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Sports and science – ambassadors of Hungary’s image

2015. March 19.

A conference on Hungary’s county image was held for the fifth time at the beginning of March.

The event was organized by the József Antall Knowledge Centre which was named after the first democratically elected prime minister (1990–1993) of the Republic of Hungary.

Following the tradition of the previous conferences, a few set topics were discussed by the participants this year, with sports and scientific research in focus. In both areas giftedness and talent play an important role
Péter Csermely, President of the Hungarian National Talent Support Council was a guest speaker of the round-table discussion on scientific research.

Minister of Agriculture Sándor Fazekas, son of former prime minister Péter Antall, head of the Budapest Festival and Tourism Centre Teodóra Bán, state secretary for sports István Simicskó, as well as leaders of different sports unions attended the event.
The attendees stressed the responsibility of participants of international sports events representing the whole nation. They agreed that well-planned and well organized Olympic Games in Budapest would improve the image of Hungary all over the world.  
The speakers of the other round-table discussion sought possibilities of Hungarian scientists to influence the image of the country. According to Prof. Gábor Szabó, President of the Hungarian Association for Innovation, the most influential research projects were international and in most cases it was difficult to determine the nationality of the participating scientists.

Prof. Péter Csermely emphasized that it was important to kindle gifted students’ interest in science as early as in primary and secondary school. In addition to talent support, it is also the government’s responsibility to create an attractive environment for young people through successful Hungarian medium-sized enterprises and start-ups.

Concerning brain drain, Prof. Csermely mentioned that talents will find their way when they grow out a place. They will make their way to Oxford or other scientific centres from however small a village they come from. The problem to be solved is to attract those talents back to Hungary to use their knowledge in their home country. To that end, it is important to create an attractive system of fellowships and grants, and to increase the social prestige of scientific research in Hungary.