- 17th Panhellenic Conference of Physics
The Union of Greek Physicists and the Mariolopoulos-Kananginis Foundation for the Environmental Sciences organized with remarkable success the 17th Panhellenic Conference of Physics titled: “PHYSICS MEETS SOCIETY”, discoveries-achievements-prospects for Physics in the 21st century.
The conference was held in Thessaloniki, at the Grand Hotel Palace, from 15 to 18 March, 2018 under the Auspices of the Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs, the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, the Department of Physics, AUTH School of Sciences, the EPS (European Physical Society), the BPU (Balkan Physical Union), the Region of Central Macedonia, the Municipality of Thessaloniki and the Thessaloniki Tourism Organization.
Its 1,000 registered participants, 100 papers on 8 topics, 30 sessions and 11 workshops signify that the 17th Panhellenic Conference of Physics accomplished its goal, which was to build bridges of communication and collaboration between science, education, society and citizens.
- On May 16, 2018, Mariolopoulos-Kananginis Foundation for the Environmental Sciences and the Hellenic Open University co-organized a conference on: “UNESCO World Day of Light”.The conference included events that took place simultaneously in three cities (Athens, Thessaloniki and Patra). Apart from the lectures by eminent speakers, four workshops were also organized, two of which were addressed to children 7-12 years old, and another two workshops were addressed to older students and adults, while a similar workshop was organized in Thessaloniki for professionals who wished to acquire knowledge about lighting.At the same time, there took place exhibitions with works by students and graduates of the Postgraduate Program of Studies “Lighting Design” from the School of Applied Arts of the Hellenic Open University.The cultivation and promotion of sciences are a common place for both the Mariolopoulos-Kananginis Foundation for the Environmental Sciences and the Hellenic Open University and the themes of the above events concerned the interaction of man with the environment.
- The International Conference “on the Dramatic Changes on the Planet and the Hellenic Roots of Ecological Ethics” was jointly organized in Patras by the International Centre for Sciences and Hellenic Values – Timeless Greece- and the University of Patras under the auspices of the President of the Hellenic Republic on 17 – 20 June 2018. It was attended by 200 eminent scientists from European and international universities around the world.
Chair of the Conference was Emeritus Professor S. Paipetis. Vice Chair of the Conference was Emeritus Professor P. Nicolopoulou – Stamati, Secretary of the Board of Mariolopoulos-Kanaginis Foundation for the Environmental Sciences
Hellenic education and ecological ethics.
The main message of the conference was developed by the Ambassador of Greece on the Council of Europe for Sport, Tolerance and Fair Play, Ms. Catherine Panagopoulou, who pointed out that it is necessary we all mobilize ourselves, at all decision-making levels, in every national or international forum, with the aim of supporting policies to save our planet and the natural environment which are in danger due to reckless and unlimited growth. The dramatic changes in the environment, the depletion of our natural resources and climate change picture our planet dying helpless. In this context, she made an appeal for the formation of environmental awareness by introducing special environmental programs to all educational levels. We believe, she stressed, that what elevates human beings is Education and particularly for us it is Hellenic Education, Hellenic Ethics, which can provide answers and tools for the management of the environmental crisis we are facing today. This is related to the traditional ancient Greek thought and education which shaped ecological ethics, based on the argument that “man is part of the Whole (Universe) and the destruction of the environment is an insult (hubris), which brings punishment”. This position is also the basis on which the modern economic principle “the polluter pays” was formed.
In his address, the Chair of the Conference, Emeritus Professor Mr S. Paipetis pointed out that the title of the conference, “the Dramatic Changes on the Planet and the Hellenic Roots of Ecological Ethics”, responds to the colossal problem our planet is facing today that is threatening the very existence of life on it. Man, he stressed, the overwhelming majority of the Earth’s population, limited by his imperfect nature, is unable to comprehend problems and situations expressed in quantities spatially and temporally much larger than his own physical size or lifespan and is unable to perceive the urgency of the situation, to the extent that even leaders of powerful states deny its existence and object to any solutions that the global community is trying to impose in order to maintain ecological balance.
Triptych of the Conference findings:
- Our mission is to shape a Hellenic-centered environmental awareness and ecological ethics by supporting special environmental educational programs at all levels of education.
- We protect the environment, health and our valuable natural resources from the type of growth that is devoid of measure, limits and ecological ethics.
- TOGETHER we are building a sustainable future for all of us.
Messages of the delegates, proposals and goals:
- Stop the continuing degradation of the environment and the over-exploitation of our natural resources before it is too late for everyone and immediately enforce the fundamental economic principle that “the polluter pays”.
