tews B., Bartsch D., Schwab M.E., Sumova A., Stuchlik A.: Nogo-A-deficient Transgenic Rats Show Deficits in Higher Cognitive Functions, Decreased Anxiety, and Altered Circadian Activity Patterns.Front Behav Neurosci. 2014 Mar 18;8:90.
Petrasek T., Prokopova I., Bahnik S., Schonig K., Berger S., Vales K., Tews B., Schwab M.E., Bartsch D., Stuchlik A.: Nogo-A downregulation impairs place avoidance in the Carousel maze but not spatial memory in the Morris water maze. Neurobiol Learn Mem. 2014 Jan;107:42-9.

Forostyak S., Homola A., Turnovcova K., Svitil P., Jendelova P., Sykova E.: Intrathecal Delivery of Mesenchymal Stromal Cells Protects the Structure of Altered Perineuronal Nets in SOD1Rats and Amends the Course of ALS. Stem Cells. 2014 Dec;32(12):3163-72.

Bureš Z., Bartošová J., Lindovský J., Chumak T., Popelář J., Syka J. (2014) Acoustical enrichment during early postnatal development changes response properties of inferior colliculus neurons in rats. Eur. J. Neurosci 2014, Vol. 40, pp. 3674–3683. IF 3.669.

Zuzana Cvačková, Daniel Matějů, David Staněk: Retinitis Pigmentosa Mutations of SNRNP200 Enhance Cryptic Splice-Site Recognition. Human Mutation, Colume 35, Issue 3, 308–317, March 2014.

Kyjacova L., Hubackova S., Krejcikova K., Strauss R., Hanzlikova H., Dzijak R., Imrichova T., Simova J., Reinis M., Bartek J., Hodny Z.: Radiotherapy-induced plasticity of prostate cancer mobilizes stem-like non-adherent, Erk signaling-dependent cells. Cell Death & Differentiation 2014 Jul 11.

Martin Soste, Rita Hrabakova,Stefanie Wanka,Andre Melnik,Paul Boersema, Alessio Maiolica,Timon Wernas,Marco Tognetti,Christian von Mering,Paola Picotti: A sentinel protein assay for simultaneously quantifying cellular processes. Nature Methods, Volume:11, Pages:1045–1048 (2014).

Biological-Ecological Sciences

Biology Centre of the CAS –
Institute of Botany of the CAS –
Global Change Research Centre of the CAS –
Institute of Vertebrate Biology of the CAS –

Photo: Jan Erhart, Archive of Biology centre
Nymphs of the castor bean tick feeding on a sand lizard


Geobotanics, hydrobiology, entomology, parasitology, soil biology, microbiology, ecology, molecular genetics, genetic engineering – these are only a few examples documenting the wide range of topics covered by the institutes working in biological-ecological sciences. They carry out fundamental research on species, populations and communities of plants, study the genetic basis of development cycles and biorhythms of insects, insect pests, human and animal parasites at the cellular and molecular levels as well as whole organisms. They deal with the structure and dynamics of soil organism communities in both natural and human-affected ecosystems, interactions amongst soil animals, microorganisms and the abiotic part of the soil environment, the soil microstructure and nutrient cycling.

Special attention is paid to global change and its manifestations in the atmosphere, land biota and human society. Scientists gain knowledge in water chemistry, biochemistry, bacteriology, protozoology, algology and ichthyology. Physiological, behavioural, ecological and evolutionary mechanisms of vertebrates are also examined, as well as their reproductive strategies, survival rates, feeding behaviour, and inter- and intraspecific interactions.

The Biology Centre has continued the study of Trypanosomes that cause a variety of diseases. One of the priorities was to discover mechanisms that make some parasites highly successful. Researchers have defined the molecular composition of saliva of the tick Ixodes ricinus and discovered more than 1,500 proteins located at the interface between ticks, the vertebrate host, and the tick-borne pathogens, which is essential for seeking future methods of controlling tick-borne diseases.

An international team including scientists from the Institute of Botany have proposed a system classifying alien species from different animal and plant groups according to the magnitude of their environmental impacts on native fauna and flora. It makes it possible to directly compare impacts caused by different mechanisms, such as competition, predation, parasitism and hybridization.
Tim M. Blackburn Franz Essl, Thomas Evans, Philip E. Hulme, Jonathan M. Jeschke, Ingolf Kühn, Sabrina Kumschick, Zuzana Marková, Agata Mrugała, Wolfgang Nentwig, Jan Pergl, Petr Pyšek, Wolfgang Rabitsch, Anthony Ricciardi, David M. Richardson a další: A Unified Classification of Alien Species Based on the Magnitude of their Environmental Impacts
PLoS Biology, May 6, 2014.

Researchers from the Institute of Vertebrate Biology and collaborating universities have proved that the devastating bat disease known as white-nose syndrome (WNS) occurs in the Czech Republic, although without the mass mortality of bats compared to the US where the fungal disease was fatal for millions of bats. A new and reliable tool for diagnosing white-nose syndrome has also been introduced: ultraviolet light. If directed at the wings of bats suffering from the disease, it produces a distinctive orange-yellow fluorescence at the places of microscopic skin lesions caused by WNS.
Jan Zukal, Hana Bandouchova, Tomas Bartonicka, Hana Berkova, Virgil Brack, Jiri Brichta, Matej Dolinay, Kamil S. Jaron, Veronika Kovacova, Miroslav Kovarik, Natália Martínková, Karel Ondracek, Zdenek Rehak, Gregory G. Turner, Jiri Pikula: White-Nose Syndrome Fungus: A Generalist Pathogen of Hibernating Bats. PLoS One, May 12, 2014.

Find more about research in this area at:
Kopáček J, Hejzlar J., Porcal P., Posch M.: A mass-balance study on chloride fluxes in a large central European catchment during 1900–2010. Biogeochemistry. Roč. 120 (2014), s. 319–335.
Kopáček, J., Hejzlar, J., Porcal, P., Posch, M. (2014). Sulphate leaching from diffuse agricultural and forest sources in a large central European catchment during 1900–2010. Science of the Total Environment Volumes 470–471, 1 February 2014, Pages 543–550.

Miroslav Trnka, Reimund P. Rötter, Margarita Ruiz-Ramos, Kurt Christian Kersebaum, Jørgen E. Olesen, Zdeněk Žalud & Mikhail A. Semenov: Adverse weather conditions for European wheat production will become more frequent with climate change. Nature Climate Change4, 637–643 (2014).

