Eva Zažímalová, President of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, was nominated among the members of the Scientific Advisory Board of the European Commission in Brussels. From May 2021, the Scientific Advisory Board will assist European political leaders and advise in various areas, such as in the field of epidemic research and social behavior.
A seven-member board of advisors
At the level of the European Community, a group of Chief Scientific Advisors (GCSA) has been operating as an advisory board to the politicians for four years already. It was created by the former President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker when he expanded the former office of Chief Scientific Adviser to include another six experts. Currently, experts from the Great Britain, Sweden, Hungary, Italy and Estonia work on this board.
In May 2021, the team will change and Eva Zažímalová, president of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, will become its new member. It will be for the first time that a representative of the Czech Republic joins this elite group. "We are very pleased with the nomination of Mrs. Zažímalová and the fact that she succeeded in such an exclusive selection testifies to the high level and international prestige of the Czech scientific community," says State Secretary for European Affairs Milena Hrdinková.
In her scientific work, the current head of the Academy of Sciences is researching the phytohormone auxin - its metabolism and the molecular mechanisms of its action and transport in plant cells. She studied biochemistry at the Faculty of Science, Charles University in Prague. Since 1983 she has worked at the Institute of Experimental Botany of the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences and later at the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic as a researcher. Here, in 2004–2016, she headed the laboratory of hormonal regulation in plants and in 2007–2012 she was the director of the institute. She received her professorship in the field of plant anatomy and physiology in 2013. Since 2017, she has been the head of the Czech Academy of Sciences.
The management of a leading Czech research institution is one of the valuable experiences that helped Eva Zažímalová in the competition for a position at GCSA and will continue to be a significant promise in the future. "The President understands science, loves it and will benefit from her experience as an active and successful scientist. This is a combination that guarantees that the Czech voice will be heard and heard in Brussels," notes Petr Dvořák, First Vice-Chairman of the Council for Research, Development and Innovation.
How to win over coronavirus
The most pressing issue that all expert groups will now address will be tackling the COVID-19 epidemic in Europe. The unpreparedness not only of Europe but also the whole world has shown that there are still big gaps in the ability to withstand and face crises, such as global infections of various kinds.
Focusing on such solutions will become one of Eva Zažímalová's priorities The president however does not want to neglect other topics, such as energy production and storage or the issue of food and new crops. According to her, the nomination to the advisory body of the European Commission is very much appreciated. "This group of experts plays a very important role in creating European Union policies based on information about the development of science and it is a great honor to join this group," says Eva Zažímalová, who will run for re-election to head the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic.