Hungarian Academy of Sciences, (Magyar Tudományos Akadémia)
Address: 1051 Budapest, Széchenyi István tér 9.
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The Hungarian Academy of Sciences (MTA) is committed to the advancement, shaping, and service of science. With the criteria of excellence in the forefront, the main responsibilities of the Academy, the prime representative of Hungarian science, are to support and represent various scientific fields, and to distribute scientific results. MTA contributes not only to the organisation of scientific research in Hungary, but also aims to bring Hungarian and international research closer. The Academy supports the scientific activities of promising young researchers, defends science ethics in public life, and guards over the honour and values of scientific endeavours.
A Brief History
The need for establishing a scholarly society was first mentioned by Act VIII of 1808. During the last decade of the 18th and the first decade of the 19th century, various plans were conceived for the establishment of an academy for developing and propagating the Hungarian language and for promoting the development of science, but funds for establishing such a society were not available. This question was often raised until, at the November 3, 1825, district session of the Diet in Bratislava (the seat of the Hungarian Parliament), the county delegates started a debate on the matter of a Hungarian Learned Society, criticizing the magnates for not making sacrifices for a national cause. It was there that Count István Széchenyi offered one year's income of his estate for the purposes of bringing about a learned society.
László Lovász is the current President of the MTA. Lovász is a mathematician, best known for his work in combinatorics, for which he was awarded the Wolf Prize and the Knuth Prize in 1999, and the Kyoto Prize in 2010. The Secretary-General of MTA is economist Ádám Török, the Deputy Secretary-General is biologist Beáta Barnabás, the Vice-President for Natural Sciences is mathematician Domokos Szász, the Vice-President for Life-Sciences is neurobiologist Tamás Freund, and the Vice-President for Social Sciences is legal scholar Lajos Vékás.
With its tri-annually elected members (Full Members, Corresponding Members, External and Honorary Members) representing all scientific sections of MTA and thereby a wide range of sciences and fields of scholarship, MTA’s Doctoral Council adjudicates requests for the Doctor of MTA title each month except for July and August. (Members of MTA are then tri-annually recruited from the ranks of Doctors of MTA.)
MTA’s Doctoral Council also brings to conclusion Ph.D. applications that had been handed in to its predecessor institution, the now defunct Scientific Qualification Committee.
To promote outstanding research, MTA’s Doctoral Council has also been adjudicating requests handed in by under-45 post-doctoral scholars and scientists towards monthly Bolyai-grants lasting 1, 2, or 3 years. Over the last six years, out of 3 433 such requests 1 411 have been granted.
The General Assembly
The General Assembly is the supreme body of the Academy as an independent public-law association, constituted by ordinary and corresponding members, and 200 representatives of non-academician members, all of whom are elected by secret ballot for a three year term.
MTA’s Research Network
MTA establishes and maintains research institutes in the fields of the natural and social sciences. It also operates such other institutions of learning as libraries, archives, systems of information, etc. as well as it subsidises research groups operating at universities and public collections. Currently, there are 47 research institutes (including 10 Research Centres) run by MTA.
The objective of the Momentum Program is a dynamic renewal of the research teams of the Academy and participating universities via attracting outstanding young researchers back to Hungary. The impact and success of this application model is highly acclaimed and recognised even by the international scientific community. Initiated by former MTA President József Pálinkás, the Momentum program aims to halt the emigration of young researchers, provides a new supply of talented researchers, extends career possibilities, and increases the competitiveness of MTA's research institutes and participating universities.