Popular sciences

Nauka

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Nauka | 2021 | No 4 |

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Abstract

The uncertainty, threats and risks are unavoidable aspects of human existence. The response to them is trust, the expectation of beneficial, future actions of others (individuals, institutions, organizations). Risk and trust take unique forms during pandemic. Risk is global, universal, hard to assess and attached to common, everyday actions. Trust, the bridge over the abyss of uncertainty, is directed toward three addressees: the government, medicine (medical science, services and products), and the other members of society. For each category the expectations are different. These theoretical considerations are applied and illustrated by the brief history of the pandemic in Poland.
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Authors and Affiliations

Piotr Sztompka
1

  1. Uniwersytet Jagielloński
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Abstract

The article presents results of a survey of attitudes toward experts’ recommendations in fighting COVID-19 pandemic, scientists and science in general, and academic freedom in Poland, and discusses them in the context of the on-going pandemic as well as local developments in Poland. The global crisis triggered by the coronavirus pandemic highlighted the subtle, yet vital social role played by science, which in normal circumstances does not present itself that vividly. This, paradoxically, comes at a time, when the status of science and scientific freedom is disputed in the Polish public debate. The internet survey was conducted by the Institute of Political Studies of the Polish Academy of Sciences in April 2021 on a sample of Poles aged 18–65.
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Authors and Affiliations

Ireneusz Sadowski
1
Marta J. Kołczyńska
1
Anna Ciepielewska-Kowalik
1
Bogdan W. Mach
1

  1. Instytut Studiów Politycznych PAN, Warszawa
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Abstract

Science at the state level consists of two distinct and heterogeneous systems: the global science system and national science systems. National science systems are deeply embedded in global science, and states seek to use global knowledge for domestic economic needs. However, harnessing the wealth of global knowledge can only be done through scientists. Consequently, the scientific strength of states in practice depends on the scientific strength of individual scientists. Their ability to collaborate internationally and to tap into the global scientific network is crucial. By remaining outside it and working within local research programs, the academic community risks being marginalized, losing the interest of national research funding patrons, and losing the ability to influence the development of science.
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Authors and Affiliations

Marek Kwiek
1
ORCID: ORCID

  1. Centrum Studiów nad Polityką Publiczną, Katedra UNESCO Badań Instytucjonalnych i Polityki Szkolnictwa Wyższego UAM w Poznaniu
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Abstract

Cellular therapy, as a part of regenerative medicine, implies to the treatment of human disorders with cells as a medical product, so called – “living drugs”. Usually such therapy is applied when other alternative efficient pharmacological therapies are not available. Stem cells of different origin: 1) tissue specific e.g. hematopethic, epithelial, neuronal, limbal; 2) mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) harvested from variety of tissues; 3) pluripotent stem cells: embryonic stem cells (ESC) and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) – serve as a source of cells for regenerative medicine application, depending upon disease and application requirements. Currently MSC are the type of stem cells that are most frequently used in registered regenerative medicine clinical trials. In this paper we provide the information on the application of cell therapy in orthopedics, hematology, ophthalmology, dermatology, gastrology and neurology. The influence of origin of MSCs and iPSCs on their mode of action as therapeutic, regenerative agents are discussed. Advantages and disadvantages of application of different cell types for cell therapy are underlined. Last, but not least current low regulations in Poland and requirements of European regulatory bodies for cell therapy are pointed out and discussed.
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Authors and Affiliations

Anna Sarnowska
1
Bogusław Machaliński
2
Klaudia Radoszkiewicz
1
Leonora Bużańska
3

  1. Platforma Badań Translacyjnych w Zakresie Medycyny Regeneracyjnej, Instytut Medycyny Doświadczalnej i Klinicznej im. M. Mossakowskiego PAN, Warszawa
  2. Katedra Fizjopatologii i Zakład Patologii Ogólnej, Pomorski Uniwersytet Medyczny, Szczecin
  3. Zakład Bioinżynierii Komórek Macierzystych, Instytut Medycyny Doświadczalnej i Klinicznej im. M. Mossakowskiego PAN, Warszawa
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Abstract

