Credit: Marek Zenisek, via Facebook.

President Pavel Appoints MP Marek Zenisek As New Science Minister

Czech President Petr Pavel today appointed MP Marek Zenisek (TOP 09) as minister for science, research and innovation, a post recently vacated by his party colleague Helena Langsadlova.

Zenisek will leave his position as head of the parliamentary foreign affairs committee and other positions in the lower house of parliament.

Langsadlova was dismissed by the president on Sunday, 5 May, having previously announced her resignation due to her party’s dissatisfaction with the presentation of the results to the public. She was originally to be replaced by economist Pavel Tuleja, who eventually withdrew his nomination following the discovery that he had published in predatory journals, and other criticism of the quality of his professional work. The TOP 09 leadership subsequently nominated Zenisek for the post last week.

Zenisek said increasing the science budget for next year is his priority. Credit: Marek Zenisek, via Facebook

During the ceremony today, the president said he appreciated that the post had not remained empty for long.

“I am convinced that Marek Zenisek will be able to cope with this demanding agenda,” Pavel said, though he acknowledged that the task would not be easy, given the approaching end of the term and the staff capacity that Zenisek will have at his disposal at the Government Office.

“Science, research, innovation and education are the government’s priorities and are extremely important for our economy to succeed in a highly competitive environment,” Pavel said.

Zenisek, 45, is also expected to focus on strategic communication and combating misinformation, Pavel said. “I am convinced that the events that are taking place in our environment are evidence of the pernicious power that misinformation can have on public opinion and public sentiment,” the president added, an allusion, among other things, to Wednesday’s attempted assassination of Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico.

The replacement of the science minister is the eighth ministerial change since the formation of the five-party cabinet.

Zenisek earlier mentioned increasing the science budget for next year as his priority. He also plans to present the results of Czech science to the world, and to use the contacts he has made in the Chamber of Deputies. Other goals include the completion of the draft law on science, development and innovation and the reform of the transfer of knowledge from science to practice.

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