Death of Professor Hans Petter Langtangen

Professor Hans Petter Langtangen, a member of our Academy, and a past Officer of the Computational and Information Sciences Division, passed away on October 10th at the age of 54.

Hans Petter was an extraordinary researcher, lecturer, and supervisor. He has authored many  fantastic books on software and methods for numerically solving differential equations that have become very popular and have influenced the field of computational science and engineering considerably. Hans Petter was always open, generous, full of energy and passion, continuously spreading ideas and inspiration around him. He will continue to be remembered by many people for years to come.

Death of Professor Sven Erik Jorgensen

We recently received the very sad news that Prof. Dr. Sven Erik Jorgensen passed away on March 5th at age 81.

Sven Jorgensen has been one of the most eminent ecologists through the history, and has made a huge contribution to the ecological theory as well as to different issues related to the application of science to solve many different environmental problems. Sven Jorgensen founded the International Society on Ecological Modelling and the journal “Ecological Modelling”, which are currently the world’s main references for the conceptual and mathematical representation of ecological systems. He published more than 300 peer-review papers in a discipline, such as Ecology, where the collection of data for having a good background for any publication usually requires big efforts and many time. He wrote many books, from which those dealing with ecological modelling and systems ecology are the preferred references for specialists. He was also the editor-in-chief of the “Encyclopaedia of Ecology”, which covers all the scientific knowledge on Ecology.

Among many other distinctions, Prof. Jorgensen was awarded with the Blaise Pascal Medal on Environmental Sciences of EURASC in 2007, and he was the Head of the Earth and Environmental Sciences Division until 2013, serving our Academy in an exceptional way. Until the last moment, Sven enjoyed his passion for science, but also shared time with his friends, family and, especially, with his recently born grandchild. We are grieved with this news and with the huge void he leaves both at a professional and personal level. On behalf of EURASC we would like to express our condolences to his family. We, as friends and colleagues, will keep Sven’s scientific and personal legacy in our memory.

Prof. Jorgensen during the Ceremony of Awards, at the Palais d′Egmont (Brussels), 2007


Toni Camacho 
Head of the Earth & Environmental Sciences Division

Death of Professor Christian de Duve

The 4th of May 2013, Professor Christian de Duve, Honorary Member of EURASC and Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine passed away.

Christian de Duve was born in Thames Ditton, Surrey, Great Britain, as a son of Belgian refugees. They returned to Belgium in 1920. Christian de Duve was educated by the Jesuits at Onze-Lieve-Vrouwecollege in Antwerp, before studying at the Catholic University of Leuven, where he became a professor in 1947. He specialized in subcellular biochemistry and cell biology and discovered peroxisomes and lysosomes, cell organelles.

In 1962 Christian de Duve joined the faculty of what is now Rockefeller University in New York City, dividing his time between New York and Leuven. He took emeritus status at Université catholique de Louvain in 1985 and at Rockefeller in 1988, though he continued to conduct research. Amongst other subjects, de Duve studied the distribution of enzymes in rat liver cells using rate-zonal centrifugation. Christian de Duve′s work on cell fractionation provided an insight into the function of cell structures.

In 1960, Christian de Duve was awarded the Francqui Prize for Biological and Medical Sciences. He was awarded the shared Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1974, together with Albert Claude and George E. Palade, for describing the structure and function of organelles (lysosomes and peroxisomes) in biological cells. His later years have been mostly devoted to origin of life studies, which he admits is still a speculative field.

His work has contributed to the emerging consensus that the endosymbiotic theory is correct; this idea proposes that mitochondria, chloroplasts, and perhaps other organelles of eukaryotic cells originated as prokaryote endosymbionts, which came to live inside eukaryotic cells.

Christian de Duve proposes that peroxisomes may have been the first endosymbionts, which allowed cells to withstand the growing amounts of free molecular oxygen in the Earth′s atmosphere. Since peroxisomes have no DNA of their own, this proposal has much less evidence than the similar claims for mitochondria and chloroplasts.

He became Honorary Member of EURASC in 2007.