R. Brázdil, K. Chromá, L. Řezníčková1, H. Valášek, L. Dolák, Z. Stachoň, E. Soukalová, and P. Dobrovolný, The use of taxation records in assessing historical floods in South Moravia, Czech Republic. Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 18, 3873–3889, 2014.


Social and Economic Sciences

Main Library of the CAS –
Economics Institute of the CAS –
Institute of Psychology of the CAS –
Institute of Sociology of the CAS –
Institute of State and Law of the CAS –

Illustrative photo: Stanislava Kyselová, Akademický bulletin


Czech society which has experienced transformation in all spheres of its life since 1989, beginning from economics through deep social changes to the transformation of the legal system, is studied by historians, lawyers and experts in social and economic sciences. They also address such issues as short-term and long-term social processes in Czech society in the context of European integration policies, the transformation of global society; they conduct individual and repetitive empirical surveys and comparative research studies. Personality psychology, social psychology and cognitive psychology are also at the centre of attention, as well as ethical and antisocial behaviour of individuals, the hierarchy of values in society, sociology of education and stratification and so on.

The project investigating the ethical and psychological factors of bullying and coping with it in primary schools, which was carried out at the Institute of Psychology, has brought results useful for school teachers.
Kollerová, L., Janošová, P., Říčan, P. (2014). Moral disengagement from bullying: The effects of gender and classroom. The New Educational Review, 37(3), 280-291.
Janošová, P., Říčan, P. (2014). Social climate of the class through the eyes of the actors in bullying. 14th Biennal Conference of the European Association for Research on Adolescence (EARA) Izmir (Çeşme), 3.9.– 6.9. 2014.

The Institute of Sociology has examined the notion of national identity, which is a major research topic in the social sciences. The latest National Identity Survey carried out in many European countries, including the Czech Republic, has brought valuable data to light about the perception of the characteristics of a nation (nation state, ethno-cultural nation), people´s relationship to territorial and administrative entities, nationalism, attitudes towards immigration etc. It shows that more than 95 per cent of the people of the Czech Republic regard knowledge of the Czech language as the most important prerequisite to be a genuine Czech, 84 per cent consider it important to be born in the Czech Republic, 71 per cent to have Czech ancestors and only 29 per cent to be a Christian.

The Institute of State and Law has focused on problems in the proof of causation in medical malpractice cases. It has analysed alternative attitudes and suggested which alternative appears the most just under respective conditions and in specific cases.

Find more about research in this area at:
Loeper, A.; Steiner, J.; Stewart, C. Influential opinion leaders. Economic Journal. 2014, roč. 124, č. 581, s. 1147-1167.

Babecký J.; Havránek T.; Matějů, J.; Rusnák, M.; Šmídková, K.; Vašíček, B.: Banking, debt, and currency crises in developed countries: stylized facts and early warning indicators. Journal of Financial Stability, 2014, Roč. 15, December, s. 1–17.

Dalibor Vobořil, Petr Květon, Martin Jelínek: Psychological Machinery: Experimental Devices in Early Psychological Laboratories. Peter Lang, Frankfurt am Main 2014. 130 s.

History Sciences

Institute of Archaeology of the CAS, Brno –
Institute of Archaeology of the CAS, Prague –
Institute of History of the CAS –
Masaryk Institute and Archives of the CAS –
Institute of Art History of the CAS –
Institute of Contemporary History of the CAS –

Institutes dealing with history, archaeology, art history and archives are concentrated on the history of our nation and the development in this region from prehistory to the recent past accentuating issues that create national and cultural identity, as well as on archival science.
The archaeological part of the research is based on the study of archaeological sources ranging from field finds, including the study of artefacts and eco-facts in the context of archaeological cultures.
Anthropology, archaeogenetics, archaeozoology, archaeobotanics and the latest methods of physics, chemistry and other sciences help enhance knowledge of prehistoric agriculture, nutrition, migration, arts and crafts, rituals and other aspects of the life of our ancestors.

Illustrative photo: Stanislava Kyselová, Akademický bulletin


Last year the Institute of Archaeology in Brno continued research on the early medieval Great Moravian power centre of Mikulčice-Valy and the adjacent fortifications. The multidisciplinary approach towards the huge volume of new data promises to yield novel assessments of the structure, function and development of the area.

In 2014 the Institute of Archaeology in Prague completed the project entitled The Burial group from Prague Castle´s Lumbe Garden: analysis of jewellery and grave goods relating to the early beginnings of Prague Castle. The 148 graves, abundant with gold, gilt and silver
jewellery as well as remains of wood and textile and other finds, offered a deep insight into the life of people at the beginning of the Czech State in early medieval times.

Historical research exploits contemporary theoretical and methodological procedures with the accent on the role of science in preserving national memory and in the forming of national identity and culture. This approach is reflected by the Institute of History and its Academic Atlas of Czech History, published in 2014, which presents a collection of selected maps, cartographic models, illustrations, charts and cartograms covering the whole period from prehistory to modern history.

The Masaryk Institute and Archives finished its project documenting changes in the policy of former Czechoslovak president Edvard Beneš. The Institute of Art History published a monograph devoted to one of the icons of Prague´s historic architecture – the renaissance Star Summer Palace.

Find more about research in this area at:
Martin Franc, Vlasta Mádlová: The History of the Czech Academy of Sciences in Pictures / Dějiny Akademie věd v obrazech. Praha, Academia 2014. 459 s.

Humanities and Philology

Institute of Ethnology of the CAS –
Institute of Philosophy of the CAS –
Oriental Institute of the CAS –
Institute of Slavonic Studies of the CAS –
Institute of Czech Literature of the CAS –
Institute of the Czech Language of the CAS –

The activities of the institutes belonging to this section are relevant to the national cultural and educational status and contribute to the study and preservation of the cultural heritage of the Czech nation. They study issues of philosophy, ethnology, language and literature. In philosophy, they consider current questions of philosophical thinking and deal with the philosophical aspects of related areas of science, the history of Czech and European philosophy, selected subjects in logic, theory of science and the related disciplines in humanities (namely classical and medieval studies).

Illustrative photo: Stanislava Kyselová, Akademický bulletin


The Institute of Philosophy prepared a collective monograph The Hussite Century which represents one of the works commemorating the Czech priest, philosopher and early Christian reformer, Jan Hus, who was burned at the stake for heresy 600 years ago, in July 1415.
The institutes specializing in oriental studies investigate history, religious and philosophical systems, languages, literatures and cultures of the nations of Asia and Africa. The research in ethnology focuses on the issues of migration and the discovery of ways of life and the culture of socio-ethnic groups.
Klimeš, O.: Nationalism and modernism in the East Turkestan Republic, 1933–34. Central Asian Survey, Pubished online 3 Nov 2014.

