Baltic Conferences on Intellectual Co-operation

The tradition of Baltic conferences on intellectual co-operation extends back to the pre WW II period. In 1935–1940 there were six such conferences held, with Nordic countries involved. The first conference took place in 1935 in Kaunas, thereafter in 1936 – Tartu, in 1937 – Helsinki, in 1938 – Riga and in 1939 again in Kaunas. The last pre-war conference was convened in Tallinn on 15–17 June 1940, in conjunction with the “Baltic Week”. However, the deliberations were interrupted by the USSR aggression against the Baltic States. With the aim to give new life to the pre-war tradition, the seventh Baltic conference on intellectual co-operation was held in Riga in 1999, convened by the Latvian Academy of Sciences. See the list of conferences.

Medal of the Baltic academies of sciences is awarded for contribution to promoting cooperation of the Baltic States and for achievements in science. The laureates are as follows:

  • In 2021 – Tiit Tammaru (Estonia), Andris Ambainis (Latviai), Valdemaras Razumas (Lithuania), Edwin Kreuzer (Germany)
  • In 2019 – Isaak Rashal (Latvia), Maris Laan (Estonia), Vaidutis Kučinskas (Lithuania)
  • In 2015 – Benedikts Kalnačs (Latvia), Zenonas Norkus (Lithuania), Peeter Järvelaid (Estonia)
  • In 2013 – Tarmo Soomere (Estonia), Andris Šternbergs (Latvia), Eugenius Butkus (Lithuania)
  • In 2010 – Pietro Umberto Dini (Italy), Ain-Elmar Kaasik (Estonia), Ervīns Lukševičs (Latvia),Zigmas Zinkevičius (Lithuania)
  • In 2007– Olof G. Tandberg (Sweden), Andrejs Siliņš (Latvia), Zenonas Rokus Rudzikas(Lithuania), Raimo Pullat (Estonia), Matti Saarnisto (Finland)
  • In 2003 – Jonas Kubilius (Lithuania), Jānis Kristapsons (Latvia), Peeter Tulviste (Estonia)
  • In 2001 – Tālis Millers (Latvia), Carl-Olof Jacobson (Sweden), Benediktas Juodka (Lithuania),Mihkel Veiderma (Estonia)
  • In 2000 – Jüri Engelbrecht (Estonia), Jarmo Visakorpi (Finland), Jurgis Vilemas (Lietuva), Juris Ekmanis (Latvia)
  • In 1999 – Juras Požela (Lithuania), Jānis Stradiņš (Latvia), Evald Ojaveer (Estonia)

The 16th Baltic Conference on Intellectual Co-operation: Genes: from the Past to the Future

was orgnized by the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences in Vilnius, 2-3 May 2019.
Member of the Estonian Academy of Sciences Prof Andres Metspalu delivered a lecture titled “From biobanks to personalised medicine“.
The Estonian Young Academy of Sciences was represented by Dr Tuul Sepp. President of the Estonian Academy of Sciences Prof Soomere together with Presidents of Academies of Sciences in Latvia and Lithuania handed over the Medals of Baltic Academies to the laureates from all three Baltic countries. Prof Maris Laan, University of Tartu was awarded as a laureate from Estonia. More information and programme of the 16th Baltic conference on Intellectual Co-operation on the website of the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences here.

Chairpersons: Prof. Zenonas Dabkevičius, Lithuanian Academy of Sciences;
Prof. Maris Laan, University of Tartu, Laureate of the Medal of Baltic Academies 2019. Photo: Lihtuanian Academy of Sciences

The 15th Baltic conference on Intellectual Co-operation: The Future of Teacher Education in the Baltic Region: Towards Research Based Teacher Education

was organized by the Finnish Academy of Science and Letters in Helsinki, 30-31 March 2017. The Estonian Academy of Sciences was represented by President Prof. Tarmo Soomere and Head of the Division of Informatics and Engineering Prof. Jakob Kübarsepp. More information about the 15th Baltic conference on Intellectual Co-operation on the website of the conference here.

Participants 2017. House of Estates (Säätytalo). Photo: Finnish Academy of Science and Letters

The 14th Baltic conference on Intellectual Co-operation: Academies of Sciences for Research and Innovation: Past and Future

was organized by the Latvian Academy of Sciences in Riga, Jelgava, 20-21 April 2015. Invited speakers from the Estonian Academy of Sciences were Prof Mart Kalm, Artistic unity of the Baltic Sea Region countries, prof Urmas Varblane Dependence on EU Structural funds in the Baltic Countries. Ways of Exit. See the programme of the conference.

On the 21st April 2015, the Presidents of the Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian Academies of Sciences signed a new Annex (Protocol) to the trilateral cooperation agreement.

The 13th Baltic conference on Intellectual Co-operation: European Research Area and Small Countries

in Tallinn 28-29 January 2013 was supported by the National Programme “Internationalisation of Research”. The opening address was given by President of the Academy Richard Villems.

