World Copernicus Congress launched
On February 19th, exactly on the 550th anniversary of Nicolaus Copernicus' birth, the World Copernican Congress was inaugurated at the Nicolaus Copernicus University. This is the most important highlight of the Year of Copernicus, which our University is organizing jointly with Jagiellonian University, the University of Warmia and Mazury and the Institute of the History of Science of the Polish Academy of Sciences.
The opening ceremony of the World Copernican Congress, which at the same time was a part of the celebrations of the Nicolaus Copernicus University Day in Toruń, began with a Holy Mass at the SS Johns' Cathedral., where a commemorative plaque was unveiled in the Copernicus Chapel.
After the ceremony, the academic procession laid flowers at the Monument of Nicolaus Copernicus in Toruń's Old Town Market Square.
The NCU Aula where the celebrations continued hosted, among others, Grazyna Ignaczak-Bandych -Head of the Office of the President of the Republic of Poland, Prof. Przemysław Czarnek - Minister of Education and Science and the rectors of the universities co-organizing the World Copernican Congress with the Nicolaus Copernicus University: Prof. Jacek Popiel, Rector of the Jagiellonian University, Prof. Jerzy Przyborowski, Rector of UWM, and Prof. Krzysztof Mikulski, Director of the NCU Centre for Copernican Studies.
Prof. Andrzej Sokala, Rector of Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń, who served as host of the inauguration, recalled in his speech the previous Copernican round anniversary and noted what perspective the current one brings: - Some of those present at today's ceremony probably remember the 500th anniversary of Copernicus' birth celebrated in 1973 - Prof. Andrzej Sokala said. - At that time, our University was one of the centers of the nationwide celebration. That anniversary left an exceptional tangible trace - the newly built university campus in Bielany, with the seats of the faculties, the library, student houses, the Rectorate and this Main Hall Aula we are in.
Today, we celebrate Copernican jubilee from a different perspective - the University is developing on a daily basis both in terms of infrastructure and scientific and educational level, and we see the celebration of our Patron's birthday primarily as a time to reflect on our own heritage and remind ourselves that Nicolaus Copernicus, despite the passage of centuries, can still inspire people of science and be a guideline in our daily choices.
President Andrzej Duda wrote in a letter on the occasion of the inauguration of the World Copernican Congress: "This year's celebration of the Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń marks at the same time a great celebration of all Polish science. The unique Copernican jubilee is an opportunity to emphasize that the successes of Polish scientists and the development of the country's academic and research and development institutions are the pillars of our nation's success, security and prosperity. This means that this sphere should enjoy special support from the state and the entire civic community."
Prof. Przemysław Czarnek the Minister of Education and Science emphasized the world format of Nicolaus Copernicus as a scientist and his extraordinary versatility:
It was 550 years ago, here - in Toruń, that the most outstanding Polish scientist was born, a man of many talents, who developed them for Poland, Europe and the world. Because Nicolaus Copernicus was born for the world, today we have the great privilege and pleasure of inaugurating the World Copernican Congress. He was a man who explored reality in all its planes, explored the truth about God, us and the world.
- There is no place more worthy than Toruń to inaugurate the Year of Copernicus and the World Copernican Congress," Professor Jacek Popiel, Rector of the Jagiellonian University in Kraków, said in his speech. - I thank the Rector of Nicolaus Copernicus that together with Olsztyn we can organize the next stages of this Congress - we are convinced that the entire academic community will participate. By inviting you to Kraków, where two topics will dominate: economics and philosophy, we hope not only for academic reflection, but also for the opportunity to present to a wider range of people the places that are associated with Copernicus. I believe this is our duty.
Professor Jerzy Przyborowski, Rector of the University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn, also referred to Nicolaus Copernicus as - despite the passage of time - a still present and applicable model for today's scholars:
Nicolaus Copernicus is the patron not only of the distinguished university, but also of the entire scientific world. This is due to the way he lived his life, the values he presented, what for him was the love of truth - both in the religious and scientific dimensions, and his extraordinary courage presented in those days. I would also like to emphasize - as has already been mentioned today - his humility, which should mark every scholar.
The keynote lecture given by Prof. Phillip James Edwin Peebles, Canadian astronomer and cosmologist and winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics for 2019, was an important highlight of the event
- It is an honour to speak at the World Copernican Congress held on the occasion of the 550th anniversary of the birth of Nicolaus Copernicus, and thus contribute to the celebration of the great Copernican revolution that forced awareness of where we are in the Solar System, to the displeasure of some at the time, and ultimately to the uplifting of us all. I have played a leading role in another great advance, the demonstration that our universe is evolving.
The World Copernican Congress will have a "rolling" formula. The sessions will be held successively in Kraków (May 24-26), Olsztyn (June 21-24) and Toruń (September 12-15).
Economists, philosophers and scholars of the history of these disciplines will meet in Kraków. The program will include a philosophical section, "The Copernican Legacy," and an economic section, "Around Money," aimed at recalling Nicolaus Copernicus' treatise, "Monetae cudendae ratio," devoted to and value of money and monetary reform.
In the Olsztyn part of the Congress, the sessions will focus on the astronomer's biography, as well as museums dedicated to him. A biographical section "Nicolaus Copernicus - his Life and Activities" is planned, which will introduce, among other things, the astronomer's education and youth, as well as his public activities, as well as a museum-conservation section devoted to problems related to the study, inventory and maintenance of historical objects that are directly related to Nicolaus Copernicus.
The September session of the Congress, when the debates return to Toruń, will be attended by historians, cultural and literary scholars, art historians, astronomers and historians of astronomy, and representatives of medical sciences. In addition, events will be organized for teachers, educators, young people and the local community. As many as six sections are planned for this part: astronomy, cultural studies, medical history, medicine, teachers, and teenagers.
The 41st Congress of the Polish Astronomical Society will be held during the Copernican World Congress from September 11 to 15, 2023, marking its 100th anniversary.
Congress website: https://www.copernicus2023.com/
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