- Introduction of special environmental educational programs to all educational levels, in the context of the “International Program of Education and Awareness 2018-2028” of the United Nations, with subject modules on the Environment and Health. Children must be “Aware of Life on the Planet” and be informed about the consequences of Climate Change, Chemical Pollution and radiation. Without proper education and training, there cannot be any in-depth knowledge that man is part of the ecosystem chain and he cannot rule the planet by destroying it, while at the same time he has to protect his health against harmful environmental factors such as reckless use of pesticides and chemicals which act as endocrine disruptors.
- Once more, we turn to ancient Greek thought and education on the environment as it was formulated by Pre-Socratic philosophers who formed ecological ethics basing it on the position that man is part of the Whole (Universe) and as such he must respect the “measure” which is linked to “harmony”. When there is no respect for measure and harmony, then the destruction of the environment constitutes a “hubris” which brings punishment. And the “Dramatic Changes of the Planet” are our punishment.
- We must abandon the rationales of reckless and unlimited development and encourage a new economic approach for agricultural and industrial production, which will take into account the need for the protection of the environment and human health as well as the conservation of natural resources which are being depleted and they have suffered irreparable damage.
- We promote Interdisciplinary research and education for the study of the toxic effect of the environment on women and children. This initiative can be included in the framework of the European Conference that is going to take place in 2019 on the subject: “Child, Environment and Health”, where an assessment will be made regarding the actions to be developed in order to draw on the conclusions of the joint Conference of the Ministers of Environment and Health of the World Health Organization (London 1999), whose focal point was the Development of European Action for Children’s Environmental Health.
- The need for preventive rather than repressive action should be set as a priority so that there will be effective protection of both our health and our planet. The “Prevention Principle” is not only the main factor of health protection, but it also saves valuable resources from national health systems, as opposed to the minimal money needed in order to fund the specific environmental education and awareness programs.
- It is imperative that interdisciplinary research and education focus on studying the toxic effect of the environment (chemical pollution/radiation/climate change) on pregnant women and children, reinforce initiatives and actions which have the “child, environment and health” at their core, because a lot of diseases (subfertility/cancer) start from the exposure of the fetus through the mother and during pregnancy to harmful substances in the environment.
- We exert all possible pressure on governmental and other decision-making centers in order that, in the context of social responsibility, they develop specific programs of extensive environmental information for the protection of pregnant women against the harmful effects on themselves and the fetus when they are exposed to radiation, reckless use of pesticides and other harmful environmental substances.
Selective topics of the Conference:
- Dr. Aseem Chauhan, “Educational challenges: The way to face the dramatic changes of the planet”,
- Academician Professor Ch. Zerefos, “From ancient Greece to the birth of modern Meteorology in the 19th century”,
- Devra Davis, USA, “Cancer, an environmental disease”,
- Stella Canna Michaelides, “Ethical challenges in managing environmental stressors”,
- Ernst von Weizsäcker, CLUB OF ROME: We must act NOW! The situation can be faced with optimism as long as we take advantage of the opportunities already offered to us: decentralized clean energy, sustainable jobs tailored to each country type, rendering human well-being totally independent of the use of fossil fuels, basic materials and rare minerals.
- Nicholas Ascounes Ashford, MIT, USA: “Legal and alternative policies to achieve sustainable development”,
- Marco Martuzzi, WHO Representative, “Environment and Health in Europe: Challenges for science and the World Health Organization policy in Europe”,
- Qamar Rahman AMITY UNIVERSITY INDIA, “Technological advancements: Experiences from the past (Asbestos), challenges from the future (Nano-materials),
- Th. Antonakaki, Climate Change Committee of the Bank of Greece “The Greek experience from the impact of climate change”,
- Emeritus Professor Georgios Chrousos, “Environment and stress: The missing link”.
The proclamation of the Conference: Patras Proclamation
Promoting the sciences and technologies that will support a global change from the existing axiom “No restrictions on development” to the exemplary position “Planetary Restrictions” by encouraging a new economic perspective based on ecological ethics and social welfare.
Planning a Global Program of Education and Awareness 2018 -2028: “Awareness for Life on the Planet”: Subject Modules: Environment and Health at all levels of education.
Thematic Unit: The impact of Climate Change, Chemical Pollution and radiation on women, children, employees and the environment.
Prevention: With the aim of minimizing the effect of harmful factors, special emphasis will be placed on prevention for the protection of citizens and the planet. That is why we will contribute by supporting socially responsible innovations through
a) the Principle of Precaution and the
b) Pre-exit in the Innovation Control Market
(We believe that in this way socially responsible innovations will be supported in contrast to others which are unfortunately harmful, such as: the foot x-ray for the measurement of children’s feet in a shoe store, the use of Triclosan (a confirmed endocrine disruptor) not only in dog shampoos but also in the Wi-Fi of children’s chamber pots)
The establishment of an International Network of Interdisciplinary Research and Educational Centers (of Greece/the USA/India) in order to carry out a “Study of the toxic impact of the environment on the Woman and the Child”.