On the first day, conference papers covered the topics:

  • European Research Area – vision and implementation from Lithuania’s perspective. Eugenijus Butkus, Research Council of Lithuania/Lithuanian Academy of Sciences
  • The impact of global processes on science in small countries. Andrejs Silinš, Latvian Academy of Sciences
  • Science policy in Finland. Marja Makarow, Academy of Finland
  • Why national and international academies are today so important. Ivo Šlaus, World Academy of Art and Science (WAAS), Croatia
  • Cooperation among the scientists of the Baltic States in the priority scientific areas. Andris Sternbergs, Latvian Academy of Sciences
  • Baltic Sea – the bridge between many countries. Tarmo Soomere, Estonian Academy of Sciences
  • Lithuanian studies in Europe with special reference to the Baltic countries. Bonifacas Stundžia, Vilnius University/Lithuanian Academy of Sciences
  • Role of humanities in small countries. Valter Lang, Estonian Academy of Sciences
  • The role of their diaspora in the smaller EU member states meeting the challenge of scientific research. Eduards Bruno Deksnis, Latvian Academy of Sciences

Conference papers of the second day included:

  • On biodiversity studies. Martin Zobel, Estonian Academy of Sciences
  • Materials science in Lithuania ‒ status, challenges and perspectives. Sigitas Tamulevičius, Kaunas University of Technology/ Lithuanian Academy of Sciences
  • Science for policy. Steven Bishop, University College London/Estonian Academy of Sciences
  • Estonian Academy of Sciences – 75. Jüri Engelbrecht, Estonian Academy of Sciences (see Appendix 1, pp. 203-204)

Presentations were followed by discussion.
Medals of the Baltic Academies of Sciences and accompanying diplomas, signed by Presidents of the Academies Richard Villems, Valdemaras Razumas ja Ojars Sparitis, were conferred on Tarmo Soomere (Estonia), Andris Sternbergs (Latvia) and Eugenijus Butkus (Lithuania).

The Lithuanian Academy of Sciences convened the 12th Baltic Conference on Intellectual Cooperation: Science and Society

in Vilnius on 4-5 November 2010. Delegates from Estonia, Finland, Latvia and Lithuania attended closely to presentations that focused on the science and society interactions.

The 11th Baltic conference on Intellectual Co-operation: National Development Strategies of the Baltic States

was organized by the Latvian Academy of Sciences in Riga in October 2007.

The 10th Baltic conference on Intellectual Co-operation: The Baltic: Past, Present and Future. History and politics, the Baltic Sea as a body of water and scientific collaboration around the Baltic Sea

was organized in Helsinki in 2005.

The 9th Baltic conference on Intellectual Co-operation: Globalization, Europe and National Identity, with considerable attention paid to science and culture of small countries

was organized in Vilnius in June 2003.

The 8th Baltic Conference on Intellectual Cooperation: The historical experience of the Baltic States, research strategies in small countries, and the humanities during the past decade

in Tallinn 15-16 June 2001 was promoted by President of the Republic Lennart Meri, who sent a message to participants of the conference.
The conference was opened by President of the Academy Jüri Engelbrecht, Ambassador of the Republic of Latvia in Estonia Gints Jegermanis and Ambassador of the Republic of Lithuania in Estonia Rimanas Juozapas Tonkunas. Holding of the Conference was supported by Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Estonia.

The Conference proceeded in three sessions:
1) The message of the Baltic States to the World: Raising the World Awareness of our Historical Experience.
Convenor: Member of Academy Peeter Tulviste; speaking were Peeter Tulviste and Toomas Hiio – Estonia, Ohto Manninen – Finland, Evaldas Nekrašas – Lithuania, Aivars Tabuns – Latvia).
2) Research Strategies in Small Countries
Convenor: Member of Academy Jüri Engelbrecht; presented papers by Jüri Engelbrecht – Estonia, Matti Saarnisto and Arto Mustajoki – Finland, Janis Stradinš and Juris Ekmanis – Latvia, Eduardas Vilkas and Algis Petras Piskarskas – Lithuania.
3) The Humanities during the past Decade
Convenor: Member of Academy Arvo Krikmann; speaking were Almantas Samalavičius – Lithuania, Jaan Undusk – Estonia, Peteris Bankovskis – Latvia).
Over 80 Estonian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Finnish and Swedish intellectuals scrutinised in their papers and at discussions the topical issues of development of their respective countries, social life and science. Professor of Political Science of Tartu University Rein Taagepera delivered a key presentation “The need for Baltic emotions”.
The Conference adopted a resolution (cf. Appendix).

7th Baltic conference on Intellectual Co-operation: The history and future prospects of mutual cooperation of Baltic States with particular focus on the protection of intellectual values and science

was held in Riga in 1999.