Click here to see the personal page of Prof. Christian de Duve.

If you want to know more about the life of Prof. de Duve in videos, please click on this link.

Death of Professor Rita Levi - Montalcini

The 30th of December 2012, Professor Rita Levi - Montalcini, member of EURASC and Leonardo da Vinci 2009 awardee, passed away.

Born in Turin on April 22, 1909, Rita Levi Montalcini was with her twin sister the youngest of four children. Her parents were Adamo Levi, an electrical engineer and gifted mathematician, and Adele Montalcini, a talented painter.

Her family had what she called, a typical Victorian style of life, all decisions being taken by the head of the family, the husband and father who believed that a professional career would interfere with the duties of a wife and mother.

However, at twenty, Rita Levi Montalcini realized that she could not possibly adjust to a feminine role as conceived by her father, and asked him permission to engage in a professional career. In eight months she filled her gaps in Latin, Greek and mathematics, graduated from high school, and entered medical school in Turin as student of the famous Italian histologist, Giuseppe Levi who learned to approach scientific problems in a most rigorous way at a time when such an approach was still unusual.

In 1936, she graduated from medical school with a summa cum laude degree in Medicine and Surgery, and enrolled in the three year specialization in neurology and psychiatry, still uncertain whether she should devote herself fully to the medical profession or pursue at the same time basic research in neurology. Her straining is shortened in 1938 by the promulgation of laws barring academic and professional careers to non-Aryan Italian citizens. Between the two alternatives left to her, either to emigrate to the United States, or to pursue some activity that needed neither support nor connection with the outside world, she decided to build a small research unit in her bedroom in Turin where she began studying the nervous system in chick embryos with Giuseppe Levi back to Turin after escaping from Belgium invaded by Nazis.

At the end of the war, she resumed her academic positions at the University of Turin and in the Fall of 1947, at the invitation from Professor Viktor Hamburger, a leading scientist in experimental neuroembryology, she joined him at the Washington University in Saint-Louis, Missouri (USA) to repeat the experiments which she had performed many years earlier in the chick embryo. Although she had planned to remain in St. Louis for only ten to twelve months, the excellent results of our research made it imperative to postpone her return to Italy. In 1956 she was offered the position of Associate Professor and in 1958 that of Full Professor, a position which she held until retirement in 1977.

It is precisely in St. Louis that in 1954 with her colleague Stanley Cohen she uncovered the nature and mechanism of action of a protein molecule which became known, on account of its biological properties, as the "Nerve Growth Factor" (NGF). It is for this discovery that in 1986 Rita Levi Montalcini and Stanley Cohen received the Nobel Prize.

This brilliant American career did not make her forget her native land. From 1961 to 1969 she directed the Research Centre of Neurobiology of the National Research Council (Rome), and founded in 2002 in Rome a European Brain Research Institute.

In addition to her scientific activities she carried on till the end, Rita Levi Montalcini had an intense social and political life. In 1999, she was nominated Goodwill Ambassador of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). In 2001, she was appointed as Senator for Life by the then President of the Italian Republic and served it until her death. Her last fight was in favor of African women through her Foundation “Onlus” so that they can receive education, professional training to enable them to have their lives in their own hands.

Rita Levi Montalcini passed away on 30 December 2012 in Rome, Italy. She was 103 years old. Her work has revolutionized the study of neuronal development. She was and remains an example of civic consciousness, culture and research spirit.

First woman president of the Italian Encyclopedia (1993-1998), Rita Levi-Montalcini was a member of the most prestigious scientific academies, such as the Italian Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Sciences in the United States and the Royal Society of London. She was a member of the European Academy of sciences where she received the Leonardo da Vinci Award 2009, during the Ceremony of Awards in Bologna.

Edgardo D. Carosella

January 11, 2013

Death of Professor Lev Dimitrievich Kudryavtsev

The 17th of February 2012 Professor Lev Kudryavtsev, member of Eurasc and Blaise Pascal Medal awardee (2004) in Mathematics and Computational Sciences, passed away.

The European Academy of Sciences lost a very appreciated member. Each photo links to articles found on the web about his work.

