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The Ohrid Academy of Humanism's the World Prize of Humanism for 2018 goes to … Professor Jean Patrick Connerade

Jean-Patrick Connerade is emeritus professor of physics at Imperial College London, UK, and the president of the European Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters (EASAL). He is also an award winning poet in his own right, writing in French, under the pen name of  Chaunes. He is also a former president of EuroScience. The recipients of this major award include primarily people who are representatives of great nations: Japanese Buddhist philosopher Daisaky Ikeda, Portuguese director Manuel De Oliveira, Russian author and Nobel Prize winner Aleksandar Solženjicin, Indian sitar player and composer Ravi Shankar, British theatre and film director Peter Brook, German writer and Nobel Prize winner Herta Miler, Canadian writer and the president of the PEN organisation John Ralston Saul. JP Connerade is a leader of Scientists and Artists/writers.

Why is this relevant to the MCAA? The majority of the membership currently have enjoyed benefits from the scheme since the start of FP7.  Contrary to some UK Media, the annual Work programmes are not made up in some dark back room by the Commission, but are the product of many rounds of dialogue with different players across all sectors of society. Jean Patrick Connerade was the visionary Chairman of the overarching PEOPLE Programme (that is what the formal name of the Marie Curie Actions were in those days) Advisory Group for many years; and was the major player in bringing better social elements into the programme that better reflected the needs of scientists as people; which also made it very attractive for female applicants and thus helped the People programme be the first to attain the target of at least 40% participation from all genders.

Working across science and the arts is a pioneering activity which is now, thanks to JP, recognized at major events such as ESOF; and we hope that this recognition  will encourage budding researchers to not forget their creative artistic side which often enriches their research , usually unknowingly. Even the Nobel Laureates have been moved  to art, and have been helped to sketch their world changing ideas on a single sheet of paper! It is a fascinating medium to communicate a complex idea. Just two dimensions and a bit of colour….This has led to an interesting publication “Sketches of Science” (Lindau 2013).

Reaching out is not without its own problems. JPs recent book of Poetry (an anthology) was banned by Amazon in France (though freely available on their other sires). His anthology Voiles et nudité (Veils and Nudity) raises a taboo subject and had a clear enough cover. The cyber-censorship for the sake of political correctness raised its own storm and in a delicious unforeseen consequence, gave the book more publicity than it may have hoped for on its own (see https://www.euroscientist.com/theme/censorship/ for more details).

Jean Patrick, we thank you for your past efforts on behalf of researchers, and congratulate you on your Award.

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