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Kováč Ladislav

prof., RNDr., DrSc.
Born April 9, 1932 in Zavážna Poruba, Slovakia

  • Biochemistry, Cognitive Biology
  • Honorary member of Learned Society since 1995

Educational and professional preparation:

  • 1950-1954, Studies of biochemistry, Charles University, Prague
  • 1954-1957, Graduate studies, Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences, Prague
    (Ph.D. in 1957)
  • 1964, Visiting Researcher, Laboratoire de génetique physiologique, CNRS, Gif-surYvette, France
  • 1984, DrSc
  • 1991, Professor of Biochemistry

Employment and academic positions:

  • 1957, Assistant Professor of Biochemistry, Comenius University, Bratislava
  • 1964, Associate Professor (docent), Comenius University, Bratislava
  • 1964-1970, Head of the Department of Biochemistry, Comenius University, Bratislava
  • 1967-1968, Visiting Professor, Max-Planck Institut fuer Ernaehrungsphysiologie, Dortmund, Germany
  • 1969-1970, Visiting Professor, Cornell University, Ithaca, USA
  • 1970, in purges following the Soviet invasion, dismissed from the University
  • 1970-1976, Clinical Chemist, Psychiatric hospital, Pezinok
  • 1977-1989, Research Scientist, Head of the Department of Bioenergetics, Institute of Animal Physiology, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Ivanka pri Dunaji
  • 1982-1983, Research Associate, Centre de génetique moléculaire, CNRS, Gif-surYvette, France
  • 1985, Visiting Professor, University of Stockholm, Sweden
  • 1987, Visiting Professor, University of Bordeaux II, France
  • 1988-1989, Visiting Professor, University of Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • 1989-1990, Minister of Education, Youth and Sports, Slovak Republic
  • 1990-l992, Ambassador of Czechoslovakia to UNESCO, Paris
  • 1997-1999, Visiting Professor, Konrad Lorenz Institutut für Evolutions- und Kognitionsforschung, Alternber/Donau, Austria

Membership in selected domestic scientific bodies:

  • Founding Member of the Slovak Learned Society (1999)

Membership and positions in selected international organizations and societies:

  • Founding Member of the Internationale Akademie Schloss Baruth (1996)
  • Fellow of the Konrad Lorenz Institut für Evolutions- und Kognitionsforschung (elected 1999)
  • Fellow of the World Innovation Foundation (elected in 2001) 
  • Chairman of the U. N. Intergovernmental Committee for Science and Technology for Development (1990-1992)
  • Member of the Advisory Committee of the U. N. Intergovernmental Committee on Science and Technology for Development (1990-1992)
  • Member of the Education Committee, International Union of Biochemistry (1991-1993)
  • Member of the Advisory Board, Conferences on Yeast Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (1986-2001)
  • Member of the Advisory Board, European Bioenergetic Conferences (I982-l985)
  • Member of the International Society for the Study of the Origin of Life (1987-)
  • Member of the Committee, International Bioenergetic Groups (1980-1984)
  • Member of the Board, European Journal of Biochemistry (1969-1979)
  • Member of the Administration Board, Masaryk University, Brno (1997-2002)
  • Member and Secretary of the Scientific Council of the UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science in Europe (2001- 2006) 
  • Member of the European Group on Life Sciences (2002-2006)

Notable awards:

  • State Science Award (1985)
  • Research fellow of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (1995-2000)
  • Silver Medal of the Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic, 1993
  • Silver Medal of the University of Opava, 2004
  • Plenary lectures at the international Congress of Genetics (1980), International Congress of Microbiology (1986), European Bioenergetic Conferences (1982, 1986).

Selected publications:

  • L. Kováč, T. M. Lachowicz, P. P. Slonimski: Biochemical genetics of oxidative phosphorylation. Science 158, 1564 (1967)
  • L. Kováč: Biochemical mutants: An approach to mitochondrial energy coupling. Biochim. Biophys. acta 346, 101 (1974)
  • L. Kováč, J. Kolarov, J. Šubík: Genetic determination of the mitochondrial adenine nucleotide translocator and its role in the eukaryotic cell. Moll. Cell. Biochem. 14, 11 (1977)
  • L. Kováč: Overview – bioenergetics between chemistry, genetics and physics.
    Curr. Top. Bioenerg.
    15, 331 (1987)
  • J. Nosek, Ľ. Tomáška, H. Fukuhara, Y. Suyama, L. Kováč: Linear mitochondrial genomes: 30 years down the line. Trends in Genetics 14, 184 (1998)
  • L. Kováč: Fundamental principles of cognitive biology. Evolution and Cognition 6, 51 (2000)
  • L. Kováč: Two cultures revisited: New widening gaps. World futures 58, 1-11 (2002)
  • L. Kováč: Science and September 11th: a lesson of relevance. World Futures 59, 319-334 (2003)
  • L. Kováč, J. Nosek, Ľ. Tomáška: An Overlooked Riddle of Life’s Origins: Energy-dependent Nucleic Acid Unzipping. J. Mol. Evol. 57, S182-S189 (2003)
  • L. Kováč: Science, an essential part of culture. EMBO Rep. 7, 128-132 (2006)
  • L. Kováč: Life, chemistry and cognition. EMBO Rep. 7, 562-566 (2006)
  • L. Kováč: Physics, mind and society, back and forth. Appl. Magnet. Resonance 31: 11-28 (2007)

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Reaction to the case of Tomáš Hudlický: Members of the Learned Society of the Czech Republic support the freedom of expression

„We believe that free exchange of ideas is a key condition for the pursuit of truth and that the honest opinions should be scrutinized, challenged or rebutted but not censored or suppressed,“ say 45 members of the Learned Society in a statement regarding the retracted opinion paper by Prof. Tomáš Hudlický.


The letter by Jan Konvalinka to the President and Vice-Chancellor of the Brock University regarding the retracted article of Prof. Tomáš Hudlický

Opinions could and should be challenged, questioned or refuted but never silenced. In order to be able to think, we have to have the right to inquire, question and even offend or be mistaken,” writes Assoc. Prof. Jan Konvalinka, a biochemist at the IOCB Prague and the Vice-Rector of the Charles University, to Gervan Fearon.


Prof Miroslav Bárta receives the Česká hlava National Government Award

Learned Society member, Prof. Mgr. Miroslav Bárta, Dr. (Charles University Faculty of Arts) received the Česká hlava (Czech Head) National Government Award on 25 November 2019. A renowned Czech Egyptologist and archaeologist, Professor Bárta researches the history of ancient civilisations, the human relationship to the natural environment, and also for many years the evolution of complex societies. He leads the Czech Institute of Egyptology for archaeological and environmental research in Egypt and Sudan. His principal research interest is the period of the pyramid builders of the Old Kingdom.