Psychedelics, as a plant-derived material, have been used for millennia in religious and medical practices. They produce an altered state of consciousness characterized by distortions of perception, hallucinations, dissolution of self boundaries and the experience of unity with the world. Classic psychedelics, also known as serotonergic hallucinogens, such as lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) and psilocybin were extensively investigated in substance-assisted psychotherapy during the 1950s–1960s. These early clinical studies reported improvement rates in patients with various forms of depression, anxiety disorders, alcohol dependence. The development of modern neuroimaging techniques renewed interest in the investigation of psychedelics as a class of drugs that may reopen multiple therapeutic benefits. Current behavioral and neurochemical data show that psychedelics induce their psychological effects primarily via 5-hydroxytryptamine type 2A (5-HT2A) receptor activation and modulate neural circuits involved in mood and affective disorders. Clinical trials examining psilocybin have suggested that the compound relieves symptoms of depression and anxiety with rapid onset and longer duration. Serotonergic psychedelics enhance expression of neurotrophic factors such as brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) as well as expression of genes associated with synaptic plasticity and stimulate synapse formation. These effects are similar to those produced by fast-acting antidepressant ketamine. Basic science research can reveal the neural mechanism of psychedelics action and how they can be used for treatment.
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Authors and Affiliations

Krystyna Gołembiowska
1

  1. Instytut Farmakologii im. Jerzego Maja Polskiej Akademii Nauk, Kraków
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Abstract

Under the pressure of sanitary restrictions, the potential of information technologies available to the academic communities for over a dozen years, but not used for various reasons, is released. As a specific case of this trend, a migration from brick-and-mortar voting towards the remote voting by electronic means may intensify in the post-pandemic period at universities. This phenomenon requires an in-depth analysis, the aim of which is to facilitate the management of academic units to choose optimal solutions in the coming years, when such decisions can be made without time pressure and invasive sanitary restrictions. In the process of electronic remote voting, security is a key requirement, which has a number of various attributes: authenticity, correctness, anonymity, verifiability, receiptfreeness, availability. In response to these, to some extent contradictory, requirements, the world of science has been developing protocols and systems based on cryptographic formalisms for years. This article explains the main challenges related to security of remote electronic voting, from which even advanced solutions implemented in academic practice are not free.
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Authors and Affiliations

Adam Wójtowicz
1

  1. Katedra Technologii Informacyjnych, Uniwersytet Ekonomiczny w Poznaniu
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Abstract

The article presents Tennessee Williams’ play Suddenly Last Summer (1958) which is little-known in Poland. It was written while the playwright started to undergo a psychoanalytic therapy and is commonly considered as one of his most personal plays. The author of the article puts the play in the context of Williams family life, especially his sister’s mental disorder (which lead to unsuccessful lobotomy), his relationship with his mother and his father and his own mental health problems. An important theme of the play is cruelty, present as well in other Williams dramatic works (for example Orpheus Descending or Sweet Bird of Youth) and evident particularly in a short story Desire and the Black Masseur written shortly before famous A Streetcar Named Desire. Another theme is the sacred, often present in Williams’ work as a reference both to Christianity and ancient pagan rituals.
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Authors and Affiliations

Joanna Majewska
1

  1. Akademia Teatralna w Warszawie
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Abstract

The article presents the work of Polish poet Cyprian Kamil Norwid in the context of writers born in 1821 (Charles Baudelaire, Gustave Flaubert, Fyodor Dostoevsky). The author compares Flowers of Evil to Vade mecum of Polish poet. Such a comparision reveals the innovation of Norwid’s form, but this innovation is accompanied by traditional ideas. This traditionalism is evident as well in poet’s dramatic works. The author tries to answer the question why Norwid’s plays have never been successful on stage which is the case of Pierścień Wielkiej Damy ( A Ring of a Geat Lady). The play is very well constructed, but its ending can raise doubts concerning a psychological probability. The play’s main faults are poet’s hermetic language and a verse form: a blank verse inspired by Shakespeare and difficult to present on stage in Polish language.
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Authors and Affiliations

Krzysztof Mrowcewicz
1 2

  1. Akademia Teatralna im. AleksandraZelwerowicza, Warszawa
  2. Instytut Badań Literackich PAN, Warszawa
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Abstract