Death of Prof. Enzo Tiezzi

The 25th of June 2010 Professor Enzo Tiezzi, member of the board of  Eurasc’s division for Earth Science and Environmental Sciences,  passed away. We  lost not only a good friend but a good scientific companion. I have had many scientific discussion with Enzo, and I will miss them very much because they were always very inspiring. We had a common goal : to reveal the properties of ecosystems by use of far from thermodynamic equilibrium. It has always been pleasure to work with Enzo towards this goal, because he was positive and very open-minded - as an ecosystem he was ontic open - open for new ideas and new possibilities. He was genuine mutidiscplinary and could see how one scientific discipline could be used beneficially in other scientific disciplines. Enzo loved science, but he had at the same time an  approach of an artist to science. I admire how he was able to write about very hard science in a way that would fascinate the reader. Take his books: Beauty & Science, The Essence of Time, The End of Time and Steps Towards an Evolutionary Physics. All four books are written by a scientist with the hand of an artist.

Enzo Tiezzi has a master and ph.d degree in physical chemistry. In 1970, after teaching Physical Chemistry at Florence University for several years, he was appointed director of the Institute and later of the Department of Chemistry, Siena University.  He has been full professor of physical chemistry in the Faculty of Science of the University of Siena since 1979. He has, however, used his physical chemistry to achieve  a better understanding of natural systems, particularly ecosystems

Enzo Tiezzi has written more than 30 books, many of which have been translated and published in other languages. The End of Time, The Essence of Time, Beauty and Science, Steps Towards an Evolutionary Physics, City out of Chaos, The Road to Sustainability, GDP and Future Generation were recently published in English (WIT press). Beauty and Science came out in Spanish in 2006 (La belleza y la ciencia, ICARIA). Tempi Storici, Tempi Biologici (Garzanti 1984) was a best seller in its sector with four editions in three years, winning the Locarno International Festival prize and being nominated book of the year in 1986 by the Italian Institute of Culture in London. The Essence of Time is prefaced by Ilya Prigogine, Nobel in Chemistry, Beauty and Science by Pietro Cascella and Steps towards an evolutionary physics by Sven Jørgensen.

Enzo Tiezzi is author of more than 500 scientific papers, most in prestigious international peer reviewed journals with high impact factor. He has received several wards and prizes for his unique scientific contribution: In the 2003 Eminent Scientist Award by the Wessex Institute of Technology WIT, Great Britain., the gold medal of the Italian Chemical Society, Environmental Chemistry and Cultural Heritage Division in 2002 and that of the President of the Council of Ministers in 2003.  In 2004 he received the Blaise Pascal Medal of the European Academy of Sciences for Physics and Chemistry. He was awarded the Prize for Art and Science, 2005, at the Palazzo della Ragione in Mantova and the Prigogine Award 2005, Senior Researcher Medal at the University of Cadiz. We was awarded the San Valentino gold medal of the city of Terni in 2006. In 2008 he received the gold medal “G.B. Bonino” of the Italian Chemical Society, Physical Chemistry Division and the prize “Casato Prime Donne” – MPS Capital Services Bank for Enterprises for the book “The road to sustainability”. In 2008 he received in Siena the “Mangia d’oro” prize from the Concistoro del Monte del Mangia.

Enzo was not only a positive and creative scientist but he was  also  positiv in his attitude to other people. He was never - many scientists unfortunately are – self-promoting, but because he loved science, he gave room for other scientists to contribute to science. I will miss Enzo very very much - his warm friendship, his creativity, his ideas and his smile.

Let me quote the words that Bernie Patten and I have written after a paper that is submitted for a special issue of Ecological Modelling  for the memory and  tributary of Enzo Tiezzi:

In Memoriam     

We will miss our friend Enzo Tiezzi—quiet scholar, warm spirit, renaissance man from where the Renaissance began ...

