The first RSU research conference was held 20 years ago
Initiated by Professor Iveta Ozolanta the first RSU Research Conference on medicine was held on 26 Februrary 1999 marking a significant turning point in the scientific life of Rīga Stradiņš University (RSU).
The opening event of the conference took place at the Rīga World Trade Centre, while 16 sessions were held in the RSU main building at 16 Dzirciema iela. 111 research papers were presented during the conference – 50 oral and 61 poster presentations. The number of participants – RSU lecturers, students and residents – exceeded 700.
The conference received broad press coverage
Conference proceedings were published after the event, and the conference was widely covered in the media – by LETA, BNS, TV-3, Neatkarīgā Rīta Avīze, Rīgas Balss and Latvijas Radio. The plenary session was followed by a press conference during which Acting Rector Vitālijs Zirdziņš, Vice-Rector for Science Iveta Ozolanta and Chair of the Organizing Committee Professor Jānis Vētra answered journalists' questions.
An esteemed event
In 1999 Assistant Professor Vitālijs Zirdziņš, then Acting Rector, emphasised: ‘I see this event as essential to the history of our university as it marks a new trend – we should not only develop new research, but also disseminate the results to representatives of the respective fields and to the wider community of medical professionals.’
‘The conference was a celebration of science at RSU, and hope it will become a tradition,’ Vice-Rector for Studies Prof. Jānis Zaļkalns said after the conference. ‘I find it to be a significant event in the life of the university. The presentations given during the plenary session and the sections were topical and up-to-date. I am excited about the students’ interest in research-related events at RSU.’
Science at a crossroads
The late 1990s were notable for big changes taking place in Latvia, and it was then that the Medical Academy of Latvia was renamed Rīga Stradiņš University. Back then, despite rather limited government funding allocated to research, scientific life at the university remained active.
RSU researchers were involved in 46 research projects and three state programmes at that time, and RSU cooperated with 26 countries with the majority of cooperation agreements concluded with Germany (20), Sweden (11), Lithuania (10) and the USA (9).
Since 1999 the RSU Research Conference has been held every year with the exception of 2001, and since 2007 the conference has become a two-day event.