Participation and presentation of the abovementioned initiative at the European Conference “Child and Health” in 2019.
(The Conference will celebrate and assess the joint WHO Conference of Ministers of Environment and Ministers of Health in London in 1999, which promoted the Development of European Action for Children’s Environmental Health by making good use of the initiatives taken by the USA (1993-97)).
Establishment of an International Prize (a new Nobel) for the “Interdisciplinary Collaboration in Managing and Dealing with the tragic situation of the Environmental problems of the “only Planet” as an incentive of reward and acknowledgement of positive and effective actions.
The Henrik Ibsen Award 2019 for pioneering scientists, who choose to inform the public about the findings of scientific research, ringing the alarm bell and defying the dangers lurking against them.
Communicating the seven (7) goals of the “Timeless” International Conference to social “agents of change”, to the citizens and the media.
- An International Conference titled «European Lidar Conference – ELC2018» was co-organized by the Laboratory of Atmospheric Physics of the Department of Physics, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, by the Institute of Astronomy, Astrophysics, Space Applications & Remote Sensing of the National Athens Observatory, by the Optoelectronics Institute of Romania, by the National Research Council of Italy and by the Mariolopoulos- Kananginis Foundation for the Environmental Sciences, from Tuesday 3rd of July to Thursday 5th of July 2018, at the Aristotle University Research Dissemination Centre (KEDEA).ELC2018 is a new initiative for the creation of a new European institution and it has been designed so as to be a flexible, accessible and friendly conference aimed at bringing together a plethora of European researchers and encouraging the discussions on open issues concerning the techniques of active remote sensing of the atmosphere by means of laser sources, a technique called Lidar.The thematic agenda of the ELC concerns:
- the development, improvement and evolution of Lidar technology in Europe
- the development of innovative algorithms for the assessment of new environmental parameters,
- the presentation of Lidar technique applications in the study of phenomena such as air pollution, changes in cloudiness, fires, transfer of African dust, changes in the concentration of greenhouse gases, etc.
- the presentation of space missions by the European Space Association (ESA) based on Lidar technique.
The conference was attended by approximately 150 scientists from 21 countries (Greece, United Kingdom, Spain, Italy, Germany, Russia, Belarus, Brazil, France, Sweden, Netherlands, Finland, Serbia, Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, Switzerland, U.S.A., Denmark, Slovenia, Canada). Detailed information on the organizational framework as well as the conference program is available on the link:
- On September 18, 2018, during the opening ceremony of the WMO Second LOTUS Workshop in Geneva took place the awarding of the “WMO Professor Mariolopoulos Trust Fund Award 2018” by Professor Pavel Kabat, Director of the WMO Research Department and WMO Chief Scientist and by the Chairman of the Foundation, Academician Mr Christos Zerefos.
- The 2018 Award was awarded equally to the following studies:
- 1. “Markedly enhanced absorption and direct radiative forcing of black carbon under polluted urban environments” by Jianfei Peng, Min Hu, Song Guo, Zhuofei Du, Jing Zheng, Dongjie Shang, Misti Levy Zamora, Limin Zeng, Min Shao, Yu-Sheng Wu, Jun Zheng, Yuan Wang, Crystal R. Glen, Donald R. Collins, Mario J. Molina and Renyi Zhang, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2016).
- 2. “Contributions of equatorial wave modes and parameterized gravity waves to the tropical QBO in HadGEM2” by Y.-H. Kim and H.-Y. Chun, published in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres (2015).
- On October 14-17, 2018 at a well-known hotel in Alexandroupolis was held the 14th International Conference of Climatology, Meteorology and Physics of the Atmosphere (COMECAP2018) with the participation of 150 delegates from Greece and abroad, who presented 190 papers. The conference was co-organized by the Democritus University of Thrace (Department of Environmental Engineering, Polytechnic School), the Hellenic Meteorological Society (ΕΜΕΤ) and the Mariolopoulos – Kananginis Foundation for the Environmental Sciences.The themes of the conference included forecasting weather and extreme weather conditions, applied meteorology, energy sources, climate change, air pollution, agricultural meteorology, meteorology and management of natural resources, heatwaves, the spread of foreign species of mosquitoes due to climate change, the effects of climate change on olive tree dacus, hail forecasts, floods and historical issues (e.g. “Climate and Society in the Eastern Mediterranean in the Last Millennium” and “Climate Conditions in the Eastern Mediterranean during the Hellenistic Period”, by Mrs. Helena Xoplaki, Professor at the University of Gischen, Germany).The conference was honoured with the presence of the National Weather Meteorological Commander (NMS) Commander Brigadier Mr. Nikolaos Vogiatzis, who addressed the conference at its opening ceremony and spoke about developments in meteorology on a national and international level.
