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As part of the celebration of the 27th anniversary of its existence and the 5th anniversary of its independent operation, the Science and Research Centre (ZRS) Koper presented the Messengers of science (Glasnik znanosti) 2021 for the sixteenth time today.

This year te recipients of the awards are acad. Jože Pirjevec, dr. Barbara Gornik, dr. Irina Moira Cavaion and colleagues of the Institute for Kinesiology Research ZRS Koper.

The keynote speaker at this year’s award ceremony was the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Food of the Republic of Slovenia, dr. Jože Podgoršek.

Today, Friday, June 11, ZRS Koper organized the traditional presentation of the Glasnik znanosti 2021 awards and recognitions at the Kamin Restaurant in Izola. ZRS Koper presents the Glasnik znanosti awards and recognitions for excellent scientific achievements every two years, and for the sixteenth time this year. With the event, they wanted to present their scientific research work and reward researchers who achieve excellence in scientific work. At the same time, they also want to promote and bring science closer to the general public.

Behind us is a period that is difficult to understand, difficult to explain, and certainly a period when it has been reaffirmed that only science can save humanity from crises and situations. The fear that this need would be lost in the future is in my opinion, very small or even zero. Limited in space and contacts, we have not lost our research ardency and this is reflected in many national and international projects and applications, ” said the director of ZRS Koper, prof. dr. Rado Pišot. In 2020, ZRS Koper submitted more than 40 applications for various tenders, four of which were already successful.

As still the most pressing problem, the director pointed out the provision of adequate premises to the Olive Growing Institute. As the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Food, dr. Jože Podgoršek said later on, they can count on help. “We will find a way to dig the Olive Growing Institute out of trouble because we need it. We don’t want to look for knowledge abroad,” he pointed out.

ZRS Koper congratulated for its work and networking in the international environment. “If we had to cross a hundred steps of quality, we can easily cross 95 of them, the last five are the key ones that distinguish the best from the good. And it seems that we know how to do that in Slovenia,” said the minister.

This year, the “messengers of science” became acad. Jože Pirjevec, dr. Barbara Gornik, dr. Irina Moira Cavaion and colleagues of the Institute for Kinesiology Research ZRS Koper.

Acad. Jože Pirjevec is the recipient of the Glasnik znanosti award for individual top scientific achievements of established researchers. His monograph Partizani is a scientific work dealing with the issue of the Second World War in Slovenia, in a broader Yugoslav and European context. As this theme is still present in the public consciousness and the cause of the division of spirits, its purpose is to present events in an objective, narrative way based on documents, and thus raise awareness of younger generations and contribute to national reconciliation. In his short speech, the academician, a member of the Institute for Historical Studies ZRS Koper, highlighted the importance of science in the years after World War II, when we “experienced cultural genocide, few surviving intellectuals were silenced or expelled, our cultural environment was none“.

In the last 50 and 60 years, we have done a lot of work, with ZRS Koper we have created a knowledge center in the scientific space, of which I am a proud part,” said Pirjevec.

Dr. Barbara Gornik, Institute for Social studies ZRS Koper and dr. Irina Moira Cavaion, Institute for Linguistic studies ZRS Koper are the recipients of the Herald of Science Award for individual top scientific achievements of promising researchers.

Dr. Barbara Gornik is a research associate working within the Institute for Social Studies ZRS Koper. Her research focuses on issues of migration, nationalism and human rights, especially in terms of their interpretation and implementation as a reflection of social power relations. Among her most notable achievements is the co-editing of a monograph published in 2018 by the prestigious international publishing house Routledge Unaccompanied children in European migration and asylum practices: in whose best interests?

Dr. Gornik presented her work at scientific conferences across Europe and the United States, also within the most prestigious institutions. It demonstrates its pervasiveness, innovation and research potential in various areas of its activities: in applying for research projects, selection and development of innovative research methods and very successful publication of scientific results in internationally recognized journals and publishing houses of the highest rank. “No award is the work of a single person,” she pointed out upon receipt, thanking family and co-workers for their support. She is especially proud of the work of her institute, which has achieved a major breakthrough in recent years: “We have managed to get on the international map and now others are turning to us with offers to participate.

Dr. Irina Moira Cavaion is a research associate at the Institute for Linguistic Studies ZRS Koper. Her research achievements focus on border language policy and didactics of other languages. She designed an innovative model for learning and teaching neighboring languages in a new way, and with the original model she managed to penetrate abroad as well. Her research achievements are an original contribution to the role, existence and establishment of neighboring languages, to language didactics and applied linguistics, which opens new avenues for the use and development of these languages in European and global areas of contact. “The reward is a boost of confidence in my work and an incentive to further explore our language area, which is extremely complex,” she said.

The associates of the Institute for Kinesiology Research (IKARUS) ZRS Koper are the recipients of the Herald of Science Award for individual top scientific achievements of research groups. In a short time, the Institute can boast of many achievements, including 82 scientific publications in top scientific journals, the implementation of the Horizon 2020 project and the complex and demanding MARS PRE studies for the Italian Space Agency. The institute, which has 16 researchers and two professionals, achieves its goals with the help of two infrastructure units, the Laboratory and the Mediterranean Health Center. On their behalf, the award was accepted by the head of the institute, prof. dr. Boštjan Šimunič, who also highlighted all their achievements and revealed the “key to success”: “At the institute we breathe together, but not the same air. In my opinion, this is the key to our success.”

Today they also presented the newly published publication Glasnik ZRS Koper – Report on the work of the Science and Research Center Koper for 2020.

ZRS Koper also paid tribute to olive grower Vanja Dujc, whose olive oil was chosen as the best olive oil in the northern hemisphere.

Let us remind you that this year, ZRS Koper is celebrating its fifth year of operation as an independent public research institute and the twenty-seventh year since the establishment of the first and still the only public research institute based outside Ljubljana, which carries out its mission at the local, national and international levels.

Congratulations to the winners!