Surveys show that public trust in the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (MTA) remains unchanged but the prestigious institution’s situation has thoroughly changed since it lost its network of research institutions, the academy’s chairman has said.
Tamás Freund told the 194th general meeting, held online, that “we must work in this new field of force on developing the most suitable role for the academy, demonstrating our indispensableness”. Freund said MTA must fulfil the role of “advisor to the nation” and promote a science-friendly approach in society, which he said required stronger participation as a public body. Katalin Karikó, a biochemist who patented the technology for mRNA-based vaccines, and is a vice president at BioNTech and an associate professor at the University of Pennsylvania, addressed the meeting after Freund’s welcome address. The celebratory meeting continued with the granting of awards recognising scientific achievements.