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Encouraging to speak in English

Given below is the speech that I gave today during the awards session of the 54th Annual Meeting of the SerbianChemical Society to celebrate its 120 years of existence:
We are living in turbulent times in the world these days. Spain vs. Catalunya; Brexit; North Korea vs. the United States, are all examples of this. Within Science, these national borders fall away. The exchange of ideas and results is not limited because of them. They may however remain limited because of language, which reintroduces borders and puts up barriers that hampers the free flow of these ideas. In the past decades, English has become the scientific language of the world, which enables the advancement of science in general, and scientists in particular.
Therefore, after last year’s Annual Meeting in Kragujevac, Maja Gruden, Tanja Parac, Wesley Browne and me discussed how we could improve the situation of chemical sciences in Serbia, and decided to introduce awards for the best talks given in English, by young researchers working in Serbia. And here I speak as well as Chair of the Young Academy of Europe when I say that positive changes in the European scientific world is best done by young researchers.
Today we have been at two sessions of the Serbian Chemical Society meeting with only English talks, and I must admit: we were highly impressed by you. It is not only the level of English, or the scientific results, but we were especially impressed with the communication of your results, in a natural way. Making a connection to the audience, explaining to them WHY you do the research, before you describe HOW, and WHAT you have obtained, is the most difficult part of science communication. And today you all did a really great job!
So, without further a due, I would like to announce the winners of the awards. Making the decision about the prize winners was easy, with unanimous votes by the jury for all three places.
3rd place: Jelena Konstantinović
2nd place: Jelena Lazić
and finally, especially because of an exceptional communication and connection with the audience:
1st place: Marija Lučić

Congratulations to all eleven speakers, because you all deserve an award!
Below you can find some photos of the young researchers in action.



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