- In memory of the late Professor of the National Technical University of Athens at the Department of Chemical Engineering, Ioannis Ziomas, the Board of the Mariolopoulos-Kananginis Foundation for the Environmental Sciences and the Atmospheric Physics Laboratory of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki decided to present an award to a young scientist who was selected among those who participated as first authors at the COMECAP 2018 Conference. For this reason, a selection committee was set up by Christos Zerefos, Academician, Panagiotis Nastos, Professor at University of Athens and Chairman of Hellenic Meteorological Society (HMS), and the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki Professors Alcibiades Bais, Demetrios Melas and Demetrios Balis. The selection committee decided that the award be shared by the following young scientists:
- George Proias, for his research paper titled “Temporal evolution of PM10 concentrations in the city of Volos”,
- Nicholaos Siomos, for his research paper titled “Aerosol classification based on the synergy of Brewer spectrophotometer and sun photometer measurements”.
- On November 30, 2018, a day-long workshop was co-organized by the Energy Committee of the Academy of Athens and the MKF on: “Research in the field of Energy in Greece”. The workshop was held at the Institute of Biomedical Research of the Academy of Athens. The objectives of the workshop were the following:
- The overall review of scientific and interdisciplinary research and prospects in the field of energy in Greece.
- Highlighting existing cutting-edge areas in scientific research and technology and research projects of general acceptance and importance in the production, use, saving and storage of energy, as well as innovative materials for energy applications and networks for the transmission and distribution of electricity.
- The promotion of research in the field of energy in Greece and new energy research activities.
- The development of products, technologies and energy efficiency services, as well as highlighting existing efforts for the energy autonomy of islands and energy cooperative schemes.
- Recommendations to the State.
- On Monday 17th December, 2018 in the Hall of Ceremonies of the Academy of Athens, the Publication of the Proceedings of the International Conference titled “Hellenistic Alexandria: Celebrating 24 Centuries” was presented.The event, which was honored by the presence of the President of the Republic, Mr. Prokopis Pavlopoulos, was held by the “Marianna V. Vardinoyianni Foundation” and the “Mariolopoulos-Kananginis Foundation for the Environmental Sciences” on the occasion of the 10th Anniversary of the “Center for Hellenistic Studies” of the Library of Alexandria, which was established in 2008 at the initiative of Mrs. Marianna Vardinoyanni, who is a member of the Founding Council of the Library of Alexandria. Along with the presentation of the Publication of the Proceedings of the International Conference titled “Hellenistic Alexandria: Celebrating 24 Centuries” there took place the celebration for the 25 years of operations of the Mariolopoulos-Kananginis Foundation for the Environmental Sciences.The attendees of the event were also given out the report on the 25 years of the Foundation.The event was attended by the wife of the President of the Republic Mrs. Sissy Pavlopoulou, the Chief of Staff of the Hellenic Civil Defense Organization Admiral Evangelos Apostolakis , the Army Chief Lieutenant General Alcibiades Stephanis, the Chief of the Air Force General Staff, Air Marshal Christos Christodoulou, the President and the Vice President of the Academy of Athens, Mr. A. Kounadis and S. Immelos, Academicians, the Archbishop of Sina Faran and Ritho Mr. Damianos, members of the Board of Directors of the “Center for Hellenistic Studies”, as well as leading representatives of the country’s intellectual, political and business world.
The ceremony was addressed by the President of the Republic, Mr. Prokopis Pavlopoulos, the UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador, Mrs. Marianna V. Vardinoyianni, and the representative of the Library of Alexandria, Dr. Ashraf Farrag.
The proceedings of the conference, which were published by Archaeopress Editions in Oxford, were presented by Academicians Mr. Christos Zerefos and Mr. Miltiadis Chatzopoulos as well as by the Chairman of the Acropolis Museum, Professor Dimitris Pantermalis.
It should be noted that the publication of the proceedings aims at highlighting the achievements of Hellenistic Alexandria and their influence on the world civilization through the recording of the Conference’s conclusions. Immediately after the presentation of the Volume was completed, Mrs. Marianna Vardinoyianni, the Chairman of the Academy of Athens Mr. A. Kounadis and the Academician Professor and Chairman of the MKF Mr. Christos Zerefos presented the President of the Republic Mr. Prokopis Pavlopoulos with the first copy of the volume.