May 21, 2002

1st NATO-UNESCO Advanced Research Workshop

Science Education: Talent Recruitment and Public Understanding

A NATO-UNESCO Advanced Research Workshop 19-21 April, 2002, Budapest

Meeting summary

The workshop spurred a great interest in the 23 participating NATO and partner countries and gave a comprehensive survey of existing, highly successful examples of scientific research training in Europe, in the USA and in Israel. The concentrated introduction of the best practices provided a unique opportunity to learn successful elements from other initiatives as well as to implement these techniques to other Central-Eastern European (mostly NATO Partner) countries. Participation of key European and world-wide organisations in talent support and science education, such as the Commission of the EU, the European Council of High Ability, UNESCO, Ashoka International etc. made a special impact of the event.

The participants of the meeting adopted the following agenda to foster future world-wide collaboration between scientific research training initiatives:The organizers will develop the current web-site of the meeting to an interactive web-forum of scientific research training practices. Both the upgraded web-site and an email-network will be used for the dissemination of new practices as well as for the development of multilateral contacts.

A network of student, teacher and scientific research training organizer exchanges will be established. Several of these exchanges were already agreed on at the meeting.

Participants proposed a follow-up meeting two years from now, in the spring of 2004. As a result of the continued networking during the coming two years the follow-up meeting would be an excellent occasion for the evaluation of projects and to invite scientific research training organizers and novel interested participants from even more countries than those represented at the current meeting.


Science education is an important element of the recruitment of further generations for scientific research. In this complex process which – optimally – begins at the nursery and ends by the completion of a PhD study a key point is the science education of high school students, who are in a very susceptible age to ask clear questions about the world around them, and to seek answers in a methodological way, as science does. This age, between 14 and 19 is the age of self-test, where the adolescent tries his strength and capabilities. Scientific research provides a unique and unparalleled opportunity for outstanding achievements even in this young age. Moreover, research training makes the social circles surrounding these students (schoolmates, family, relatives, etc.) understand science and breaks the alienation from scientific research in a significant part of the society. All these benefits would be really a treasure in the conflict-loaded, differentiated societies of Central-Eastern Europe, where after the initial social mobility the channels, where young members of the society may find an opportunity to change their social status were significantly narrowed. However, despite existing practices of highly successful science education initiatives in countries of Western Europe and America, there are very few successful examples of research training of high school students in Central-Eastern European countries. The proposed project would like to help to establish more of these research training practices in CEE countries

The idea of the workshop has been raised as a follow-up meeting of the World Conference of Science and may serve as a related event to the UNESCO Forum of Young Scientists. The chief organisers of the planned workshop, Prof. Leon Lederman, Nobel Laureate (USA) and Prof. Peter Csermely (Hungary) were section heads of the World Conference of Science and its satellite meeting, respectively.

Aims of the workshop

The workshop will be a small meeting (attendance will be limited to 50 persons) to disseminate the experiences of highly successful scientific research training projects to Central-Eastern Europe. The major goals of the workshop are

  • to promote cooperation between existing scientific research training projects by raising the possibility of more intensive student-exchanges
  • to better the existing projects by exchanging their experiences and outlining successful organisational and fundraising tactics
  • to help the initiation of scientific research training projects in countries where it does not exist.

Expected results of project

The workshop will give a comprehensive survey of existing, highly successful examples of scientific research training in Europe, in the USA, Canada and Israel. This concentrated introduction of the best practices in the field will provide a unique opportunity of participants to learn successful elements from other initiatives. As a plus to this benefit, an even greater positive outcome is expected to introduce these techniques to influential members of the science and education scene of Central-Eastern European countries we plan to invite.

Participation of key European and world-wide organisations in talent support and science education, such as the EU, UNESCO, NATO, the European Council of High Ability, MENSA International, etc. will make a special impact of the event. The organisers will make every effort using their contacts via the above organisations as well as those of UNESCO, research academies and carefully targeted advertising to recruit key figures of Central Eastern European countries to promote the existing successful practices in the region.

The project will

  • establish a network of scientific research training projects worldwide
  • help the organization of new national projects in Central Eastern Europe
  • promote the regular contacts (student exchanges) of existing projects
  • the presentations and discussions will be summarized in a volume of NATO Science Series.


