Dr. József Pálinkás
President, Hungarian Academy of Sciences

Dr. József Pálinkás is an atomic physicist who, between 1998 and 2002, served as Secretary of State and then as Minister of Education for the Hungarian Government. He is currently the head of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (HAS) and Professor of Physics at University of Debrecen.

Dr. Pálinkás was born in 1952 in Galvacs. He graduated from József Attila University (JATE) in physics in 1977 and started work at the HAS Nuclear Research Institute (ATOMKI) in Debrecen. He became Deputy Director of ATOMKI in 1990 and was Director from 1991 to 1996.

Dr. Pálinkás’ main research interest is the experimental examination of atomic collisions. In 1981, he earned a top-level (“summa cum laude”) university doctorate from Lajos Kossuth University of the Sciences in Debrecen.

In 1994, Dr. Pálinkás became involved in research carried out at CERN’s OPAL experiment at the Large Electron-Positron Collider (LEP) exploring hypothetical Higgs particles. He also joined CERN Experiment NA-49 to create a Quark-Gluon-Plasma state of strongly interacting matter. His participation in this research helped establish and upgrade particle physics experimental research at ATOMKI and as a consequence, the institute presently participates in measurements carried out on the new Large Hadron Collider (LHC).

Dr. Pálinkás is well-known in the world of science both at home and abroad. In addition to participating actively in HAS, he has also served as member of the following international scientific bodies: the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics (IUPAP) Commission on Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics; the European Committee on Future Accelerators; and the International Conference on Photonic, Electronic and Atomic Collisions.

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