Czech Academy of Sciences honoured the memory of Rudolf Zahradník

22. 10. 2021

Scientists, politicians, family, and friends of Prof. Rudolf Zahradník gathered in the main building of the Czech Academy of Sciences to pay tribute and remember his great personality. The Chairman Emeritus Rudolf Zahradník deceased in October last year. He was one of the most noticeable Czech scientists, and was also well-known in the world.

An extraordinary personality, a great rhetorician, a man who fully lived for science and its beauty – those words resounded the Library of the Czech Academy of Sciences during the commemorative event in honour of Rudolf Zahradník.

Although he deceased last year, the pandemic did not allow a personal goodbye. The decent event provided a chance for Zahradník’s family, friends, and guests to commemorate his legacy.

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“His natural abilities and knowledge, which far exceeded the horizon of his field, were accompanied by the ability to persuade others and, at the right moment, to stand out from the crowd and lead others,” remembered Eva Zažímalová, the President of the CAS.

The commemorative act was also attended by Professor Joachim Sauer, a close friend of Mr. and Mrs. Zahradník and the husband of Angela Merkel, Zahradník’s former student and friend.

Joachim Sauer

“By his example of unwavering moral integrity, he became an encouraging figure in times of dictatorship for many, including me and Angela Merkel,” Joachim Sauer stated.

The commemorative event continued at the Vyšehrad cemetery by placing the urns of Zahradníks’ to their tomb.

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Rudolf Zahradník laid grounds for quantum chemistry in the Czech Republic. As the President of the Academy of Sciences, he played an essential role in the transformation of the Czech science and bore the main responsibility in the fight against the efforts to liquidate the institution and the basic research as such in the 1990’s.

Text: Eliška Zvolánková, Division of External Relations, CAS Centre of Administration and Operations
Photo: Jana Plavec, Division of External Relations, CAS Centre of Administration and Operations

The Czech Academy of Sciences (the CAS)

The mission of the CAS

The primary mission of the CAS is to conduct research in a broad spectrum of natural, technical and social sciences as well as humanities. This research aims to advance progress of scientific knowledge at the international level, considering, however, the specific needs of the Czech society and the national culture.

President of the CAS

Prof. Eva Zažímalová has started her second term of office in May 2021. She is a respected scientist, and a Professor of Plant Anatomy and Physiology.

She is also a part of GCSA of the EU.