FEBS 60th Anniversary – Celebrating the 40th anniversary in Warsaw

To mark the FEBS 60th Anniversary, on this post we remember another key event in its history: the 29th FEBS Congress in Warsaw (26 June–1 July) in 2004, organized by the Polish Biochemical Society, and where the FEBS 40th Anniversary was celebrated.
FEBS 60th Anniversary  – Celebrating the 40th anniversary in Warsaw
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The 29th Federation of European Biochemical Societies (FEBS) Congress in Warsaw in 2004 (26 June–1 July), organized by Polish Biochemical Society (PTBioch), marked the 40th Anniversary of FEBS. It was the second FEBS Congress that took place in Warsaw. The first one was organized in 1966. It took place under the patronage of the President of the Republic of Poland, Aleksander Kwaśniewski, in completely different political conditions than in 1966. This time it was accompanied by Poland's recent admission to the European Union. Therefore, the atmosphere during the congress had something of celebration and fulfilment of the long-awaited return of Poland to the family of European countries.

The opening ceremony of the congress took place in the Congress Hall of the Palace of Culture and Science in Warsaw. After speeches by honorary guests, including Secretary General of FEBS, Prof. Julio Celis and the President of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Prof. Andrzej Legocki, the audience listened to the inaugural lecture titled "NMR views of soluble proteins and membrane proteins" (Datta Lecture), delivered by the winner of the Nobel Award, Prof. Kurt Wuthrich from Switzerland. After the lecture, everyone took part in a rousing concert of the Polish band "Mazowsze".

Over two thousand scientists from fifty countries participated in the FEBS 2004 Congress. Lectures were delivered by two hundred and fifty-six lecturers from thirty-two countries. The Congress was also accompanied by numerous cultural events, including a concert of Fryderyk Chopin's music in Łazienki Park, which was enthusiastically received by the congress participants. The Organizing Committee of the FEBS Congress included, among others: Jolanta Barańska (Chairwoman), Liliana Konarska (Vice-chairwoman), Adam Szewczyk (Secretary), Edward Bańkowski, Jan Barciszewski, Anna Dygas, Andrzej Dżugaj, Wirginia Janiszowska, Teresa Jakubowicz, Paweł Pomorski, Michał Woźniak and Barbara Zabłocka. The scientific program of the congress was prepared by the Scientific Committee chaired by Włodzimierz Zagórski-Ostoja.

To celebrate this event, the FEBS Executive Committee decided to publish a book (see the cover image at the end of the post), which chronicles the foundation of FEBS and its early development, as well as presents an overview of FEBS activities and contributions that support disciplines of biochemistry and molecular cell biology and throughout Europe. Below we also share a few photos from the event.

A collection of photos from the event

Photo showing congress attendees sitting in the event hall.

Session attendees at the 29th FEBS Congress in Warsaw 26 June–1 July 2004.

Photo of presenters at the front of one of the congress sessions.
Chairwoman Jolanta Barańska and a colleague at one of the sessions of the 29th FEBS Congress in Warsaw 26 June–1 July 2004.
Group photo showing four congress participants, three smiling at the camera and one talking on a mobile phone.
Participants at the 29th FEBS Congress in Warsaw 26 June–1 July 2004.
Photo of the congress main hall, showing the vault celining and columns.
Main hall of the 29th FEBS Congress in Warsaw 26 June–1 July 2004.
Photo of dancers dressed in traditional costumes and holding axes.
Cultural activities at the 29th FEBS Congress in Warsaw 26 June–1 July 2004.
Photo of congress participants outdoors, sitting in a garden and watching one of the event activities.
Cultural activities at the 29th FEBS Congress in Warsaw 26 June–1 July 2004.
Photo of event participants walking around.
Participants at the 29th FEBS Congress in Warsaw 26 June–1 July 2004.
Photo of congress secretary Adam Szewczyk speaking on two phones at the same time.
Secretary Adam Szewczyk at the 29th FEBS Congress in Warsaw 26 June–1 July 2004.

The Forty Years of FEBS book – From 1964 to 2004

Cover of the Forty Years of FEBS book, showing a collection of different images related to FEBS and its events.
Forty Years of FEBS. Horst Feldmann (Ed.), Blackwell Publishers, Oxford 2003, on behalf of FEBS.

All images by the Polish Biochemical Society.

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