The Institute of Ethnology contributed to two exceptional events: the world premiere of Antonín Dvořák´s first opera Alfred and to the first presentation of an unknown Leoš Janáček piano composition found in the collections of the Institute.

Research into the history of Czech literature from the remotest periods up to the present, and in the sphere of the theory and sociology of literature has resulted, among other achievements, in an extensive Corpus of Czech Verse, embracing more than 1,700 collections of Czech poetry from the 19th and early 20th centuries by the Institute of Czech Literature.

Also, the research into the development of the Czech language investigates its standard and non-standard varieties and its written and spoken forms from the synchronic and diachronic perspectives. With this in mind, the Institute of the Czech Language mapped the word-formation of field-names in Bohemia.
P. Štěpán, Towards analogy in toponyms. In: O. Felecan (ed.), Name and Naming. Proceedings of the Second International Conference on Onomastics. Onomastics in Contemporary Public Space. Cluj: Mega, 2013, s. 379-383.


New research centres and facilities are being established to help fulfil the CAS aims. In 2014, the implementation of outstanding projects subsidized from EU funds through the Operational Programme Research and Development for Innovation went on, namely ELI Beamlines and BIOCEV.

ELI Beamlines is an international laser centre included in the European Extreme Light Infrastructure project. Its construction in Dolní Břežany is headed and coordinated by the Institute of Physics and is to be equipped with cutting-edge technology. First of all, unique highperformance laser systems will generate light pulses capable of achieving an intensity yet to be seen. Multidisciplinary research is expected to bring new knowledge in the field of biomedicine, the development and testing of new materials, imaging and diagnostic methods for medicine, optics, nanotechnology as well as in the field called “exotic physics”. In June 2015, the first phase of the construction was completed and administrative and multi-functional buildings were handed over for use.

Photo: Stanislava Kyselová, Akademický bulletin
The building of the ELI-Beamlines centre in the foreground, the HiLASE building in the background


BIOCEV – or the Biotechnology and Biomedicine Centre – is being constructed in Vestec near Prague. It is a joint project of six CAS institutes aimed at establishing a European Centre of Excellence in biomedicine and biotechnology and exploring the areas of functional genomics, cellular biology and virology, structural biology and protein engineering, biomaterials and tissue engineering and development of diagnostic and therapeutic procedures. Special attention is to be paid to reproduction medicine, diabetes, autoimmune diseases, metabolic disorders etc. The trial operational phase of the centre is to start in autumn 2015.

Buildings of the Biotechnology and Biomedicine Centre – BIOCEV


In September 2014, a special ceremony launched High average power pulsed LASErs (HiLASE) – a new research centre of the Institute of Physics. The HiLASE deals with the development and applications of a new generation of lasers and laser technologies with significant application potential in both research and industries – more efficient, more compact and stable than anywhere else in the world. These include primarily diode-pumped solid-state lasers with high pulse energy and high repetition frequency with parameters that are not currently available.

In early 2014, the Institute of Physics launched the LABONIT project, constructing high-tech laboratories for the preparation and characterization of nitride nano-heterostructures.

Photo: Archive of Institute of Physics
A research reactor for organometallic epitaxy


Also within the Institute the Centre of Functional Materials for Bioapplications (FUNBIO) has been expanding, which broadens modern analytical methods to materials on the border between the organic and inorganic world and will allow multilateral co-operation of experts in physics, chemistry, biology and medicine.

In April 2014, an opening ceremony was held in Brno to launch the new research Centre of Excellence, CzechGlobe, which is also a part of the CAS, and uses advanced infrastructure to allow comprehensive research into ecological sciences, specifically the problem of global change and three basic segments influenced by it, namely atmospheric processes and climate, ecosystems and socioeconomic systems. For those purposes it can use an atmospheric
station, network of ecosystem stations, the systems of long-term impact experiments, an aerial remote sensing laboratory and others.

Photo: Stanislava Kyselová, Akademický bulletin
Buildings of the Czech Globe centre


The Institute of Microbiology opened a world-class centre for algal biotechnology, Algatech, near Třeboň, the research program of which is focused on photosynthetic microorganisms, algae, cyanobacteria and photosynthetic bacteria. Its laboratories study photosynthesis in algae and photosynthetic bacteria, the regulation of cell cycles in algae, technologies of algal production, algae as a source of valuable biochemicals for nutrition, medicine and industry.
They deal with the production of algal biomass and its processing for various types of users.
The Institute of Macromolecular chemistry opened a new interdisciplinary innovation Centre of Biomedicinal Polymers to prepare polymeric materials and systems for biological research and medical applications.

The Institute of Physiology received a subsidy for two projects called BrainView and MitEnAl.
The aim of BrainView is to study neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disorders such as autism, epilepsy, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. It is to focus
on fundamental mechanisms underpinning these diseases and thus open the way for the discovery of possible treatments.
MitEnAl represents the System for multifactorial analysis of cellular energy, in order to better understand the functioning of cellular energetics, important for the study of inherited metabolic diseases and for the finding of mechanisms causing obesity and cardiovascular diseases. For example, diseases caused by insufficient energetic functioning of mitochondria belong among the most serious hereditary disorders affecting children at present.

The Institute of Experimental Medicine presented two completed projects in 2014: The first is the Research Centre for Genomics and Proteomics, where scientists use new methods of sequencing, chip analysis, protein analysis and analysis of functional properties of cells to study influences of pollutants (especially polluted air) on the changes in human DNA and the human organism as a whole. The second project is the Laboratory for Advanced Bioimaging of Living Tissues, applying the most advanced technology to study cell cultures and living tissues in order to enhance our knowledge of changes connected with the incidence and progress of neurodegenerative diseases.


To transfer new scientific findings and newly developed technologies to practical use belongs among the main tasks of the CAS. Such application-oriented activities are reflected in direct contacts and co-operation between the CAS institutes and partner organizations from the industrial sphere as well as in creating laboratories and centres orientated on improving contacts between fundamental research, applied research and industries, such as the Centre for Innovations in the Field of Nanomaterials and Nanotechnologies of the J. Heyrovsky Institute of Physical Chemistry, Algatech of the Institute of Microbiology, HiLASE of the Institute of Physics, the Otto Wichterle Centre of Polymer Materials and Technologies of the Institute of Macromolecular Chemistry, ALISI of the Institute of Scientific Instruments and many others.

