Last year, most of us protested strongly against holding a virtual conference instead of a real one in our hotel locating on the shores of Lake Balaton in Siófok. Finally, the HSM2020 was canceled. However, two years without a conference would have been too much for everybody, and when it turned out that our virtual conference would be just one day long, more participants joined as an audience.
Dr. Katalin Balázsi, our internationally renowned colleague and the conscientious secretary of HSM, proved her excellence as an internet broadcast organizer this time. Even during the 15-20 minute breaks, she provided some interesting attractions by broadcasting the commercials received from our sponsors. The first session of the program consisted of the excellent presentations delivered by Gert Sonntag /Zeiss/ and Gergely Szalay /Femtonics/, who also answered the questions obtained from the audience at their presentations’ level, while the speakers of the carefully prepared and sent lectures (Guillaume Brunetti /JEOL/, Anil Yalcin /Thermo Scientific/) asked us to send our questions by e-mail.
The award performances were also good. The winner of the Jenő Pócza Prize in 2021 was Zsolt Dallos and the Hungarian Electron Microscopy Prize was presented by Kinga Tóth.
After the break, János Lábár led the four-lecture section built on various topics as a prepared meeting chair.
The lunch break was followed by the most anticipated part of the program, the competition of young performers. For the first time this year, we also had a guest, a Ph.D. student from abroad, from the Mehmet Ali Aydinlar Univ. School of Medicine, Istanbul.
The undergraduates and Ph.D. students had only five minutes to tell us what they were researching, why it was important, why microscopic techniques were needed, and what kind, to present their results, to skillfully summarize the point, and possibly even to mention how to proceed. The second five minutes were for answering questions that arrived from the audience and chairpersons.
We can’t say that every each of the 11 young speakers would have met one hundred percent of all the requirements listed above, but more than half did, and a good third of them did it at such a high level that, both the performance of the presentation and the quality of the work would have stood out at any conference.
Béla Pécz and Katalin Solymosi, who led the section and prepared questions based on the submitted abstracts, played a major role in enabling everyone to form an idea of the young people’s preparedness. They asked questions in English or Hungarian according to the language of the given talk.
The winner of the “Best Young Performer” diploma and a € 250 grant for a summer/winter school or microscope conference was selected by the audience using a google ballot.
The announcement of the results took place in the first part of the final program of our virtual conference, at the virtual wine tasting program. This must be a pretty unique event worldwide, but nobody has to be afraid, everybody has got a bottle of wine in advance, due to Béla Pécz and Zoltán Kristóf, the organizers of this session. So in his/her home everybody could toast to Anna Kellermayer, the 22-year-old undergraduate student at ELRN IEM, the winner of the Best Young Performer competition. The names of her supervisors, Csaba Cserép and Balázs Pósfai, also deserved well to be mentioned because they prepared her very well.
The HSM management will also provide Special Awards if there are any performers worthy of this reward. This is usually a diploma and a bottle of quality wine. The diploma can be attached to the CV to make it richer a bit, the wine will be consumed. Considering the 11 lectures, a maximum of two could receive special prizes. The second place went to Suzanne Prokop (Ph.D. student of István Katona, ELRN, IEM) and the third one to Lívia Vásárhelyi, Ph.D. student of the Reaction Kinetics and Surface Chemistry Research Group of the University of Szeged.
They both presented such good work and so well that the management of the HSM voted for an extra reward for them. They can attend our next year’s conference as the guests of our society, their registration fees, and their full board will be paid by the HSM.