[CONFERENCE] Institute of Geography SAS celebrated 80 years of its existence

On 1.5.1943, the Institute of Geography of the Slovak Academy of Sciences and Arts, which was the predecessor of the present Institute, began its existence. In 1953, the Institute of Geography became a part of the Slovak Academy of Sciences.

The Institute of Geography of the Slovak Academy of Sciences celebrated the 80th anniversary of its foundation on 11-12 October 2023 in the framework of the scientific conference “Tvorivé hľadanie v geografii (Creative Searching in Geography)”. The event was attended by more than 100 guests, mainly from Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Poland, but also from Ukraine, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iran, Pakistan, India and Ethiopia. Participants of the event included invited guests, representatives of geographic and other collaborating institutions, and current and former scientific and non-scientific employees of the Institute of Geography.

The celebrations began with a festive programme in the historic Zrkadlová sieň (Mirror Hall) of the Primaciálny palác (Primate’s Palace), where the guests were greeted by the President of the Slovak Academy of Sciences, prof. RNDr. Pavol Šajgalík, DrSc., under whose auspices the event was held. Director of the Institute Mgr. Daniel Michniak, PhD. presented the history of the Institute and the most significant results with emphasis on the recent development of the Institute. He presented a letter of appreciation to the personalities and organizations that significantly contributed to the Institute’s development during the last decades. The performance of pianist Filip Blaškovič enriched the anniversary celebration.

In the first part of the conference, there were three invited lectures presented by prof. RNDr. Dagmar Dzúrová, CSc. from the Charles University in Prague, prof. RNDr. Tomáš Pánek, PhD. from the University of Ostrava and RNDr. Marcel Šúri, CSc. from the private company Solargis. Prof. Dzúrová, in her paper “Geographical ways of investigating inequalities in health”, pointed out the possibilities of geography in the research of spatial inequalities in terms of population health. Prof. Pánek, in his lecture “The Largest Landslides on Earth”, introduced the topic of megaslides and their research. Finally, Dr. Šúri’s paper “Geoinformatics in the Service of Solar Energy: From Hand-Drawn Maps to Real-Time Global Data Processing and Distribution” reflected on linking geographic research results with technology and practical applications in energy and economics.

The ceremonial program was followed by a guided tour of the ongoing exhibition “Cesta (z) mesta (Journey (from) the city)” in the Museum of the City of Bratislava, the curatorial concept of which was ensured by the staff of the Institute – Martin Šveda, Pavel Šuška and Ján Výbošťok.

A festive reception was held at the Vodárenské múzeum (Waterworks Museum), where guests could informally discuss and commemorate together the significant achievements of the Institute. During this part of the event, the Folk Music of the Gymnik Folklore Ensemble also performed. The festive gathering provided an opportunity to strengthen cooperation with the staff of other organisations and also allowed former employees of the Institute to reminisce about all the common moments that stuck in their memories from their time at the workplace.

On Thursday, 12.10.2023, the scientific conference continued in the historical premises of the Mirbachov palác (Mirbach Palace – Bratislava City Gallery). At the conference, the scientists presented their latest scientific studies and discussed the future of geographic research in Slovakia. In seven sessions, 27 papers were presented, divided into several sections – New Trends in Modelling and Quantitative Geography, Knowing Geography, Spaces of Retail and Services, Changing Landscapes, Society and Space, City and Place. The other 27 papers presented in the poster session also demonstrated the varied palette.

The celebration of the 80th anniversary of the Institute of Geography of the Slovak Academy of Sciences included a complete change of the visual identity of the Institute. It was during the programme in the Zrkadlová sieň that the new corporate identity was presented. The new logo represents the values of the Institute of Geography of the Slovak Academy of Sciences in a modern way: precision, naturalness, organics and humanity. The concept of the new logo carries three elements – the circular shape and the border subtly remind us of the shape of the Earth, the contours or isolines are symbols representing geographical research, and the fingerprint points to man’s influence on the world. The authors of the logo are Nicol Johnová and Jakub Kula, students of the School of Creative Communication in Prague.

The celebration of the 80th anniversary was a significant milestone in the history of the Institute and demonstrated its important role in promoting geographical research and education. The Institute wishes to continue fulfilling its mission and strengthen its position in the geographic community in Slovakia and internationally.