Support of technology transfer and coordination of the CAS activities in the sphere of practical applications is provided by the Council for Cooperation of the CAS with Business and Application Spheres. Of no less importance is the CAS co-operation with the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate of the Parliament of the Czech Republic, state administration and local administration bodies (municipalities, town districts, towns, regions) and non-governmental organizations.

Photo: Archive Centre of Administration and Operations CAS
An experimental set-up for generating ultra-precision optical frequencies using femtosecond lasers at the Application Laboratories of Microtechnologies and Nanotechnologies (ALISI)


The CAS efforts to transfer research findings into practical outputs and its co-operation with partners in the industrial sphere are documented by the following examples:
As far as property rights are concerned, in 2014 the CAS institutes submitted 60 patent applications, filed 31 utility models; they were granted 44 patents in the Czech Republic and 10 regional ones abroad, 32 utility models were registered in the CR. The number of invention applications submitted abroad numbers 14; 3 cultivation certificates were granted in the CR and 4 abroad etc.

The Institute of Rock Structure and Mechanics obtained a patent for equipment generating a strong magnetic field without electric energy supplies.

A novel method of the microwave recycling of waste PET bottles, developed at the Institute of Chemical Process Fundamentals, has been sold to a foreign company, which is now building a unit operating on this principle. The method for the chemical de-polymerization
of waste polyethylene terephthalate (PET) by the application of microwave radiation is characterized by a low consumption of energy and a high purity of the product (terephthalic acid and ethylene glycol). The method has been patented both in the Czech Republic and abroad.

Photo: Archive of Institute of Chemical Process Fundamentals
Microwave recycling of waste PET bottles: Coloured PET scraps ale depolymerized using microwave radiation and turned into coloureless terepthhalic acid.


Researchers from the Biology Centre and University of South Bohemia devised a new and cheap method to detect bacteria Paenibacillus larvae which causes an infectious and highly contagious disease of the honey bee brood.

The J. Heyrovsky Institute of Physical Chemistry won the Czech Science Foundation (GACR) President´s Award for creating several new types of zeolites (which are alumina-silicate minerals commonly used as adsorbents and catalysts) with great potential for industrial technologies.


Support for publishing selected research and books popularizing science written by its own staff, experts from other research institutions and other authors is part and parcel of the CAS activities. In 2014, the subsidy from the CAS amounted to almost 14 million CZK. This sum helped publish 62 titles, either by the Academia publishing house, which is a part of the Centre of Administration and Operations of the CAS, or by other CAS institutes. In this section we have used translated titles of the publications concerned, which are published in Czech. However, many of them contain English summaries.

A number of publications issued last year by experts from the Institute of History mapped our past:
- Academic Atlas of Czech History by E. Semotanová, J. Cajthaml et al. won the title “Book of the Year” in the contest organized by the Academia publishing house, it was also awarded “ The Jury Prize for an historical encyclopaedic work” and it won the title of “Magnesia Litera for the publishing feat of the year”.

- Historical Atlas of the Towns of the Czech Republic – volume 26 – Most: research editor Robert Šimůnek. It is the 26th volume published within the greater project, itself part of the pan-European project of historical atlases for comparative histories of towns, implemented under the auspices of the Commission Internationale pour l´Histoire des Villes. The atlases summarize and present the history of the respective towns from the point of view of their historical, urban-planning, economic, regional, demographic, political and cultural status and development, through reproductions of old maps and plans, iconographic material and an authoritative text.


Archaeologists published remarkable books dealing with prehistoric events:
- J. A. Svoboda from the Institute of Archaeology in Brno is the author of the book Ancestors: Human Evolution, assembling what is known about human evolution from the first hominids through the worlds of Australopithecus and Neanderthals to the anatomically modern man, as seen not only by palaeoanthropology, but also evolutionary biology and other scientific disciplines. It describes their adaptations to new natural environments, the development of their skills, including new forms of communication and the beginning of the use of symbols.

- In 2014 the Institute of Archaeology in Brno also issued a collective monograph Great Moravia and the Beginnings of Christianity (edited by Pavel Kouřil) based on priceless archaeological discoveries and finds displayed at the travelling exhibition bearing the same name.

A team of experts from the Institute of the Czech Language, including editors M. Pravdová and I. Svobodová, prepared The Academic Guidebook of the Czech Language which is the first printed revised and completed version of The Internet Language Reference Book. It offers general explanations about the Czech language, its orthography, morphology, word formation and some syntactic phenomena. The book is intended for both the lay public and professionals, especially teachers and students, and it won the title of “Best-Seller of 2014” of the Academia publishing house.
The Institute of the Czech Language also launched the complete internet version of The Academic Guide-book of the Czech Language at

Researchers from the Oriental Institute prepared two monographs in English to be published by prestigious foreign publishing houses in 2015:
- Stefano Taglia: Intellectuals and Reform in the Ottoman Empire: The Young Turks on the Challenges of Modernity (London: Routledge, 2015)
- Ondrej Klimes: Struggle by the Pen: The Uyghur Discourse of Nation and National Interest, c.1900–1949 (Leiden: Brill, 2015).

The achievements of the Institute of Philosophy include a monograph by Jaroslav Peregrin Inferentialism: Why Rules Matter (New York, Palgrave Macmillan 2014).

Contemporary Czech migration abroad, the social activities of Czechs in foreign countries and their relationship to the Czech Republic, and to the communities of earlier migrants are the topic of this book by Stanislav Brouček and Tomáš Grulich entitled The New Emigration from the Czech Republic after the Year 1989 and the Policy of Return: Examining the Issue in the Context of the Development of Migrations in the World and published by the Institute of Ethnology in cooperation with the Senate of the Parliament of the Czech Republic and The International Organization for Migration.



The guiding principle that “There is no high quality science without international co-operation” is indicative of the research activities of the CAS and their evaluation globally.

The academy as a partner:
in International Co-operation, ERA and Operational Programmes of the EU´s structural funds


In the year 2014, the CAS payed great attention to the Czech Republic´s active integration into the European Research Area, to preparations of Operational Programmes in order to use European structural and investment funds for the development of new research centres. It continued to co-operate with European and world organizations, including The European Academies Science Advisory Council (EASAC), All European Academies (ALLEA), the International Council for Science (ICSU) and the InterAcademy Panel (IAP), and it also supported the integration of Czech scientists into significant international projects. Czech researchers were active in projects within the framework of large international research infrastructures, co-operating particularly with the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) and the European Southern Observatory (ESO), and they enjoyed long-term access to unique research infrastructures, technologies, instruments and scientific data. Bilateral co-operation expanded with partner organizations in more than 40 countries.

