Pavel Horák and Václav Šmidrkal laureates of the Otto Wichterle Prize

The President of the CAS, Prof. RNDr. Eva Zažímalová, CSc., awarded two MÚA staff members, Pavel Horák and Václav Šmidrkal, the Otto Wichterle Prize. The award ceremony took place on 6 June 2018 in Villa Lanna in Prague-Bubenč.
The Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic awards the Otto Wichterle Prize to selected, exceptionally high quality and promising scientists of the CAS who have contributed outstanding results to the development of scientific knowledge, hold scientific ranks or titles (CSc., Dr., Ph.D., DrSc., DSc.) and are no older than 35 years of age in the calendar year of submission.

PhDr. et Mgr. Pavel Horák, Ph.D.

Mgr. Pavel Horák, Ph.D., is an extremely erudite historian who has already published two comprehensive monographs. The first of these is entitled Bohumil Laušman - A Political Biography. The Risky Game of a Social Democratic Leader was nominated for the Magnesia Litera Discovery of the Year in 2013 and received the Arnošt Lustig and Miroslav Ivanov awards. The second monograph is titled Party Legitimation, folks! Czechoslovak Democracy on the Run in Postwar Europe (1948-1953).

Pavel Horák also proved his excellence in editing a number of editions of historical sources. Recently, the latest of them, which concerns the accessibility of hitherto completely unknown sources on the February 1948 coup (supported by the AV21 Strategy), has attracted great public and media interest. Pavel Horák also participates in domestic and foreign collective projects (e.g. Collegium Carolinum in Munich). As a popularizer, he regularly collaborates with domestic newspapers on contemporary history series. He is one of the two editors of a major book project which, in cooperation with Lidové noviny Publishing House, is bringing a comprehensive compendium (planned to be about 1000 pages of manuscript) to the centenary of the founding of the First Czechoslovak Republic. Dr. Horák is preparing partial chapters and coordinating a team of more than forty Czech and foreign authors. Since 2010 he has been a lecturer at the Faculty of Arts of Charles University.

PhDr. Václav Šmidrkal, Ph.D.

During his doctoral studies, Václav Šmidrkal, PhD, completed a number of internships at leading research institutes in the field of modern history of Central Europe (Warsaw, Berlin, Leipzig, Freiburg, Bath, etc.). He received the prestigious Austrian Richard Plaschka Scholarship, which is intended for excellent postdoctoral researchers in the field of modern history and serves as a research fellowship at the University of Vienna. Václav Šmidrkal is among the few Czech historians who have managed to gain access to the most prestigious foreign publishing and conference forums, such as the Annual Convention of the American Association for Slavic, East European and Eurasian Studies (ASEEES). His studies have been published in leading English-language journals in the fields of East European Politics, East European Politics and Societies, and the prestigious European Review of History/Revue européenne d'histoire.

His versatile scientific profile, characterized by a wide range of topics and time periods, is capitalized in national and international projects. He participated in a three-year grant project of the General Assembly of the Czech Republic Physical Violence in Central Europe during the First World War and in the post-war period. Comparison of Austrian and Czech countries and also on research within the Czech-Austrian project Veterans of the First World War in Czechoslovakia and Austria 1918-1938. He was involved in the coordination of the large intergovernmental project The Joint Czech-Austrian History Book at the Permanent Conference of Czech and Austrian Historians on Common Cultural Heritage.

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