The Marceli Nencki Foundation for Supporting Biological Sciences is a non-governmental organization that conducts public benefit activities. The statutory goal of the Foundation is to support scientific, popularization, and educational efforts in the field of biological sciences. The Foundation focuses its activities primarily on students and young scientists who wish to bring biological sciences closer to young people and foster their creative development. Close cooperation with the Nencki Institute and the promotion of its scientific heritage result in many joint initiatives, including lectures, workshops, study visits, Art and Science, and coorganized scientific conferences. The Foundation began its activities on November 14, 2012. Its founders were professors from Nencki Institute and members of the Polish Academy of Sciences.
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Authors and Affiliations

Maciej Nałęcz
1 2
Ewa Nowak
1 2
Hanna Fabczak
1 2

  1. Instytut Biologii Doświadczalnej im. Marcelego Nenckiego PAN, Warszawa
  2. Fundacja Marcelego Nenckiego Wspierania Nauk Biologicznych
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Abstract

Professor Henryk Bogdan Samsonowicz was born on 23rd of January 1930 in Warsaw in the family of a known University of Warsaw professor, geologist Jan Samsonowicz (1888–1959) and Henryka Samsonowicz nee Korwin Krukowska (1892–1987). He graduated in history at the Department of Humanity of the University of Warsaw, presenting a master's thesis on the policy of Gdańsk in the second half of the 14th century, written on a seminar by Marian Małowist. Professors Witold Kula and Aleksander Gieysztor have also played an important role in Henryk Samsonowicz's intellectual development, and later, during his stay in France, professor Fernandel Braudel. In 1954 he has defended his doctor's thesis, and in 1960 received his postdoctoral qualifications based on the famous work “ Studies of the patrician capital of Gdańsk in the 2nd half of the 15th century”. The academic interests of professor Henryk Samsonowicz have initially focussed on the history of the Hanseatic League, and later — on the importance of myth in history and on the beginnings of the Polish state in the 10th century. In his scientific work he has created a new model of historical narration, which combines various aspects of political, economic and cultural life in one whole. He has published over a thousand reviews, articles and dissertations in print. He has occupied a series of important positions he was, among others, a dean of the Department of History of the University of Warsaw; during the times of “Solidarity” he was appointed as the Chancellor of the University of Warsaw. In 1989 he became the Minister for the National Education in the first non-communist government of Tadeusz Mazowiecki. He was an acclaimed organiser of popularisation of historical knowledge in Poland.
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Authors and Affiliations

Tomasz Jasiński
1

  1. Uniwersytet im. Adama Mickiewicza w Poznaniu
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Abstract

Andrzej Białynicki-Birula, Professor at the University of Warsaw died on April 19, 2021 at the age of 85. He was an outstanding mathematician, who made important contributions to algebra and algebraic geometry. He published many important articles in most prestigious journals such that Annals of Mathematics, Inventiones mathematicae, Topology, American Journal of Mathematics. Professor Białynicki graduated from the University of Warsaw and obtained Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley in 1960. After his return to Poland he initiated and played a major role in modernization of research and university curricula in a broad spectrum of mathematical disciplines related to algebra. He has published several textbooks on linear algebra, algebra, algebraic geometry and cryptography, which are currently used at the University of Warsaw and many other Polish universities. Professor Białynicki-Birula served as the dean of the Faculty of Mathematics, Informatics and Mechanics (1977–1981) and as the vice-rector of the University of Warsaw (1985–1987). He was an ordinary member of the Polish Academy of Sciences, and a member of the Academia Europea. In recognition of his achievements Professor Białynicki-Birula received several prizes and distinctions, among them the Officers Cross of the Order Polonia Restituta. Professor Białynicki-Birula was also an art collector, particularly interested in a gothic sculpture, on which he was an expert. In his summerhouse near Belorussian border he was renovating and collecting ethnographic objects related to everyday life and work of peasants. He left a wife, Magdalena Borsuk-Białynicka, a professor of palaeontology, two daughters, a son and 11 grandchildren.
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Authors and Affiliations

Stefan Jackowski

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