  • Ferenc Madl, President of Hungary
  • Jozsef Palinkas, Minister of Education Hungary
  •  Philippe Busquin, Member of the Commission of European Union

Sponsors of the Meeting:

Béres Foundation, EGIS Co., Gedeon Richter Co., Embassy of Italy, Embassy of the USA, Hungarian Patent Office, Industrial R&D Foundation, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Environmental Protection, "Mûszaki" Publishers Budapest, NATO, Program for Children and Youth, UNESCO


  1. Leon Lederman Nobel Laureate, Illinois Math Science Academy USA
  2. Peter Csermely Founding President, Hungarian National Student Research Initiative

Participants of the meeting:

  1. Adam Bly Founder & Editoral Director, SEED Magazine Canada
  2. Agoston Dvoracsek (President, Fenichel Samuel Scientific Research Club, Romania)
  3. Balint Pato (Student President, Hungarian Natonal Student Research Intiative, Hungary)
  4. Barbara Eros Director, Ashoka Hungary
  5. Bonnie Kaiser (Director, Precollege Science Education Program, Rockefeller University, USA)
  6. Daiva Grakauskaite Karkockiene (Institute of Pedagogy, Lithuania)
  7. David Brandon (Program Director, Technion Center for Pre-University Education, Israel)
  8. Diana Malpede (Science Analisis and Policies Division SC/AP, UNESCO)
  9. Duwal Ramos Carvalho, Edison (Director, Live Science Program, Gaia and Ashoka, Brasil)
  10. Gert Mittrig MENSA International, Germany
  11. Giedre Butkiene (Institute of Pedagogy, Lithuania)
  12. Gulcin Kuckukkaya (Trakya University, Turkey)
  13. Eleonora Karaeka (Economic Gymnazia N5, Belarus)
  14. Eric Szczesniak (Student, Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy, USA)
  15. Eva Vondrakova (ECHA Specialist, Czech Republic)
  16. Gergely Hojdak (Student Hungarian Research Student Organization)
  17. Gregorio Medrano-Asensio (Director, European Union)
  18. Harald Wagner (Executive Director, Bildung und Begabung, Germany,)
  19. Imre Czibulka (President, Jedlik Scientific Research Club for Radio Development, Slovakia)
  20. Janewit Pitayataratorn (President, VTC Virtual Technology Development Centre Austria)
  21. Javier Touron (President, ECHA, Spain)
  22. Jill Conley (Program Director, Howard Hughes Medical Insitute USA)
  23. Joan Freeman (Founding President, ECHA and Former Editor-in-chief High Ability Studies, UK)
  24. Jolana Laznibatova (School Director, School for Exceptionally Gifted Children, Slovakia)
  25. Katya Stoycheva (Psychologist, Institute of Pyschology, Academy of Sciences, Bulgaria)
  26. Korado Korlevic (Director, Visnjan School of Astronomy Croatia)
  27. Laszlo Babi (Director, Jedlik Scientific Research Club for Radio Development, Slovakia)
  28. Lidia Borghi (Professor, Department of Physics, University of Pavia, Italia)
  29. Lina Nayak (Student, Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy USA)
  30. Lívia Mészáros (Student, Apáczai High School, Hungary )
  31. Ljupco Kevereski (Macedonia)
  32. Maria Herskovits Hungarian Talent Support Society
  33. Patapits Stamatis (Professor, Department of University of Greece)
  34. Peggy Connolly Illinois Math Science Academy USA
  35. Ragnhild Sohlberg (Vice President, Corporate Center Norsk Hydro ASA, Norway)
  36. Rena F. Subotnik (Director, Center for Psychology in the Schools and in Education and Center for Gifted Education Policy, American Psychological Foundation USA)
  37. Ruslan Mariychuk (Young Academy of Sciences, Ukraine)
  38. Sandra Shmookler (Special Assistant, Mongomery County Public Schools, USA )
  39. Sean O’Ceileachair Irish Centre for Talented Youth Ireland
  40. Shlomit Rachmel (Head, Department of Gifted Children, Ministry of Education, Israel)
  41. Tamas Korcsmaros (Student Vice-president, Hungarian Natonal Student Research Intiative, Hungary)
  42. Tomek Macura Student Prodigy, Baltimore USA
  43. Veronika Nidzieva (Vice Principal, International Relations Lyceum, Kiev Ukraine)
  44. Zoltan Borsodi (Student Vice-president, Hungarian Natonal Student Research Intiative, Hungary)

Meeting proceedings published in NATO Science Series
(approx. 350 pages in total)

Joan Freeman (Founding President, ECHA, and Former Editor-in-chief, High Ability Studies, UK – Gifted Children and Science Education

Katya Stoycheva (Institute of Pyschology, Academy of Sciences, Bulgaria – Talent, Science and Education: How do we Cope with Uncertainity and Ambiguities?

