A former soldier in the Polish Army in Britain during the Second World War, who retired from the University of Aberdeen’s Logic Department (now part of the Philosophy Department) in 1975, has endowed a Trust which is set to develop strong academic links between Aberdeen and the Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland.
Dr Wladislaw Bednarowski’s proposal to develop international scholarly collaboration between academics in Poland and Aberdeen was enthusiastically taken up by his colleagues in the Philosophy Department. Initially, the Trust will enable Polish academics to pay long-term visits to Aberdeen where they will work alongside and exchange ideas, not only with colleagues in the Department of Philosophy in this University but, via them, with others throughout the UK and beyond. Other means of fostering collaboration may be developed in the future.
Now aged 94, Dr Bednarowski escaped from Poland at the start of the War and joined the Polish army in France. Following the occupation of France, he came to Britain and served with the Polish army based in this country. At the end of the War, he joined the staff of the Logic Department, remaining there until he retired as a Reader some 30 years later.
Seeing the Trust established has satisfied a long-held ambition for Dr Bednarowski. “I have been able to return to Poland many times since I made my home in Scotland, the last time only three years ago.
“It has become very clear to me that Poland remains very isolated, no longer because of politics but because it is very poor. As a result, it is almost impossible for academics to spend any length of time out of the country so that they can meet with overseas colleagues, have an opportunity to expand their knowledge and share and discuss their work.”
Dr Bednarowski is convinced that the Trust will benefit all those involved: the individual academics who will benefit from the support as well as both Universities.
“As more and more academics travel to the University of Aberdeen under this scheme, I am sure that this will help Aberdeen develop an exciting international reputation as a centre of excellence in philosophical research.”
The first of the three Polish academics from the Institute of Philosophy in the Jagiellonian University in Krakow is Dr Jan Hartman. His interests lie mainly in the arts of metaphysics, transcendental philosophy, heurisitcs and political philosophy. During his 6 weeks in Aberdeen, he will also be working on a book, currently entitled, “Towards a Political Philosophy of the 21st Century”.
Further details on the Bednarowski Trust may be obtained from the Philosophy Department, Tel/Fax: 01224 272366 or by e-mail: email@example.com
PHOTOCALL: Dr Bednarowski will be available for interview on Tuesday 18 January at 11.00am in the Kings College Conference Centre Foyer. You are welcome to send a reporter/photographer.