On Friday, Febrary 9th 2018, the Nencki Institute welcomed Professor Zafra M. Lerman, who was met by the Director of the Institute Professor Agnieszka Dobrzyn, the president of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Professor Jerzy Duszynski, and the former director of the Institute, Professor Maciej Nalecz. Discussions were focused on a possibility of organizing in November 2018, an international conference on Science Diplomacy around activities commemorating the 100th Anniversary of the Nencki Institute.
Zafra M. Lerman is an American chemist, educator, and humanitarian. She is the President of the Malta Conferences Foundation, operating under UNESCO auspices, which aims to promote peace by bringing together scientists from otherwise hostile countries, to discuss science and foster international scientific and technical collaboration. From 1986 to 2010, she chaired the American Chemical Society's Subcommittee on Scientific Freedom and Human Rights. She has been successful in preventing executions, releasing prisoners of conscience from jail and bringing dissidents to freedom. She has received multiple awards for education and science diplomacy, including the 1999 Presidential Award from U.S. President Bill Clinton, the 2005 Nyholm Prize for Education from the Royal Society of Chemistry (England), the 2015 Science Diplomacy Award from the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), and the 2016 Andrei Sakharov Award for human rights from the American Physical Society (APS). Prof. Zafra M. Lerman, and the Malta Conferences Foundation, are also nominees for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2015 and 2017.