~ Let no Sunrise′ yellow noise ~ Interrupt this ground ~

Emily Dickinson

Sven Erik Jørgensen

Death of Vladimir Arnold

He had been awarded the Lenin Prize (1965, with Andrey Kolmogorov), the Crafoord Prize (1982, with Louis Nirenberg), the Harvey prize (1994), Dannie Heineman Prize for Mathematical Physics (2001), the Wolf Prize in Mathematics (2001) and the State Prize of the Russian Federation (2007).[7] He was awarded the Shaw Prize in mathematical sciences in 2008.

Astronomy: The minor planet 10031 Vladarnolda was named after him in 1981 by Lyudmila Georgievna Karachkina.

He "was one of the most eminent contemporary mathematicians from all points of view", said the Russian Academy of Sciences vice-president Valeri Kozlov, cited by the Itar-Tass agency.

"His work contained many things indispensable to the other sciences", including physics, chemistry and biology.

In 1974 the Soviet Union opposed Professor Arnold's award of the Fields Medal, the foremost recognition in work in mathematics that is often compared to the Nobel Prize, making him one of the most prominent mathematicians to never receive the prize.

The European Academy of Sciences lost a very appreciated member. Each photo links to articles found on the web about his biography bibliography and work.

Death of Prof. Israel M. Gelfand

Israel Gelfand is considered to be one of the greatest mathematicians of the 20th century. He made major contributions to many areas of mathematics. His achievements also include well-known work in biology, and works done together with medical doctors. Gelfand published over 800 papers and 30 books.

Besides scientific work, Israel Gelfand is known for organizing and leading two world-wide known seminars in Moscow: one in mathematics and another in biology. He mentored a large number of students, many of whom became well-known mathematicians themselves.
The European Academy of Sciences lost a very appreciated member.

Each photo links to articles found on the web about his biography bibliography and work.

Death of Vitaly Ginzburg

Vitaly Ginzburg, member of Eurasc, deceased on November 8th 2009 at age 93. He was elected as Member in our Academy in 2007, for outstanding contributions to Physics.

He was awarded multiple prizes and awards during his careeer :

# USSR State Prize in 1953
# Lenin Prize in 1966
# Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society in 1991
# Wolf Prize in Physics in 1994/5
# Lomonosov Gold Medal in 1995
# Nobel Prize in Physics in 2003, together with Alexei Alexeevich Abrikosov and Anthony James Leggett for their "pioneering contributions to the theory of superconductors and superfluids"

The European Academy of Sciences lost a very appreciated member.

Each photo links to articles found on the web about his biography bibliography and work.

Death of Dr. Vladilen Stepanovich Letokhov

Dr. Vladilen Stepanovich Letokhov was awarded the Lenin Prize and the State Prize of the Russian Federation.
He was Principal Researcher of the Institute of Spectroscopy, Russian Academy of Sciences.
He deceased on 21st of March, 2009. He was elected as Full Member in our Academy in 2002, for outstanding contributions to Physics and Laser Spectroscopy.

Professor Vladilen S. Letokhov, an OSA Fellow and head of the Department of Laser Spectroscopy at the Russian Academy of Sciences Institute of Spectroscopy in Troitsk, Russia, died on March 21, 2009. He was 69 years old.

Each photo links to articles found on the web about his biography bibliography and work.

Death of Henry Cartan

Professor Henry Cartan deceased on August 13th, 2008 at age 104. He was elected as Member in our Academy in 2004, for outstanding contributions to Mathematics.

Specialist of potential theory, algebraic topology and homological algebra, he was rewarded in 1976 by the gold medal of the CNRS. In 1980 he was rewarded by the international price Wolf mathematics. Henri Cartan was a specialist in analytic functions of several complex variables, as well as potential theory, algebraic topology and homological algebra.

Each photo links to articles found on the web about his biography bibliography and work.

Death of Alexander Solzhenitsyn

Nobel Prize in Literature, he deceased on August 3th, 2008. He was elected as Honorary Member in our Academy in 2004, for outstanding contributions to literature and political sciences.

We lost a very appreciated member on Sunday 3 of august 2008. Elected for outstanding contributions to literature and political sciences. He accepted to be an honorary Member of our Academy in 2004. Each photo links to articles found on the web about his biography bibliography and work.