The General Assembly of the Polish Academy of Sciences elected new members. Prof. Ryszard Górecki, Rector of the University of Warmia and Mazury, joined the group of full members of the Polish Academy of Sciences.Prof. R. Górecki joined Division II: Biological and Agricultural Sciences.
Prof. Ryszard Górecki graduated from the Academy of Agriculture and Technology (ART, currently UWM) in Olsztyn, where he started working in 1975; he was head of the Department of Plant Physiology, Genetics and Biotechnology of the University of Warmia and Mazury; Deputy Rector of the Academy of Agriculture and Technology (1996–1999); Rector of the University of Warmia and Mazury for 5 terms (1999–2008, 2012-2020); Dean of the Faculty of Biology and Biotechnology of the UWM (2008–2010); Deputy Chairman of the Polish Academy of Sciences (2011–2012); Senator of the Republic of Poland (2005-2015). He received the scientific degree of Doctor of Agricultural Sciences in 1979 at the Academy of Agriculture and Technology, Doctor Habilitated - in 1986 at ART, and the title of Professor of Agricultural Sciences - in 1993.
During his work, he completed several long-term scientific internship programmes, in 1983 at Cornell University, Ithaca NY, (12 months); 1988/89 – Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan (6 months); 1990 – Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology (7 months); 1992 – Institute of Genetic Engineering, Trieste, Italy (1 month); 1994/95 – Cornell University, Ithaca, USA (6 months); 1995 John Innes Centre, Norwich, UK (1 month).
His scientific speciality: physiology, biochemistry and biotechnology of ripening, germination and seed resistance to abiotic stresses. He specialises in studies of the role of cyclitols and α-D-galactosides in plants. Major scientific achievements of Prof. Górecki include:demonstration of the accumulation and role of sugars, RFOs and GalCs in the development and ripening of legumes and an increase in expression of PS PAL1 and PS PAL2 genes under an infection with Mycospharella pinodes and Fusarium oxysporum; cloning gene GolS Vicia hirsuta(VhGolS1 and VhGolS2- GenBank); obtaining a transgenic line of the tomato and rockcress, which contains the reporter gene (gfp-gus fusion) with the NP24 gene promoter control. Currently – research on the use of health-promoting cyclitols in humans. Other important achievements include initiating a cyclic science popularisation event called “Dni Nauki i Sztuki [Science and Art Days]", which attracts tens of thousands of participants every year; organising major conferences: 2003 - 1st Conference of the Polish Society of Plant Experimental Biology, 2008 – 9th ISSS Conference on Seed Biology, attended by around 250 scientists from 44 countries; co-developer of a patent (currently under development) of a method for obtaining cyclitols from plants. He has been the promoter of 9 doctoral theses.
Prof. Ryszard Górecki has received 10 individual 1st-degree awards from the Ministry of National Education and from the Ministry of Higher Education, as well as: the Gold Cross of Merit, Knight’s Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta, Medal of the Committee for National Education, Personality of the Year of Warmia and Mazury, Honorary Citizen of the City of Olsztyn and of the Town of Braniewo, Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star (Japan), Leader of University Management LUMEN, Medal Unitas Durat Palatinatus Cuiaviano-Pomeraniensis, Honorary Professor of the Agricultural University of Kazakhstan in Almaty. Major lectures: “Saccharides and galactosyl cyclitols in maturing yellow lupin seeds" Pacific Grove, California, USA (1996); “Modification of a-d-galactosides composition in legume seeds by feeding free cyclitols" Olsztyn (2008); “Cyclitols – biologically important compounds" Vilnius (2017).
He is the author of 140 publications (including 73 accessible in the Web of Science Core Collection), and the co-author of six books. According to the Web of Sciences database, publications co-authored by Prof. Górecki have been cited 939 times (index H=17).
He was the head of three grants from the Ministry of Science and Higher Education and the National Centre for Science and a development grant from the National Centre for Research and Development. Despite being a rector, senator of the Republic of Poland and the deputy chairman of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Prof. Górecki participated actively in the scientific life in Poland and around the globe. Being a senator, he played an important role in PAS financing. For example, he intervened at the Ministry of Finance in 2012 on abolishing the pay increase limits for scientific workers at PAS institutes. His efforts resulted in the rapid development of the UWM. For example, he created the Faculty of Medicine in 2007 – for the first time after the war.
Prof. Górecki was one of the initiators of establishing the Olsztyn branch of the Polish Academy of Sciences.
Prof. Jan Jankowski became a corresponding member of the Polish Academy of Sciences – also of Division II: Biological and Agricultural Sciences.
Prof. J. Jankowski is a widely recognised scientific authority in poultry breeding, including the breeding, raising and feeding of turkeys. His scientific achievements include over 400 original publications, including 161 printed in scientific periodicals. His major practical achievements include breeding seven domestic turkey breeds as well as developing new programmes of feeding slaughter turkeys, which improved the breeding efficiency and the birds’ well-being, as well as reduced emissions to the environment.
The General Assembly is the most important body of the Polish Academy of Sciences. It comprises all domestic members of the Academy - eminent scientists who set out the directions of the Academy development and activities.