Seminar: Women in Science, Past and Present, 7 June 2018

Seminar: Women in Science, Past and Present

Thursday, 7 June 2018
Bibliotheque Solvay, Leopold Park, rue Belliard 137, Brussels

13h30 – 14h00 Registration and coffee
14h00 – 14h10 Welcome: H.E. Artur Orzechowski, Ambassador of Poland to the Kingdom of Belgium
14h10 – 15h40 Panel Discussion I: Women in Science. Historical Perspective
• Brigitte Van Tiggelen, UCL (Catholic University of Louvain)
• Natacha Henry, author of the book “Maria and Bronia, Pact of Sisters”, winner of Prix Marie Curie 2017
• Seweryna Konieczna, Medical University of Gdańsk, Department of History & Philosophy of Medical Sciences
• Geert Vanpaemel, KULeuven (Catholic University of Leuven)

Moderator: Dorota Walczak, ULB (Free University of Brussels)

15h40- 16h00 Coffee Break

16h00-16h30  Keynote speech by Professor Agnieszka Zalewska, former President of the CERN Council (European Center for Nuclear Research)
• Q&A

16h30-18h00 Panel Discussion II: Modern Challenges on the Path to Scientific Excellence
In presence of Philippe Busquin, former EU Commissionaire for research
• Veronique Halloin, FNRS (Fund for Scientific Research in Belgium)
• Elżbieta Frąckowiak, Polish Academy of Sciences – PAN
• Kurt Vandenberghe, DG Research & Innovation, Directorate A – Policy Development and Coordination), European Commission
• Anna Szołucha, Polish Institute of Advanced Studies, PAN, Marie Skłodowska-Curie Alumna
Moderator: Sarah Baatout, Belgian Nuclear Research Centre, SCK-CEN, Mol

18h-18h10 Closing remarks: Elżbieta Frąckowiak, vice-president of the Polish Academy of Sciences-PAN

18h10-19h00 Drinks

19h00-19h15 Joteyka Award Ceremony presented by Aneta Boratyńska, President of the Polish Women’s Club in Brussels, and Katarzyna Radomska, President of Daskalia Center

19h15-20h00 Concert by the Belgian string orchestra I MUSICI BRUCELLENSIS,
directed by the Polish-Belgian Maestro, Zofia Wisłocka, founder of International Association of Women Conductors and winner of the Joteyka Award 2017

20h00-21h00 Evening Buffet


Women have always played exceptional role in Polish history. They have been at the forefront of our heroic struggle against foreign oppression and imperialism, and also played an essential role in preserving the spirit of the nation, particularly through education.
This is an exceptional year for Poland. In 2018 we celebrate an important anniversary – one hundred years ago our country regained its independence after more than a century of partition. It is worth noting that on regaining independence, Poland immediately granted women the right to vote. On 28 November 1918, Józef Piłsudski signed, on the initiative of many Polish women, including his wife Aleksandra Piłsudska, the Election Regulation Decree stipulating that every Polish citizen, regardless of gender, could both vote and stand for political office. To commemorate this occasion the Sejm, Poland’s Lower Chamber of Parliament, has made 2018 the Year of Women’s Rights. Getting the vote was an important step for women towards greater involvement in other areas of social activity, particularly science and education. From that moment on, Poland saw an unprecedented increase in women’s contribution to almost every field of scientific research. Polish women researchers have, through the scope of their work, contributed to the overcoming of many challenges, not only those facing Europe but the world as a whole.
It is worth mentioning that the Sejm has also made 2018 the Year of Science!


The main objective of this event is to remind us about those exceptional women who have changed the world in which we live. Scientists like Maria Skłodowska-Curie or Józefa Franciszka Joteyko achieved remarkable success in their fields and provided future generations of women with role models.
This seminar will increase awareness about these remarkable women, with discussions about their lives, achievements, and experiences. Participants will have the opportunity to compare the past with the present, and discuss the key opportunities and obstacles which can be found on the path towards the greater representation of women in science.
This event will also look at the struggle of women against discrimination, and how they can overcome the obstacles placed in their way. Participants will discuss current challenges and how progress can be made in the future. Ultimately, we hope the seminar will underscore the importance of strategies aimed at improving the level of female representations in science and strengthen European voices in this discussion.

Venue: Bibliotheque Solvay – Leopoldpark, rue Belliard 137, Brussels

Date: Thursday, 7 June 2018

Organizers: The Polish Embassy and the Polish Institute in Brussels, Polish Science Contact Agency “PolSCA” of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Brussels, Polish Academy of Sciences – Scientific Center in Paris.

Partners: BeKaP (Polish Women’s Club in Brussels), DASKALIA (Polish Culture and Language Centre), Polish Tourism Organisation in Brussels.

Registration to the event: by email: