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The Benedict of Poland Award 2016

The Benedict of Poland Award gala took place in the Collegiate church of St. Mary and St. Alexius in Tum on 3rd June 2016. The laureates of 2016 were Charles Robert O’Dell, American astronomer and astrophysicist for his long-term cooperation with Polish scientists and Fr. prof. Piotr Nawrot SVD, musicologist associated with the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan for discovering and promoting Baroque music of the Jesuit missions in Latin America. Laudatory speeches about this year's laureates were delivered by the Members of the Benedict of Poland Award Committee: prof. Paweł Haensel and last year's award winner prof. Maria Krzysztof Byrski. After accepting their Awards this year's laureates briefly presented the results of their many years of research. Two honorary diplomas were also awarded to captain Piotr Kuźniar and Krzysztof Starnawski. Monika Rogozińska and Marcin Jamkowski (journalist, adventurer, photographer and filmmaker) spoke highly about the diploma winners. The latter also accepted the diploma on the behalf of Krzysztof Starnawski, who could not be present at the ceremony. The 2016 gala ceremony was attended by many esteemed guests, among others prof. Piotr Gliński - Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Poland and the Minister of Culture and National Heritage of the Republic of Poland, Luis Adolfo Gómez Urdaneta - Venezuelan Ambassador, prof. Zbigniew Rau - Governor of the Łódzkie Province and honorary patron of 2016 Benedict of Poland Award. The ceremony ended with the Flaminae choir performing musical pieces selected by Fr. prof. Piotr Nawrot SVD especially for this occasion. The 2016 Benedict of Poland Awards were sponsored by NOVOL and Deutsche Bank. (photos: Museum in Łęczyca, official website of Łęczyca)

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Personal changes in the Award Committee

The current Benedict of Poland Award Committee - 2016:

The Chairman of the Committee:
prof. dr hab. Stanisław Rakusa - Suszczewski, Polish Chapter of The Explorers Club /Warsaw Scientific Society

The Vice Chairman of the Committee:
prof. dr hab. Mariusz Ziółkowski, Vice Chairman of the Polish Chapter of The Explorers Club
Members of the Committee:
prof. dr hab. Ryszard Grygiel, Director of the Museum of Archaeology and Ethnography in Łódź,
prof. dr hab. Paweł Haensel, Vice Chairman of Warsaw Scientific Society,
prof. dr hab. Włodzimierz Mędrzecki - Warsaw Scientific Society
dr hab. Lech Mróz - Warsaw Scientific Society
Monika Rogozińska - journalist, adventurer and founder of the Polish Chapter of The Explorers Club
prof. dr hab. Tomasz Schramm - Polish Chapter of The Explorers Club
prof. dr hab. prof. dr hab. Leszek Zasztowt - Secretary General of the Warsaw Scientific Society
Krzysztof Lipiński - Mayor of Łęczyca
Krystyna Pawlak - Deputy Governor of the Łęczyca District
Secretary of the Committee:
Andrzej Borucki - Director of Museum in Łęczyca

Honorary Committee consisting of previous award laureates (serves as an advisory body to the Award Committee):
prof. dr hab. Maria Krzysztof Byrski, the Benedict of Poland Award winner of 2015
prof. dr hab. Nikolai Grube, the Benedict of Poland Award winner of 2015
prof. Charles Robert O’Dell, the Benedict of Poland Award winner of 2016
Fr prof. dr hab. Piotr Nawrot SVD,
Advising Members:
Andrzej Olszewski, former Mayor of Łęczyca, cofounder of the Benedict of Poland Award Committee
Canon Paweł Olszewski, former parish priest of the Collegiate Church of St. Mary and St. Alexius in Tum
Father Piotr Nowak, current parish priest of the Collegiate Church of St. Mary and St. Alexius in Tum

(English version for the Museum in Łęczyca: Anna Błaszczyk)




The first winners of the Benedict of Poland Award 2015

The first gala ceremony of the Benedict of Poland Award took place on the 12th June 2015 in the Collegiate Church of St. Mary and St. Alexius in Tum. The first two award winners were chosen by the Award Committee during its sessions on March 16th and April 8th, 2015. The award for a Polish citizen was given to prof. dr hab. Maria Krzysztof Byrski, prominent Polish scientist, orientalist (Indologist), Polish Ambassador to the Republic of India in 1993 - 1996. The prize for a foreigner for their merits in cooperation with Polish researchers was awarded to prof. dr hab. Nikolai Grube - German scientist, epigrapher, a world-class authority on the writing system of the Maya civilization. The Award Committee decided also to award a special diploma to Aleksander Doba, a Polish adventurer, canoeist and explorer who was the first man in history to single-handedly cross the Atlantic Ocean by canoe from continent to continent (from Africa to South America and from Europe to North America), solely through the strength of his muscles.

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The founding of the Benedict of Poland Award

The agreement founding the Benedict of Poland Award was signed on May 28th, 2015 between the Polish Chapter of The Explorers Club, Warsaw Scientific Society, Łęczyca District Authorities and the City Council of Łęczyca. The Award Committee consisting of twelve members was also appointed on that day. The task of the Committee is to award the prize to outstanding researchers of the earth, the deep sea and the outer space. The Award will be presented during the annual gala ceremony.
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