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Copernicus Medal for work on COVID-19

19 November 2021

Wojtek Paczos receiving Copernicus Award

Dr Wojtek Paczos has been awarded the Copernicus Medal by the Polish Academy of Sciences for research and advisory work on COVID-19.

The highest award given by the Academy, the medal is awarded to scientists who contribute to the scientific community in Poland for outstanding scientific achievements.

Since its inception in 1969, the Medal has only been awarded to 300 scholars.

Dr Paczos was awarded the Copernicus Medal for work as part of an interdisciplinary COVID-19 Advisory Team.

The Team has been monitoring the epidemic situation in Poland, and in September 2020 published a comprehensive report “Understanding COVID-19”, along with later issuing 21 position statements on the different aspects of the ongoing pandemic, and making recommendations for public services and Polish society.

In 2021, one of these statements, on the lessons learned from the pandemic, was incorporated into a United Nations report on Science, Technology and Innovation for the Sustainable Development Goals.

It has been a great honour, great satisfaction and a great motivation for the future. Working in the interdisciplinary team broadens your horizons. I have learned a lot: about the viruses, vaccinations, epidemiology, healthcare, geography, sociology, psychology. I am very happy that, as the only economist, I have had plenty of opportunities to contribute to the workings of the Team.

Dr Wojtek Paczos Lecturer in Economics

“During our weekly meetings, we’re discussing the current situation in Poland and worldwide, the most recent scientific developments, and, which is sometimes frustrating, how much we, the scientists, do not know yet.

“For me, the most important thing is that we have shown that scientific advice, especially in the face of such challenges as the pandemic, can (and must!) be done fully independently of politicians, in a transparent way, that is accessible and open to the public.

“My sincere thanks go to the Committee for this award, to the President of the Academy Jerzy Duszyński for the appointment to the Team, and to my colleagues from the Team, for everything I have learned from you.”

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