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The electoral general assembly of the members of the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences, the main focus of which was the election of the President and the Presidium of the Academy, was held on 26 October 2021. The event was also attended by Sigutis Obelevičius, Mayor of Anykščiai.
At the beginning of the meeting, the Presidium of the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences and the members of the scientific divisions extended their cordial wishes to Prof. Rimantas Kačianauskas on the occasion of his 70th anniversary. Prof. Aivaras Kareiva, chair of the Board of the Theodor von Grotthuss Foundation of the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences, awarded the Theodor von Grotthuss medal and certificate to Prof. Virginijus Šikšnys. In his address, Prof. Kareiva highlighted the recipient’s outstanding scientific achievements and his immense contribution to the promotion of Lithuania’s name. Vaidas Palinauskas, the elected chair of the Young Academy of the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences, and Viktorija Vaštakaitė-Kairienė, its vice-chair, were introduced; they will take office at the end of 2021.
Prof. Zenonas Dabkevičius, Vice-President of the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences, gave a speech on the history of the Academy’s cooperation with municipalities of Lithuania. Ten agreements have been signed with municipalities of Lithuanian towns and districts, and one with the municipality of Punsk district in Poland and the Polish Lithuanian community. Some of the agreements were signed for a fixed term; for example, the agreement with the Municipality of Anykščiai ended in 2020. The first such agreement was signed with the municipality of Panevėžys back in 2003. Such agreements foster multifaceted cooperation between academics and the country’s regions and encompass expert advice, lectures, and consulting on topical issues in science, business, culture, and ecology. The most recent agreement was signed with Pakruojis Municipality. Prof. Aivaras Kareiva, the initiator of this agreement, achieved the assurance that a monument to the famous scientist Theodor von Grotthuss, who was born in this region, would finally be erected in Žeimelis early next year. Prof. Dabkevičius’s informative speech was an excellent introduction to the ceremony of the renewal of the cooperation agreement between the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences and Anykščiai Municipality, which was signed by Prof. Jūras Banys, President of the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences, and Sigutis Obelevičius, Mayor of Anykščiai.
Prof. Gintautas Tamulaitis was the chair of the elective part of the meeting and invited Prof. Banys, the only candidate to the president of the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences, to outline his programme. In his speech, President highlighted the most important guidelines for the Academy’s activities: to continue strengthening science advisory activities of the Academy by assisting the Government of the Republic of Lithuania and other state institutions in making the best decisions; to strive to ensure that science popularisation, including the publication of books and the organisation of the science festival ‘Spaceship Earth’ remain one of the Academy’s most important activities. This year, more funding was obtained for the construction of the extension and equipment of the Wroblewski Library of the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences, which may enable the completion of its renovation the coming year. The candidate pointed out that it was also necessary to better explore the potential of the foreign members of the Academy and to enhance the activities of the Young Academy and its links with similar organisations in other countries. If elected, he would aim to consistently increase the benefits for the emeriti members of the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences.
This was followed by a discussion of the candidate’s programme. Prof. Vytautas Nekrošius asked him to introduce his team; Jūras Banys replied that he would invite Prof. Zenonas Dabkevičius to remain as Vice-President and proposed to include professors Raimundas Šiaučiūnas and Rimvydas Petrauskas in the Presidium of the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences.
After the vote counting commission had been proposed for both votes, the chair of the assembly declared a recess. After the votes were counted, it was announced that Prof. Jūras Banys was elected President of the LMA. Resolution No. 1, ‘On the election of the President of the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences’, was adopted by open ballot. In the election of the Presidium, the full members of the Academy, professors Rimvydas Petrauskas and Raimundas Šiaučiūnas, as well as the chairs of the Scientific Divisions elected in the Scientific Divisions, were nominated as candidates for the Presidium. The results of the secret ballot for the election (approval) of the Presidium were approved by open ballot after the chair of the vote counting commission announced the results of the secret ballot: a resolution was adopted on the election (approval) of the chairs of the scientific divisions of the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences: Leonas Valkūnas (Division of Mathematics, Physics, and Chemistry), Limas Kupčinskas (Division of Biology, Medicine, and Geosciences), Vidmantas Stanys (Division of Agriculture and Forestry), Gintautas Dzemyda (Division of Technical Sciences), and Rimvydas Petrauskas and Raimundas Šiaučiūnas as members of the Presidium.
Dr Rolandas Maskoliūnas, chief specialist for public relations
Dr Andrius Bernotas, Head of the Organising Department
Photos by Virginija Valuckienė
Translated by Diana Barnard