Special Award ‘Orzeł Wprost’ award for Prof. Henryk Skarżyński

Prof. Henryk Skarżyński was among the honorable group of distinguished personalities, representatives of science and medicine, social activists, as well as representatives of the economy and local governments, who, on September 25, 2023, received exceptional awards from the Wprost.pl editors during a gala ceremony. Professor received the Special Award ‘Orzeł Wprost for Science.’ Małgorzata Golińska, Director of Digital Development at PMPG Polskie Media, the publisher of the Do Rzeczy and Wprost.pl journals, presented the award. It is worth adding that this award goes to those who make a special contribution to the development of the economy, the region, and the country, who show their care for Poland not only in great works and deeds but also in seemingly minor decisions and actions, which in the daily struggle create the shape of today’s Poland.

As we can read in the laudation delivered during the gala by the editor Mariusz Rytel: “Professor Skarżyński’s name is known worldwide: he is an Honorary Doctor of four Polish universities and an Honorary Professor of universities in the USA, Europe, and Asia. He gained worldwide fame by being the first to perform the largest number of innovative surgeries on people with various types of deafness. He authored 152 new medical solutions; he is the originator and creator of the Institute of Physiology and Pathology of Hearing and the World Hearing Centre, where the most hearing-improving surgeries worldwide have been performed for over 21 years. He is also the initiator and organizer of the International Music Festival for Children, Youths, and Adults with Hearing Disorders “Beats of Cochlea,” author of the script for the documentary film “The Return of Beethoven” and the script for the “Silence Interrupted” musical, where his patients perform alongside professional actors. Professor Skażyński proves that the latest medical technologies benefit patients, including telemedicine, which he was the first to introduce to Poland. Thanks to him, the latest solutions are reaching Polish patients as the first in the world. He organized the first screening tests to detect hearing disorders, the National Teleaudiology Network, and the state-of-the-art diagnostic device “Sensory Examination Capsule.” He is a man of knowledge, passion, talent, and courage. His life’s mission is to help others.”

While thanking for the award, Prof. Henryk Skarżynski emphasized the great role of the team he worked with and appealed for more frequent recognition of the young scientists’ achievements at the beginning of their path and careers. — This is important because our society does not entirely understand the role of science in our development. We underestimate scientists and employees of scientific units; without them there would be no progress. Their enormous potential was shown in June this year during the Congress “Science for Society” held at the Warsaw University of Technology, and with the support of the media, we can count on promoting this potential and achievements. (…) However, suppose we do not transfer this potential to the next generation. In that case, our environment will have no successors, as young, hard-working, and talented people will find their place in commercial centers or abroad. And after all, their passion and non-conventional thinking offer great opportunities for major discoveries.

The “Orzeł Wprost” is awarded in several categories: Development of Science, Business and Science, Medical Science, Chemical Science, Innovative Technical Thought, and Special Award. The symbol of this award is the emblem of Poland — the image of the White Eagle —  which has been hanging in the seat of the President and Government of the Second Polish Republic since 1945 at 43 Eaton Place in London.

The contributions and achievements of Prof. H. Skarzynski and his team have been recognized and awarded by the editors of Wprost for the fourth time. Professor has previously received the “Wprost” Innovator award in the category of personality in innovation for taking risks and introducing cutting-edge technological solutions to the market at a time of crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic and Russia’s aggression against Ukraine; the “Visionaries of the 21st Century” award for vision, passion, and success. The Institute he heads was awarded the title “Poland’s Best Otolaryngology Hospital in the 2003 Hospital Ranking”.

The gala was preceded by a conference entitled “Directly about science. From basic research to development work. The Polish system of higher education and science in the era of contemporary challenges. Perspectives — opportunities —  challenges” and two discussion panels on topics such as management of scientific personnel, commercialization of research results, and cooperation between science and business.