In 2014, the CAS participated in 122 projects within the EU Seventh Framework Programme, including, for instance, the project Antitick Vaccines to Prevent Tick-borne Diseases in Europe involving researchers from The Biology Centre and 5 more institutions from 5 European countries.

The projects of the European Research Council included, among others: Spintronics based on relativistic phenomena in systems with zero magnetic momen t, AdG (the Institute of Physics); Regular Arrays of Artificial Surface-Mounted Dipolar Molecular Rotors, AdG (the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry); Regime and Society in Eastern Europe 1956–1989: from Extended Reproduction to Social and Political Change, AdG (the Institute of Contemporary History).

The CAS also worked on four projects as part of the Horizon 2020 EU Research and Innovation Programme, one of which concentrated on The Implementation of activities described in the Roadmap to Fusion during Horizon 2020 through a Joint programme of the members of the EUROfusion consortium, involving the Institute of Plasma Physics and 29 more institutions from 27 countries.

Last year the Technology Centre of the CAS organized – in cooperation with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports – a conference called The 11th Czech Days for European Research.

There were 347 projects either directly financed or grant-aided from abroad in the year 2014, including 224 as part of EU programmes. International Conferences Researchers from the CAS institutes participated in a number of scientific conferences and congresses in 2014, gave more than 3,700 lectures and other contributions and presented almost 3,000 research posters there. 309 more Czech scientists lectured at foreign universities and – vice versa – some 1,150 foreign guests came to give lectures at individual CAS institutes. The CAS was an organizer or co-organizer of more than 520 international conferences, congresses, symposia and workshops held in the Czech Republic.

in Regional Co-operation
Last year the CAS researchers participated in 22 projects of the Regional Cooperation Programme consisting of regions, municipalities, universities, state-funded institutions and commercial companies as their partners. One of the projects, a System for Detecting Air-borne Pollution, was carried out by the Institute of Physics in the region of Central Bohemia.

in Co-operation with Educational Establishments
Co-operation with elementary and higher schools, universities, technical colleges and other educational institutions at all levels is another key element of the CAS activities assuming the form of teaching and the supervision of students’ qualification theses performed at laboratories and institutes of the CAS. As well, the CAS co-operated in lectures, various courses, workshops, summer schools, knowledge contests and so on at these educational facilities. The CAS researchers also participated in writing and publishing text books or preparing e-learning courses.

Last year 4,017 individual semester courses of lectures, seminars or practical exercises were provided at universities and technical colleges, totalling some 75,000 hours. In addition to that, The CAS researchers prepared a number of specialized seminars and series of lectures and other events for university students, including the following: Summer Training Course on Experimental Plasma Physics (SUMTRAIC) offered by the Institute of Plasma Physics, a Course in Paleoecology organized by the Institute of Botany, a Course in Micromorphology at the Institute of Geology, and a course entitled Physiology and Molecular Biology of Plants organized by the Institute of Experimental Botany.


The most significant awards to the researchers of the CAS

In the year 2014, researchers of the CAS institutes were granted a number of awards, medals and prizes appreciating the relevance of their work. They were awarded not only by the CAS, but also by other Czech and foreign scientific institutions as well as other state bodies.

The most prominent ones include:
The National Prize of the Government of the Czech Republic “Czech Brain” to:
Emil Paleček (Institute of Biophysics) for lifelong research work

Photo: Zdeněk Tichý, Archive of Academy of Sciences Library
Prof. Emil Paleček


The “Czech Brain” in other categories to:
Pavel Izák (Institute of Chemical Process Fundamentals) for technical sciences,
Pavla Eliášová (J. Heyrovsky Institute of Physical Chemistry) in the “Doctorandus” Category.

The Silver Commemorative Medal of the Senate of the Parliament of the Czech Republic was obtained by:
Emil Paleček (Institute of Biophysics) again for lifelong research work;
František Vyskočil (Institute of Physiology) also for lifelong research work.

The Minister of Education, Youth and Sports´ Award for outstanding achievements in research, experimental development and innovation was granted to:

Jaroslav Doležel (Institute of Experimental Botany) for studies of the structural and functional genomics in plants and in the wheat genome. He has made a fundamental contribution to the development of new methods for analysing plant nuclear genomes, including what is called flow cytometry and its use in plant sciences. He has formulated and developed the chromosome genomics approach to enable analysis of complex and polyploid plant genomes, analysis of genome structure, evolution and function of polyploid and hybrid
plant species. Thanks to his team´s unique methods the International Wheat Genome Sequencing Consortium has “read” and published a draft sequence of the bread wheat genome.
Jiří Homola (Institute of Photonics and Electronics) – for optical biosensors. His main research focus is surface plasmon resonance-based sensors that allow not only to detect minute quantities of chemical and biological substances (such as pollutants, toxins, antigens) and determine their concentrations, but also make it possible to directly observe interactions amongst molecules and study their characteristics and mutual relations. Jiří Homola deals with the development of novel optical biosensor technologies for applications in biomolecular research and bio-analytics, in monitoring the environment, in the control of food quality etc. His team has prepared unique optical biosensors for the detection of carcinoembryonic antigen, the elevated level of which can indicate certain kinds of cancer.

Awards bestowed by the CAS

Academic Award: The Praemium Academiae
The Praemium Academiae is the pre-eminent award of the CAS. It is a rigorously selective tool for the financial and moral support of scientific excellence and is, therefore, intended for outstanding scientists, whose research achieves the top international level and promises further extraordinary advancement, in order to help them further develop their potential. In 2014 it was awarded to:

Ondřej Santolík (Institute of Atmospheric Physics), who deals with satellite measurements of plasma and the research into the formation, distribution and manifestations of plasma waves and plasma instabilities in the magnetosphere of the Earth and other planets of our Solar System and their interactions with energetic particles. His further research is to be orientated not only on space plasma, but also on electromagnetic phenomena in the wide range of frequencies emitted by lightning discharges and on the preparation of new scientific instruments for satellites and probes.
Jiří Šponer (Institute of Biophysics), who focuses on the immensely complex world of the basic building blocks of life itself. He investigates the structure, dynamics, function and evolution of nucleic acid molecules – DNA and RNA – by means of the most advanced computational methods, molecular dynamics computer simulations, quantum-chemical calculations, hybrid quantum-classical calculations and bioinformatics. The laboratory he heads was even the very first to publish a quantum-chemical description of a complex functional 8-nucleotide fragment of DNA.

