Four outstanding persons in science have been awarded (link is external) Honorary Medals of the Czech Academy of Sciences. Vladimír Nekvasil from the Institute of Physics of the Czech Academy of Sciences has received a “De scientia et humanitate optime meritis” Medal, a significant award for merit in science and dissemination of humanist ideas. Nekvasil significantly contributed to knowledge in the area of solid states physics and supported conceptual and organized development of science in the Czech Republic after the Velvet Revolution.
Ing. Vladimír Nekvasil, DrSc. gained a CSc. degree in the Institute of Solid States Physics of the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences in 1973 and in 1988 he was appointed a senior scientist in the same institute. He still works part-time in the institute, which was later merged with the Institute of Physics of the Czech Academy of Sciences. In his research, Vladimír Nekvasil has focused primarily on physical properties of magnetic oxides, mainly in relation to high-temperature superconductivity and magnetoelectric phenomena.
After 1989 he got engaged in the creation of a sensible scientific policy which would enable researchers to apply their scientific potential and become equal members of the European and world academic community. He was the Chair of the Council for Sciences of the Institute of Physics of the CAS, of the Quality Audit Committee and the Committee for the Remedy of a Wrong. His main merit resides in highly professional, conceptual and selfless work in the Academy Council of the Czech Academy of Sciences. In 2001–2005 he was the Vice-President of the Czech Academy of Sciences for the 1st scientific area and in 2009–2013 in the Academy Council he was responsible for integration into European research. Apart from taking care for institutes of the 1st scientific area, Vladimír Nekvasil played a decisive role in the preparation and discussion of new sensible laws in the area of research and development, mainly legislation for public research institutions.
For Vladimír Nekvasil Czech society and science has always been a priority. He tried to act in their benefit at home as a member of CAS bodies, as a member of Defence Research Council of the Ministry of Defence, Council for Security Research of the Ministry of Interior and mainly as the member of the Council for Research, Development and Innovations in 2001–2009, when he tried to reform the Council, as well as within international context in professional bodies of EU, NATO or OECD. He has always aimed at the preparation of a functional scientific policy and collaboration of the Czech Academy of Sciences with universities and with the industrial sphere.
„At such opportunities, a man has a chance to think what was important and what was not,“ said Vladimír Nekvasil when accepting the medal. „I can think of two things. Primarily the person of Svatopluk Krupička who enabled us to work peacefully in the Institute of States Physics even under the past regime, free from political pressures,“ he emphasised. A second such thing was his arrival at the headquarters of the Czech Academy of Sciences. „I found a team there that was a pleasure to work for,“ he concluded.
Other awarded persons who were presented Honorary Medals of the Czech Academy of Sciences together with V. Nekvasil were an immunologist and discoverer of new molecules, prof. RNDr. Václav Hořejší, CSc., a physical chemist prof. Ing. Pavel Kratochvíl, DrSc. And a physiologist RNDr. Jaroslav Kuneš, DrSc.