FACULTY OF SCIENCE
The Faculty of Science provides an education in natural science disciplines (physics, chemistry, biology and Earth science), and in mathematics and anthropology. These subjects differ in terms of methodology, techniques and level of development, and this is reflected in the Faculty's research activities, curricula and the different levels at which knowledge has been formalized and integrated into the overall study programme.
An integral five-year course for a master's degree qualification includes 13 academic disciplines and 14 combinations of teacher studies. The number of courses successfully completed for a bachelor's degree rose to 145 in 1997. Free of links to master's degree study courses, the Faculty of Science offered four bachelor's courses: applied physics with a focus on astrophysics, the physics of medicine and measuring and testing; applied mathematics and geography; cellular and molecular diagnostics, and geology in combination with museology.
Of great importance to the Faculty are doctoral (postgraduate) studies, for which at the present time 35 disciplines (including from 1997/1998 the new subject of Environmental Chemistry) are accredited. In terms of internal studies the Faculty has 214 postgraduates (including 10 students from abroad), whilst 163 are enrolled as distance students. The Faculty expects its postgraduates to present high-quality academic results in their doctoral theses and to publish in renowned foreign journals whilst also lending expert support and assistance in practical teaching. Internal postgraduates receive a scholarship and are treated preferentially in the provision of accommodation in the Faculty's halls of residence. In 1997, PhD degrees were awarded to 27 students who had completed their studies and defended their doctoral thesis successfully. We should point out that in terms of numbers of postgraduate students university-wide, the Faculty of Science is in first position.
For excellent and extraordinary results in academic research, publication activities, organization and sporting achievement contributing to the good reputation of the Faculty of Science, the Dean awarded students with seven prizes, with individual sections of the Faculty awarding to students a total of 19 prizes. Rewards were received by 117 students with excellent study results (1.0). The Rector's Prize - awarded to the best postgraduate student - went to Mgr. Martin Ivanov (geological sciences) and the 1997 Chemistry Prize (awarded by French company Rhone-Poulenc) went to Mgr. Eva Fadrná, a postgraduate student at the Department of Organic Chemistry.
Teachers and research workers at the Faculty obtained a total of 60 grants from the Grant Agency of the Czech Republic (21 of which were joint grants), two grants from the Grant Agency of the Academy of Science of the Czech Republic, 31 grants from the Fund for the Development of Institutes of Higher Education, 21 grants from the Ministry of Education, Youth and Physical Education and 13 other grants (including grants from abroad). Academic research work at the Faculty was strengthened by grant awards to two projects - "Laboratory of Plasma Sources" and "Analysis of Biologically Significant Molecular Complexes" as part of the "Support of Academic Research at Institutes of Higher Education" programme. One member of the Faculty received a POST-DOC grant in a competition held by the Grant Agency of the Czech Republic for applicants who had completed their doctor's degree studies. The total value of grants received was CZK 45 million.
Teachers and researchers published nine monographs, of which three abroad. The number of scientific studies published in excerpted journals was 217, of which 163 were published abroad.
The completion of reconstruction work at the Botanical Gardens provided a great boost for the research work of botanists. A "garden party" was held in the greenhouses of the botanical gardens, together with the opening "Earth Sources", an exhibition of the work of sculptor Jan Šimek. The Faculty of Science's "garden party" will become an annual cultural event.
Another of the Gardens' activities is the Society of Friends of the Botanical Gardens, which promotes closer cooperation with the public. Two specialist exhibitions were held at the Gardens: one at which decorative bulbs and succulents were on sale and the other of canaries and exotic birds.
The Ministry of the Environment charged the Botanical Gardens of the Faculty of Science with the care of plants (subject to the Washington Agreement) confiscated by customs offices.
The "Small Centre" bookshop is based in the building of the Dean's Office of the Faculty of Science, and it is here that two exhibitions at which professional literature was on sale took place. The "PF Gallery" building saw the holding of a number of exhibitions of art, and these included an exhibition of the work of Prof. MUDr. Pavel Bravený CSc. called "Pastels and 'Crumpled' Works", an exhibition called "The Botanical Gardens - Past and Present", and an exhibition of the work of Jitka Slavieková under the title "Little Wanderings to the Little Prince".
On the site of the Faculty of Science, the construction of the Central Library was completed and a centre for the loan of books and a study room were opened.
The history of the Faculty of Science of Masaryk University is recorded in the newly published "Folia Historica", which also gives brief curricula vitae of late associate professors and professors of the Faculty.
In the framework of festivities connected with the anniversary of the founding of the grammar school on the street of Třída Kapitána Jaroše - with which the Faculty has a close working relationship - the Faculty organized a lecture by Mrs. Ali Block on "Papua New Guinea - Orchids Amongst Cannibals".
In 1997, the departments of the Faculty of Science held a number of conferences, seminars and summer schools, often attracting participation from abroad. Among the most significant of these were "Kvarter 97", "Equadiff 9", "Monogenea" and the "Smolnice 97 Autumn School".
Of the most important events at the Faculty of Science in 1997, we would like to draw particular attention to the following:
- five members of the Faculty received the title of Professor: Jiřina Relichová (genetics), Miroslava Vicherková (physiology of plants), Milan Potáček (organic chemistry), Vladimír Sklenář (physical chemistry) and Vladimír Šimek (physiology of animals);
- on the occasion of the Dies Academicus, the Rector's Prize was awarded to Prof. PhDr. Jaroslav Malina DrSc. for his work as editor on the "Kurt Gödel" and "Olbram Zoubek" monographs published by the Universitas Masarykiana Foundation in 1996; on the same occasion the Gold Medal was awarded to Prof. RNDr. Jaroslav Jonas CSc. for his many years of achievement in the development of the MU Faculty of Science, whilst the Silver Medal was awarded to Ing. Jioí Nohel for his extraordinary achievements in the reconstruction of the Botanical Gardens and its greenhouses.;
- the City of Brno Award in the field of social and natural sciences for 1997 was presented to Prof. PhDr. Jaroslav Malina DrSc.;
- on the proposal of the Faculty of Science, Masaryk University awarded Mr. Frank Alois Pitelka, Emeritus Professor at the University of California, with the degree of Honorary Doctor in the biological sciences;
- the Bronze Medal of MU was awarded to Prof. RNDr. Richard Petrásek CSc. for his many years as an external teacher at the Faculty of Science, and on the occasion of her birthday to Mrs. Jitka Radová for lifetime professional achievement;
- Flora Olomouc awarded the Botanical Gardens a Gold Medal for "Hot Complex", a joint exhibition of botanical gardens of the Czech Republic.