The Award of the CAS for outstanding published results of great scientific significance was received by:
Frantisek Slanina (Institute of Physics) for the monograph Essentials of Econophysics Modelling (Oxford University Press);
The team of authors: Jiří Hejnar, Magda Matoušková, Filip Šenigl, Kateřina Trejbalová, Jiří Plachý, Dalibor Miklík (Institute of Molecular Genetics) for their research work and various publications on transcriptional regulation of retroviruses, retroviral vectors and
Karel Novotný (Institute of Philosophy) for The Genesis of a Heresy. World, Body and History in the Thought of Jan Patočka and other works.

The Award of the CAS for young scientists for outstanding results in research achieved before they reach the age of 35 went to:

Michal Švanda (Astronomical Institute) for contributions to the development of helioseismic methods;
Jan Vondrák (Institute of Botany) for the phylogenetic approach to taxonomy of critical groups of lichenized fungi;
Eva Chodějovská (Institute of History) for the Historical Atlas of Towns of the Czech Republic – volume 24: Prague-Smíchov.

The Award of the President of the CAS for the promotion and popularization of research, experimental development and innovation was granted to:
Aleš Špičák (Institute of Geophysics);
Michael Londesborough (Institute of Inorganic Chemistry);
Jiří Prosecký (Oriental Institute).

26 young experts received The Otto Wichterle Premium to young scientists at the CAS:
I. Mathematics, Physics and Earth Sciences:
Oto Brzobohatý (Institute of Scientific Instruments), Jan Hrabina (Institute of Scientific Instruments), Leona Chadimová (Institute of Geology), Martin Kempa (Institute of Physics), Ladislav Krištoufek (Institute of Information Theory and Automation), Jakub Plášil (Institute of Physics), Jiří Svoboda (Astronomical Institute), Martin Švec (Institute of Physics), Jana Vejpravová (Institute of Physics), Prokop Závada (Institute of Geophysics).
II. Life Sciences and Chemical Sciences:
Jakub Kaminský (Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry), Milan Kožíšek (Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry), Ondřej Kuda (Institute of Physiology), Petr Pecina (Institute of Physiology), Michaela Pekarová (Institute of Biophysics), Matěj Polačik (Institute of Vertebrate Biology), Marie Prchalová (Biology Centre), Petra Procházková (Institute of Microbiology), Jan Řezáč (Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry), Jan Štefka (Biology Centre).
III. Humanities and Social Sciences:
Aleš Bičan (Institute of the Czech Language); Patrick Gaulé (Economics Institute); Jana Klímová Chaloupková (Institute of Sociology); Petr Kitzler (Institute of Philosophy); Alice Koubová (Institute of Philosophy); Kateřina Zábrodská (Institute of Psychology).

Awards granted by the Learned Society of the Czech Republic:
The Medal of the Learned Society of the CR for meritorious contributions to the advancement of science was granted to Jan Svoboda:


Photo: Stanislava Kyselová, AB
Prof. Jan Svoboda

Jan Svoboda (Institute of Molecular Genetics) is a world renowned virologist and expert in oncogenes who has substantially contributed to the understanding of retroviruses, some of which can cause certain kinds of cancer and leukaemia or other serious diseases, like the HIV
virus causing AIDS. He has made significant discoveries concerning the life cycles and mechanisms of replication of retroviruses, particularly how a special enzyme called a reverse transcriptase converts the retroviral RNA genome into double-stranded DNA and how that genetic information is subsequently integrated into the host genome. He suggested the very ability of retroviruses to transfer their genetic information into a host cell and change it can be connected with cancer. Although this hypothesis had not found much support in the beginning, it was later proved to be correct.


The CAS exerts every effort to facilitate young people´s entry into science. In 2014 experienced scientists gave lectures at universities, organized various seminars, courses and other specialized events focused on the education of students and young scientists, such as summer schools, postgraduate courses and workshops. They supervised students and their qualification theses performed at the laboratories and institutes of the CAS. In the same year, 268 students in doctorial study programmes supervised at the institutes of the CAS successfully completed their study. The Courses in the Fundamentals of Research Work designed for students in doctorial study programmes were much in demand. In 2014 they were attended by 110 students in Prague and by 222 students in Brno.

The EURAXESS Centre at the CAS Centre of Administration and Operations provided help to foreign researchers – both young and experienced – in joining in the work of research institutes in the Czech Republic.

26 young experts received the Otto Wichterle Premium granted to exceptionally outstanding, promising young scientists at the CAS for their remarkable contributions to the advancement of scientific knowledge. They are eligible for financial support provided that they are not older than 35 in the calendar year when the nominations are submitted (in case they are on maternity or fraternity leaves, the age limit is postponed accordingly).

The CAS strives to enhance equal opportunities for both men and women in science, and does so in both theoretical and practical manners. An independent department, Gender and Sociology, has been established within the Institute of Sociology to develop the concept of gender-orientated sociology. In 2014 the National Contact Centre for Gender and Science of the same institute organized a national conference Which Science? Fair Science! The 3 rd National Conference on Gender and Science: The Role of the State and Research Institutions.


Science Communication

The popularization of science and research areas and achievements with special emphasis on systematic work with students and elementary and secondary school teachers has become part and parcel of the CAS activities exercised through both specialized centres (the Centre of Administration and Operations, the Division of Media Communication of the CAS Head Office, the Library and others) and individual institutes.

The largest science festival, The Week of Science and Technology (WST CAS), held on 1–15 November 2014, offered over 500 events all over the Czech Republic. Lectures, Science Cafés, exhibitions, seminars, documentary film screenings, open house days and excursions to laboratories attracted some 160,000 visitors.

The 16 th Brain Awareness Week organized by the Institute of Experimental Medicine in cooperation with the Czech Society for Neuroscience also proved very attractive for the general public. More than 3,600 secondary school students and other people grasped the offer of the Spring Excursions to the World of Science. A wide and varied range of events was staged by individual CAS institutes, including Climbing Milešovka Mountain with the Institute of Atmospheric Physics or Children’s Day at the Brno Airport organized by the Global Change Research Centre as well as the joint interactive presentation of the Institutes of Chemical Process Fundamentals and of Experimental Botany entitled Alchemists and Herbalists, to name just a few.

