FOR THE FIRST time, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has awarded ‘Goodwill Ambassador’ awards to three Slovaks who significantly contributed to the positive representation of Slovakia and whose successful work has brought them international success around the world.
The ‘Goodwill Ambassadors’ were announced during an open day at the ministry on March 20. Of the more than 20 nominees from the areas of culture, arts, science, research, media and sport, the award was finally given to Ján Vilček, Jaroslav Fabian and Tomáš Valášek.
Ján Vilček is a recognised expert on microbiology and immunology. He was born in Bratislava. In 1964 he emigrated to the USA. Today he is a professor at the New York University. Notably, he took part in the research and development of a new medicament used for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn illness, psoriasis and other chronic diseases. He also became well-known because he donated most of his income from the sale of this new medicament, estimated to be USD 105 million, to the Medical Faculty of the NYU. In 2000, together with his wife Marica, Vilček founded the Vilcek Foundation, which aims to increase the awareness of the contribution of immigrants for science and arts in the US.
Jaroslav Fabian is one of the most successful Slovak physicists – he is a pioneer in the area of spinotronics, a new field of science which aims to replace traditional electronics. He gained worldwide recognition mainly thanks to his article, published in the Reviews of Modern Physics, which summarised all the knowledge of spinotronics. Since then, the text has been cited by over 2,000 experts globally. Fabian is a native of Spišská Nová Ves. As a Fulbright scholar, he studied in the USA, and then returned to Europe. He is currently affiliated to the University of Regensburg, from which he received the title of professor in 2004.
Tomáš Valášek is a recognised expert on foreign policy and defence. He holds the position of the director for foreign policy and defence in one of the most prestigious analytical institutions in the UK, the Centre for European Reform. He regularly lectures and acts as adviser to governments in Europe and the USA, as well as institutions such as EU and NATO. He also publishes commentaries in dailies such as The Guardian, Financial Times, and Wall Street Journal. He is a member of Madeleine Albright’s group of experts that is presently working on a new strategy for NATO. Valášek was born in Trnava. He worked for the Centre for Defence Information in Washington and in Brussels, where he founded its new branch. He currently lives and works in London.
29. Mar 2010 at 0:00 | Compiled by Spectator staff