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The President of the Republic made a speech at the inauguration of the President of the Academy of Sciences

The President of the Republic today participated in the ceremony held to inaugurate Member of Academy Richard Villems as President of the Estonian Academy of Sciences.

In his address President Rüütel said that it was one of those rare occasions in the course of our development when public attention is focused on high level science and top scientists. "On such occasions, we sense the importance of great men and women who have arisen from among our small nation. Though, our scientific community is not big in size, we can say that it is great, meaning quality by that. This community, being a part of a small nation, represents the Estonian national sciences and scientists in the world. The ideas, generated by our scientific community, develop the surrounding world and at the same time, expand our understanding about the world," the head of state said.

The President of the Republic said that Europe, pursuing the Lisbon strategy, is moving towards a knowledge-based society, also Estonia, being a part of Europe, has to do the same. "Our strategic goals, such as modernisation of education and building up infrastructure, innovation and social well-being, have to become reality, instead of being a vision," President Rüütel stressed.

The head of state pointed out that the potential possessed by the members of our Academy of Sciences is invaluable and can be engaged to design and implement effective programmes, which would guarantee our sustainability. "Herewith I would like to mention also taking care of the development of a new generation of scientists - taking care that there would be a next generation and that Estonia would not loose the scientists we have reared," the President of the Republic added.

President Rüütel thanked Member of Academy Jüri Engelbrecht, the previous President of the Academy, for his valuable contribution and for his outstanding work as an organiser, and asked him to continue his activity as a member of the President of the Republic's Academic Council.

The President of the Republic thanked Member of Academy Richard Villems for his consent to be a member of the Academic Council and wished him success in leading the Academy of Sciences.

Public Relations Unit of the Office of the President
Kadriorg, January 28, 2005

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