Photo: Stanislava Kyselová, Akademický bulletin
Brain Awareness Week in the  Czech Academy of Science


The Open Science projects offered study stays at the institutes of the CAS and participation in research activities to 265 secondary school students and more than 40 university students. 30 secondary school teachers of biology, physics and chemistry from schools outside Prague could find new ideas of how to make their subjects even more attractive for students at the second season of the Summer Science Camp, this time entitled Science and the Earth.

In 2014, the CAS also supported the international contest of science popularisers FameLab 2014, initiated by the British Council in the Czech Republic.

Science and the Arts
Drawing on the heritage and traditions of its predecessors, the CAS laid emphasis on combining sciences with the arts, organizing therefore regular New Year´s concerts and performances and particularly staging a number of exhibitions displaying scientific discoveries as well as scientists´ works of art.

In 2014, the most remarkable success was scored by the interactive exhibition celebrating the 60 th anniversary of the European Organization for Nuclear Research – CERN, which invited visitors to the realm of elementary particles and their collisions, let them glance at CERN´s most advanced accelerator LHC and some of the unique apparatus that Czech scientists developed or helped develop.

The CAS and its institutes also participated in organizing exhibitions held outside their bases – throughout the whole of the Czech Republic and even abroad. In 2014, Bern, Bucharest, Brussels, Moscow, Plovdiv and Stockholm could see the travelling exhibition Otto Wichterle – The Story of Contact Lenses, prepared by the Institute of Macromolecular Chemistry and Czech Centres abroad to mark the 50 th anniversary of the invention of soft contact lenses.

The CAS, particularly its Institute of Archaeology in Brno and the Institute of Philosophy, participated in preparations for the international exhibition Great Moravia and the Beginnings of Christianity, which displays more than 1,200 exhibits, mostly priceless archaeological finds discovered in Bohemia, Moravia, Slovakia, Austria and Poland.


While this publication was being prepared, the year 2015 was far from over. It cannot therefore constitute a full summary of all the major successes achieved in the realm of science in the whole year. It can, nevertheless, accentuate some pivotal aims and trends of the CAS and point out the most significant scientific and social events to which it pays special attention during 2015.

Strategy AV21

The CAS makes every effort to perform top level research reflecting the needs of contemporary society, relying primarily on its new Strategy AV21 as the major tool to achieve that goal. It aims at pressing challenges facing humankind at present, including energy resources, human health, natural hazards and other complex problems that can be solved only through multilateral interdisciplinary research involving not only different institutes of the CAS, but also universities both in the Czech Republic and abroad, as well as partners from a broad range of commercial companies, hospitals, museums, archives as well as state and local administration bodies.

The backbone of the Strategy AV21 is formed by a set of co-ordinated research programmes which can be adjusted depending on the achieved results, and new programmes that can be proposed. At present the Research Areas are as follows:

1. Hopes and risks of the digital era:


Source: Strategy of the CAS for the 21 st Century

The digital era has brought a flood of information and data – new tools of mathematics and computer sciences are therefore inevitable to help us sort, analyse and use the data efficiently. The aim is therefore to develop new ways of modelling complex processes, to push forward the frontiers of computer capabilities in order to establish computer controlled power plants, transportation systems, intelligent buildings and so on.

2. Systems for the nuclear power industry:

Source: Strategy of the CAS for the 21 st Century


Since nuclear energy is to remain an essential source in the Czech Republic, research is needed in both advanced generation IV fission reactors, as well as in the field of controlled thermonuclear fusion, the development of new materials withstanding extreme conditions
in nuclear reactors etc. The programme follows on a long-term international co-operation of many CAS institutes in this field.

3. Efficient energy conversion and storage:

Source: Strategy of the CAS for the 21 st Century


Research into the efficient conversion of energy from various sources, the storage of energy from renewable sources, smart energy distribution, the development of nanomaterials for solar energy conversion, as well as significant modernizations and innovations of thermal power plants – these are the main tasks in this Strategy AV21 programme.

4. Natural hazards:

Source: Strategy of the CAS for the 21 st Century


The aim of this programme is to acquire a more comprehensive understanding of the complex and hazardous processes in the Earth´s interior, on its surface, in the atmosphere and in space to help predict and avert such natural hazards as earthquakes, landslides, floods, geomagnetic storms, as well as soil degradation and erosion, the consequences of droughts and other such eventualities.

5. New materials based on metals, ceramics and composites:

Source: Strategy of the CAS for the 21 st Century


Basic material research and a thorough understanding of the relations between the microstructure and behaviour of materials are inevitable for the development of new materials with special and unique properties, including nanomaterials, advanced high-strength steels
for cars, high temperature super-alloys for aeronautical engines, life-saving medical implants, functional materials and composites for many industrial applications.

6. Diagnostic methods and techniques:

Source: Strategy of the CAS for the 21 st Century


The main objective is to gain new fundamental knowledge in physics, chemistry and other fields of sciences allowing the further development of special technologies for extremely precise and technically advanced applications, the advancement of electronics, optics and the corresponding advanced technologies for materials engineering and non-invasive diagnostic procedures.

7. Well-being in health and disease:

Source: Strategy of the CAS for the 21 st Century


Multidisciplinary biomedical research is to be conducted with special emphasis on diseases of modern civilization. The programme aims not only at novel discoveries concerning the molecular, cellular, systemic and epidemiological basis of these diseases and natural regenerative mechanisms, but also at developing innovative diagnostic tools, therapies to treat those diseases and more efficient strategies to prevent them.

8. Foods for the future:

Strategy of the CAS for the 21 st Century


New ecologically and economically sustainable ways of plant and animal production are sought using the latest findings in genomics, proteomics and metabolomics, obtaining new insights into the hereditary information of agricultural crops and farm animals with priority attention to developing new varieties resistant to diseases, pests and abiotic stress, with increased yield and quality, to address challenges resulting from climate change, the loss of arable land and its degradation and erosion.

9. Diversity of life and health of ecosystems:

Source: Strategy of the CAS for the 21 st Century


The programme focuses on the study of biodiversity at the level of molecules, genes, species, communities and whole ecosystems, on research into fundamental biogeochemical processes, flows of nutrients and energy among ecosystems in the interest of preserving biological diversity and protecting natural ecosystems. New findings in this field can also find their use in agriculture, forestry, fishery, environmental protection and other areas related to the ecosystem services.

10. Molecules and materials for life:

Source: Strategy of the CAS for the 21 st Century


Priorities of this programme include the development of new and more efficient chemical technologies useful for environmental protection, including new catalytic systems decreasing energy consumption. Detailed knowledge of structure-to-function relationships in polymers
is also expected to bring new, selectively active and targeted drugs, biomaterials supporting the regeneration of tissues or new tissue formation, as well as devices for selective medical diagnostics.

