The Bernard Bolzano Honorary Medal for Merit in the Mathematical Sciences


The Bernard Bolzano Honorary Medal
for Merit in the Mathematical Sciences

awarded by the Czech Academy of Sciences

This honour was established by the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences on September 2, 1965 as an Honorary Plaquette for outstanding contributions in the mathematical sciences. Since the second half of the year 1995, it has been awarded by the Czech Academy of Sciences as an Honorary Medal.

Bernard Bolzano (1781–1848) was a significant Czech mathematician, logician, philosopher and theologian of Italian origin. As a Catholic theologian, he became a professor of religion at the College of Philosophy at Charles University, where he excelled with the persuasiveness of his interpretations which were based upon a deep faith and rational approach. His originality caused many problems, culminating in his forced departure from the college. From that time, he devoted himself entirely to scientific work. In philosophy, he was ecclectic, in mathematics, he was one of pioneers in modern approaches. He precisely formulated certain theorems and created the foundations for general function theory, with which he was far ahead of his time.

His most extensive work is “Vědosloví” (in German “Wissenschaftslehre”), a scientific treatise in which he was the first who methodically considered the foundations of logic. Aside from other work in philosophy and mathematics, his friends posthumously published “Paradoxes of Infinity” (in German “Paradoxien des Unendlichen,” in Czech “Paradoxy nekonečna”), his most significant work.

Bernard Bolzano was a member of the Royal Czech Society of Sciences and gained merit for its development.

The Bernard Bolzano medal was designed by academic sculptor and medallist Jan Václav Straka (1918–1983), a student of Prof. O. Španiel.

List of awarded medals