Slovak Academy of Sciences awards honorary degree to Professor George Pickett

Professor Pavel Šajgalík, President of the Slovak Academy of Sciences (left,) with Professor George Pickett (second right) and other members of the Slovak Academy of Sciences © Slovak Academy of Sciences
Professor Pavel Šajgalík, President of the Slovak Academy of Sciences (left,) with Professor George Pickett (second right) and other members of the Academy

Professor George Pickett of Lancaster University has been awarded an Honorary degree by the Slovak Academy of Sciences.

The honorary degree of Doctor of Physical Sciences was presented by the President of the Slovak Academy of Sciences, Professor Pavel Šajgalík at a General Assembly of the Learned Society of Slovakia, of which George Pickett has been an honorary member since 2018.

Professor Pickett said: “I’m very honoured to receive this award from the Slovak Academy of Sciences. The Slovak low-temperature community and the Lancaster group have worked together for over thirty years and our collaboration has been mutually beneficial and immensely enjoyable.”

The award was made for Professor Pickett’s “very significant contribution” to helping the Centre for Low Temperature Physics of the Slovak Academy of Sciences in Košice to achieve a European level and establish European integration.

Professor Pickett has co-operated with the Low Temperature Physics Centre in Košice since 1988, helping Košice to organise an international conference on ultra-low temperature physics in 1996. Subsequently, over the years 1999 to 2007, agreements on mutual scientific and technological cooperation were signed between the Slovak Academy and Lancaster University’s Department of Physics.

The European project "Cosmology in Laboratory (COSLAB)" also made a significant contribution to the visibility of the Slovak group. Another joint Slovak-British scientific activity, coordinated by Professor Pickett and funded by the British Council, was the INYS meeting in 2005 in Stará Lesná.

In terms of scientific output, the Košice Centre for Low Temperature Physics has published a total of more than 20 scientific papers together with Professor Pickett and other Lancaster University members.

Professor Pickett is a world-renowned scientist in the field of very low temperature physics. After an undergraduate degree at Oxford, he worked at the, Helsinki University of Technology, Finland, where he worked in the group of Professor Olli Lounasmao, one of the founders of European low temperature physics.

Since 1970, he has worked at Lancaster University where he founded the Low Temperature Physics Group, becoming Professor of Low Temperature Physics in 1988.

For his achievements, Professor Pickett became a member of the Royal Society in 1997, and a year later, together with Professor Anthony Guénault, also of Lancaster University, he was awarded the prestigious International Simon Prize for the development of ultra-low temperature physics.

During his scientific career to date, Professor Pickett has published more than 230 publications, including seven articles in Nature, three articles in Nature Physics, 35 articles in Physical Review Letters, and other articles in journals registered in the WoS and Scopus databases.

On the initiative of Professor Pickett, at the time of Slovakia’s accession to the EU in 2004, Professor Mikko Paalanen, the then director of the Olli Lounasmao laboratory, invited the Košice low-temperature group to become part of the EU Ultralow Temperature programme and appointed Dr Peter Skyba as a member of the selection committee of this project.

This launched the European integration ambitions of the Košice group which is now a full member of the European Horizon2020 Microkelvin Platform along with Lancaster University and nine other leading European research institutions.

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