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On 6 March, the laureates of the Lithuanian Science Prizes 2018 were honoured at a ceremony at the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences. The event was attended by Saulius Skvernelis, Prime Minister of the Republic of Lithuania, Prof. Jūras Banys, President of the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences and chair of the Commission of Lithuanian Science Prizes, Algirdas Monkevičius, minister of education, research and sport of the Republic of Lithuania, and vice-minister Prof. Valdemaras Razumas, Tamara Bairašauskaitė, deputy chair of the Commission of Lithuanian Science Prizes, members of the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences, and other guests.
Prof. Jūras Banys, President of the Academy, pointed out that a country without research is unimaginable and rejoiced that there were so many outstanding scientists in Lithuania. He emphasised the importance of science and research forming the basis of the country’s economy, innovations, culture, and defence.
Tamara Bairašauskaitė, deputy chair of the Commission of Lithuanian Science Prizes, invited the laureates to collect their diplomas. Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis seconded the President of the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences in that the state could not exist without research, but neither could it do without scientific knowledge and true hearts. Having expressed gratitude to the laureates on behalf of the Government, Saulius Skvernelis said he found it meaningful and extremely pleasant to allocate budgetary funds for the prizes as they should stimulate and mature even more new and progressive ideas in the future. He closed his speech with best wishes of harmony and unity to the laureates.
The floor was then given to the laureates, who spoke about their research. Dr Arnoldas Deltuva, a representative of physical sciences, was awarded the prize for the research cycle ‘The theory of reactions in quantum three- and four-body systems: from cold atoms to high-energy nuclei’; Professor Vidmantas Gulbinas, a full member of the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences and also a physicist, received the prize for the research cycle ‘Exciton and charge carrier dynamics in organic and perovskite semiconductors and in new-generation solar cells’ (with Andrius Devižis and Marius Franckevičius. In the field of biomedical and agricultural sciences, Prof. Dr. habil. Vilius Jonas Grabauskas was awarded the prize for the research cycle ‘Chronic non-infectious diseases: from the population to the genes’ (with Jūratė Klumbienė, Vaiva Lesauskaitė, Janina Petkevičienė, and Abdonas Tamošiūnas), and Prof. Dr. habil. Feliksas Jankevičius, also a representative of biomedical and agricultural sciences, received the prize for the research cycle ‘New-generation cancer markers’ (with Sonata Jarmalaitė). Prof. Vytautas Ostaševičius, a full member of the Academy, was awarded the prize for the research cycle ‘Design, analysis, and applications of micromechanical systems’ (with Arvydas Palevičius, Rimvydas Gaidys, Rolanas Daukševičius, Giedrius Janušas, and Vytautas Jūrėnas).
The final speech was given by Algirdas Monkevičius, minister of education, research, and sport of the Republic of Lithuania. He expressed his joy at the achievements of the recipients of the Lithuanian Science Prizes, whom he titled the champions of science. In his opinion, laureates are those who impart meaning to research, the true maestros capable of creating miracles.
The award ceremony closed with the duo of Glebas Pyšniakas (cello) and Tadas Motiečius (accordion) performing music by Astor Piazzola and the Lithuanian composer Aleksandras Kačanauskas.
Dr. Rolandas Maskoliūnas