Bulgarian Govt Awards Top Scientists
Bulgaria's government handed out its annual science awards for a third year in a row at an impressive ceremony in Sofia.
The winners in the seven categories of the Pythagoras Awards are determined by the Bulgarian Ministry of Education and Science. Each of them received a money award and a statuette authored by Bulgarian Culture Minister Vezhdi Rashidov, who is a renowned sculptor.
The ceremony had an unexpectedly nice feel to it after for the a year the Borisov Cabinet has been at odds with the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences and major universities over budget cuts and controversial restructuring plans.
Prof. Dr. Milen Georgiev, a nominee of the Microbiology Institute of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, received the biggest prize of BGN 10 000, which is the Young Scientist category. Georgiev was awarded for his research on the pharmacological uses of the African herb harpagophytum, also known as grapple plant, wood spider, or Devil's Claw. All other winners received BGN 5 000 each.
The analytical atomic spectrometry lab of Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski received the prize in the science and research unit category.
Prof. Dr. Chavdar Vasilev, also from the Microbiology Institute of the BAS, received the prize in the field of biomedical sciences; Prof. Dr. Tsonko Kolev from the Plovdiv University grabbed the award in natural sciences; and Prof. Kostadin Kostadinov from the Mechanics Institute of the BAS received the award for engineering sciences.
Prof. Dr. Alya Vitali Tadzher, an expert on theoretical chemistry at Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski, was awarded for being the best teaching advisor to doctoral candidates.
Bulgaria's top software developer Musala Soft received the prize for best cooperation with scientific and university organization.
The head of the National Archaeology Institute with Museum at the BAS, Prof. Margarita Vaklinova, received a special award for archaeology.
The event was attended by Bulgarian Education Minister Sergey Ignatov, Economy Minister Traicho Traikov, EU Funds Minister Tomislav Donchev, the head of the BAS Prof. Nikola Sabotinov and BAS Chief Secretary Prof. Stefan Hadzhinikolov.
Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov handed out the awards in person.
"We have found money for highways, we are also going to find money for science," Borisov stated, expressing his content with the fact that all political parties in Parliament have approved the draft new law for the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences.
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