11. Europe and the State: between barbarism and civilization:

Source: Strategy of the CAS for the 21 st Century


This programme studies the State as a tool for organizing society, as a space for both the forming of and the destruction of the processes of civilization. It deals with the transformations of both historical and contemporary (Central) European states as a phenomenon, the historical oscillation between the positive and negative forms of an organisation that sometimes tyrannises society (barbarism) and other times brings it to humanity and culture (civilization).

12. Memory in the digital age:

Source: Strategy of the CAS for the 21 st Century


Research into human memory – both individual and collective – as reflecting complex modern history makes a significant part of studies in many branches of science. Researchers are therefore to analyse the culture of remembrance, to trace the transformations of traditional values and social structures on this basis and to develop research infrastructure for the preservation and analysis of memory.

13. Effective public policies and contemporary society:


Source: Strategy of the CAS for the 21 st Century

The programme aims to better understand our complex and rapidly changing society in the 21st century and the dynamics of these changes. Interdisciplinary research projects are to seek answers to key questions about how present-day society and public policies function, to investigate socio-economic, philosophical and other factors influencing public policy, to provide insight into causes underlying numerous societal phenomena.

14. Forms and functions of communication:

Source: Strategy of the CAS for the 21 st Century


The social, cultural and psychological functions of communication, the conditions of understanding among individuals and social groups, communication among different branches of science on the one hand and between science and society on the other, as well as historical forms and changes in communication and new ways of its analysis and modelling: these are the main points of interest of this programme.

The Czech Academy of Sciences in 2015 – science and research

This year sees numerous projects carried out at the CAS institutes out of which only a few can be mentioned here:
The Institute of Archaeology in Brno is examining different grave pit modifications and wooden structures in the Great Moravian graves and what they can reveal about the social structure of early medieval society. The Institute of Geology is to complete its project entitled Laboratory simulations of space weathering – the role of iron nanoparticles in the reflectance spectra of asteroids. Geologists from the Institute of Rock Structure and Mechanics are continuing to co-operate with the underground laboratory at Grimsel in southern Switzerland and to study, within the framework of the international Large Scale Monitoring Project (LASMO), geological discontinuities and rock movements in the Alps. Researchers from the Institute of Physics are to use the prestigious ERC Consolidator Grant and focus on exotic states of new magnetic materials. The same ERC grant support is to allow the Institute of Molecular Genetics to further investigate RNA in connection with the search for new antiviral therapy in mammals.

The year 2015 is again rich in international events, including conferences on The Present and Future of Institutions of Non-University Research, on computational neurosciences CNS 2015, on Frontiers of Quantum and Mesoscopic Thermodynamics – FMQT´15, on the Strength of Materials (ICSMA 17), LOGICA 2015 and many others.

Throughout the year, new scientific discoveries are constantly being announced, including the first borane laser in the world developed by the Institute of Inorganic Chemistry. The Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry has gained new findings allowing more detailed examination of the life-cycle of the HIV viruses; the Algatech Centre of the Institute of Microbiology and the Biology Centre have published a breakthrough discovery describing the physical nature of the conversion of light into heat in light-harvesting complexes of plants and the Institute of Animal Physiology and Genetics has thrown new light upon what causes disruptions of chromosome division in mammalian eggs.

The Czech Academy of Sciences in 2015 – topical events

125 th Anniversary of the Czech Academy of Sciences

Photo: Stanislava Kyselová, AB
Ceremonial Opening at the Convent of St Agnes in Prague


Throughout the whole of 2015 the CAS is commemorating the 125 th anniversary of the foundation of “The Czech Academy of Emperor Franz Josef I for Sciences, Literature and Art”, which is the predecessor of today’s CAS. To celebrate the jubilee, the CAS has prepared a number of ceremonial events, conferences, exhibitions and lectures throughout 2015. They began with a Ceremonial Session in the main hall of Wallenstein Palace and a Ceremonial Opening at the Convent of St Agnes in Prague. These were followed, among others, by Videomapping – a video projection on the walls of the CAS main building on Národní třída in Prague that acquainted the general public with selected historical milestones of the CAS and its important scientific personalities.
Those interested could or still can learn more about the CAS and its activities at the interactive exhibitions Science and Technology: An Adventure that Will Entertain You! at the National Technical Museum in Prague, Botanical Stories (World of Plants – From Knowledge to Use) at Průhonice Castle and the Chotobuz Botanical Garden, at the travelling outdoor exhibition called ART (and) SCIENCES, and also at the international conference Non-University Research Institutions in 1890–2015 and through many other events.

Other Anniversaries

Numerous events have also been prepared to commemorate the 70 th anniversary of the end of World War II, such as exhibitions On the Threshold of Freedom: Victory 1945 and The Protectorate and its End.

600 years ago Czech the priest, philosopher and early Christian reformer, Jan Hus, was burned at the stake for heresy – and the CAS and its institutes paid homage to him with lectures, publications, exhibitions and conferences, including an international one entitled Hus – Hussite Movement – Tradition – Prague; from Reality to Myth and Back.

Photo: Stanislava Kyselová, Akademický bulletin
From the exhibition Hus – Hussite Movement – Tradition – Prague; from Reality to Myth and Back


EXPO 2015
The CAS presented its successes at the world EXPO 2015 held in Milano, Italy, under the banner Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life. The Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry presented its research aimed at finding new therapeutics against modern civilization´s – or lifestyle – diseases. The Institute of Experimental Botany, whose researchers have substantially contributed to sequencing the wheat genome, offered an insight into the DNA structure of cultivated crops. On display was also the first electron microscope from the Institute of Scientific Instruments, the Institute of Botany took part in preparing a live exhibition of plants, the Laboratory of Silence showing a biotope of a Czech forest.

The International Year of Light
The United Nations has designated 2015 as The International Year of Light and Light-Based Technologies. The CAS has joined the efforts to raise global awareness of the social, economic and developmental role of light and optical technologies and organized exhibitions (including Light is Life and Light and Shade, which documents that the distribution of, and the interplay between, light and shade is the substance of paintings), symposia, public lectures and so on. The topic of light seen from all possible aspects has also been included in the CAS´s largest event popularizing science – The Week of Science and Technology 2015.

Photo:Jaromír Kopeček, Institute of Physics


Prepared by Jana Olivová in Academy bulletin

20 Oct 2015