The significant world congress returned to Prague after 88 years.

Business News | June 23, 2015
The significant world congress returned to Prague after 88 years.

In 1927, when president T.G. Masaryk personally welcomed participants of IUGG (International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics) at the ceremonial opening of the third session, he could not have known that Prague would get another opportunity to host this significant international meeting in 88 years. Back then, the congress was attended by less than three hundred delegates.

Today, this congress holds global importance and, just like the Olympic Games, is organized in four-year cycles. The intensity and complexity of the preparation of the Olympics is similar to the organizational preparation of the candidacy process, which seeks to find the best host from several international destinations. Prague succeeded in the tough competition of the 25th General Session, held in 2011 in Melbourne where it triumphed over Hawaii, Honolulu.

The 26th IUGG General Assembly will be officially launched on Tuesday, June 23, 2015 at the Prague Congress Center until July 2. The auspices of the event were held by the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Deputy Prime Minister of Science, Research and Innovation Pavel Bělobrádek and the mayor of Prague, Adriana Krnáčová.

The congress is regularly attended by up to 5,000 experts and top scientists from hundreds of countries, which are united by the study of Earth and its physical, chemical and mathematical properties, including its environment in space.

The union unites 8 international associations: International Association of Cryospheric Sciences (IACS), the International Association of Geodesy (IAG), the International Association of Seismology and Physics of the Earth's interior (IASPEI), International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth's Interior (IAVCEI), International Association of Geomagnetism and Aeronomy (IAGA), the International Association of Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences (IAMAS), the International Association of Hydrological Sciences (IAHS) and the International Association for the Physical Sciences of the Ocean (IAPSO). In addition, the coordinated research also involves another six interdisciplinary non-governmental orgnizations.

Interpenetration of these scientific specializations is the reason for the extraordinarily extensive scientific program. The congress will present an amazing 5,700 abstracts and research papers. This corresponds to the extreme length of the congress, the longest in the history of the Czech Republic. The total of 11 days will offer, in addition to 230 symposia, scientific meetings and seminars, panel discussions and organizational meetings, also 9 union lectures on topical issues of geophysical knowledge that will be led by the world's leading experts, amongst which will also include Nobel Prize winner for chemistry Prof. Yuan T.Lee and Dr. Patric J.Mc Keever (Chief of Earth Sciences and Geohazards Risk Reduction Section, UNESCO). With the congress subtitle being "Earth and Environmental Sciences for Future Generations", scientists will advocate their conclusions from the examination of individual cases, for example the recent earthquake in Nepal, as well as long-term researches such as global climate change, with regard to sustainability for future generations.

Besides the contribution to the treasury of science and global popularization of new knowledge, the congress represents a great benefit for domestic tourism, especially regarding the promotion of Prague, which last year entered the top ten most popular congress destinations worldwide (first place in the ranking for the year 2014 was Paris).

Equally important, of course, is the economic benefit. The organizer and participants will spend a total amount exceeding 200 million crowns. Due to direct and indirect tax levies, the public budgets will have around 40% of this amount returned, ie. more than 80 million. Prague receives about 17% of this amount back into its own budget, ie. almost 14 million crowns (Source KPMG, Czech Statistical Office). From this perspective, the benefits of congress tourism are, at minumum, comparable to the effects and performance of foreign film crews.


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