Maria Herskovits (Hungarian Talent Support Society – Talent Recognition and Channeling to Extracurriculum Activities between 6-12 years

Tomasz J. Macura (Student Prodigy, Baltimore, USA, – What do You Need to Know to Study Young and Study Very Well in the USA

Javier Touron (ECHA, Department of Education, University of Navarra, Spain – Implementation of a Talent Search Model in Spain

David Brandon, Muli Dotan, Orit Zaslavsky and Roza Leikin (Technion Center for Pre-University Education, Haifa, Israel, – Talent Development and Cultural Diversity

Eva Vondrakova (ECHA, Czech Republic – Future Scientists and School Attendance

Barbara Eros (Ashoka Innovative Learning Initiative, USA, and Ashoka, Hungary, – Ashoka Innovative Learning Initiative

Edison Duwal Ramos Carvalho (Gaia and Ashoka, Brasil Studies on Environment Safety to Build Social Responsibility - the Case of Petrobras Company and Surrounding Communities

Harald Wagner (Bildung und Begabung, Germany – Talent Development in Residential Summer Programmes Sean O’Ceileachair (Irish Centre for Talented Youth, Dublin, Ireland) - Summer Programs for Gifted Children in IrelandJill Conley (Howard Hughes Medical Insitute, USA, – Science Education Programs for High School Students Sponsored by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Peggy Connolly, Eric Szczesniak and Lina Nayak (Illinois Math Science Academy, USA, – Mentor, Merlin, Muse: Inspiring Poets and Scientists, the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy Program

Lidia Borghi, Anna de Ambrosis, Paolo Mascheretti (Department of Physics, Uniersity of Pavia) -Using New Technologies in Physics Teaching to Promote Student’s InvolvementSandra Shmookler (Mongomery County Public Schools, USA – Howard Hughes Medical Institute sponsored Student and Teacher Internships at The National Institute of Health in Bethesda, Maryland

Bonnie Kaiser (Precollege Science Education Program, Rockefeller University, USA – Mentoring Students and Teachers for High-Stakes Science Competitions

Gulcin Kucukkaya (Trakya University, Turkey – The Role of History and Conservation in the Training of High School Students to Canalise them on Scientific Research

Peter Csermely, Zoltan Borsodi, Tamas Korcsmaros and Balint Pato (Hungarian Talent Support Initiative, Hungary – Six Years of Scientific Research Training in Hungary

Korado Korlevic (Visnjan School of Astronomy, Croatia – Visnjan Educational Project – Introduction to Science Through Astronomy

Ruslan Mariychuk (Young Academy of Sciences, Ukraine – Specialities of Gifted Children Education in Post-Soviet Countries

Ljupco Kevereski – New National Strategic Orientation and the Research Experience of the Treatment of Gifted and Talented Students in the Republic of Macedonia

Eleonora Kakareka and Margarita Kotlyarova (Economic Gymnazia N5, Belarus – The Organization of the Scientific Research Work in the Economic Gymnazia N.5. Minsk, Belarus

Jolana Laznibatova (School for Exceptionally Gifted Children, Slovakia) Care for Future Scientists within the Education System in Slovakia

Otto F. Joklik - Janewit Pitayataratorn (EUREKA International) - Young Talents and EUREKAJanewit Pitayataratorn (Virtual Technology Centre) - Virtual Technology Development and Transfer - Hall of Transfer

Diana Malpede (UNESCO representative – International Forum of Young Scientists - a UNESCO initiative

Jane Aspell (SEED Magazine, Canada – Science Magazines in North America

Shlomit Rachmel and Rachel Zorman (Department of Gifted Children, Ministry of Education, Israel – Opportunities for Fulfillment of Potential in Science and Technology in Gifted Programs Subotnik Rena F. (Center for Psychology in the Schools and in education and Center for Gifted Education Policy, American Psychological Association, USA – Adolescent Pathways to Eminence in Science – Lessons from the Music Conservatory

Tomasz J. Macura (Student Prodigy, Baltimore, USA, – International Knowledge Communities, Hippies of the XXII Century

Contributation from participants who are unable to attend the meeting:

Jasna Lay – (adviser, ECHA specialist Center for Gifted Child Development "Bistriæ”, Zagreb) – What do the Gifted Children Think about the Quality in Education:

Mihai Jigau (Institute of Educational Sciences, Romania – The Impact of Public Policy and Private Initiative in Promoting the Gifted and /or Talented People

Ida Fleiss (MENSA International, Germany – Problem Solving, Innovation, Giftedness and Intertel – the MENSA experience

Rodney W. Nichols (New York Academy of Sciences, USA, – From Jefferson to Feynman: A US view of the importance of society’s investment in science and technology education

Wieslawa Limont (Nicolas Copernicus University, Poland – Creative Imagination in Science and in Science Education

Network of Excellence

Several organizations providing scientific research practice to high school students participanting at the meeting formed a Network of Excellence to

  • exchange existing expertise
  • promote similar programs in countries where they do not exist yet
  • organize student and teacher exchanges
  • organize joint research projects and research contests
  • establish an Intranet Forum for everyday contacts
  • repeat the above workshop in 2004

Board and Secretariat
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Contact the Network
Hungarian Research Student Movement -
NYEX Secretariat
Szemere u. 21. III.floor.
Budapest, Hungary

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