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Széchenyi Prizes of 2014

Széchenyi Prizes of 2014

The Széchenyi Prize is a prize given in Hungary by the state, replacing the former State Prize in 1990 in recognition of those who have made an outstanding contribution to academic life in Hungary. Researchers and scientists were given the prizes of 2014 in the Hungarian Parliament Building last Friday.

JOHN LUKACS (91), main prize winner

Hungary is my native land and America is my home. I am Hungary’s son and I consider myself Hungarian. It is a feeling one can only „inherit“ from their mother. Taking this point of view, Hungary is my mother and America is my wife.

Some other notable quotes from prize winners:

GABOR TAMAS, neurobiologist, professor at University of Szeged

One can create an atmosphere entirely different to that in Western Europe or America here. The standards of Hungarian universities do not reach the level of their western rivals due to the infrastructure. On the other hand, the attitude of the people enables a more cosey and inspiring environment.

MARIA SCHMIDT, House of Terror director-general

Breaking up the left-wing marxist opinion monopoly dominating the earlier historiography concerning 20th century dictatorships is a virtue of the House of Terror.

ZSUZSANNA SCHAFF, medical scientist, prize given for research on viruses causing hepatitis and the Ajka alumina plant accident

I am very much honoured given this prize as it is the biggest to achieve in Hungary. I feel I’ve always worked in a team with many great researchers. Acknowledgement goes to them, too.

ANDRAS ROOSZ, metallurgy, materials science

The biggest success for me is that I can pass on my knowledge to the young generation. I appreciate this prize very much as it acknowledges life work, not only mine, but my partners‘, too, who helped me with education and research. They made this achievement possible.

TAMAS POCS, professor, member of The Hungarian Academy of Sciences

I’m engaged to tropical botany. This prize is an acknowledgement of my 60 years long scientific work and more than 400 publications. I’ve been to more than 60 countries in order to examine tropical and desert wildlife. Next to the good feeling that comes with having this prize, the financial aid is going to ensure the realisation of my further research plans.

ZSOLT PALES, doctor of HAS, seniour lecturer at the Faculty of Science and Technology of the University of Debrecen,mathematical analyst

I feel like I’m on the right path. It is a great honour that the value of my work is being recognised; the prize makes me believe that it is worth continuing.

LASZLO MRAVIK, heritage preservation, art collecting

I would be happy if the object of my research would cease to exist. […] I am glad. However, I’m not completely satisfied with myself. My research is trustworthy and I‘ve worked very hard and long with certain accomplishments, but I could only accept illegally taken Hungarian art treasures being returned to us as a reward. […] Then again, some topics stay with us until death.

JOZSEF MANDL, professor, prize given for research on liver function and drug metabolism

It’s a pleasure to be introduced by HAS and the Semmelweis University.

LASZLO HONTI, Finno-Ugrian linguist, member of HAS, professor at Károli Gáspár University of the Reformed Church in Hungary

Fellow members of my profession introduced me as they found my work beneficial and effective.

GEDEON BORSA, doctor of HAS, history of book and press expert

We analysed publications in detail: dedication, poem, epilogue; we listed and explained everything. The purpose of this innovation was to reveal every information about the given print including literature resources. We also published a great number of known book cover copies. As far as I know, others could not be this demanding.

ANDRAS BATTA, research connected to The Liszt Academy of Music

This recognition is a huge honour for me. I was also deeply moved by the fact that I was awarded a prize named after a man who achieved so much for the country and Hungarians alike. I’ll remain humble and try to flourish.

Prizes were also given to:


based on article of

by Reka Jancskar

Photo: MTI


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