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Highest Hungarian state award for Botond Roska

Botond Roska received the 2019 Order of the Hungarian St Stephen's Order from Hungarian President János Áder on the Hungarian national day at the Sándor Palace in Budapest.

The order serves to recognize the most outstanding special merits, outstanding works of life, and significant values ​​gained in the international arena by Hungarians.

In his laudatio, president Áder explained that the order is given annually to Hungarians who find their own way to truth via talent, work and diligence. "Their excellence is based on never being satisfied with existing knowledge. They want to make the unknown known, to set standards, to develop, heal, educate or create with all their energy," said János Áder. He added that Botond Roska is on one of the narrowest paths in science: taking solutions from theory to the gate of practice, which he knows will work in the hands of others. The President of the Republic also said vision-restoring gene therapy will soon become a common knowledge and a universal treasure thanks to the contributions of Botond Roska. He said what outsiders would consider a miracle - restoring vision to the blind - is in fact resulting from hard work and from measurements, evidence and assurance.

The Order of Saint Stephen was founded by empress Maria Theresa in 1764 as an order of knighthood of the Austrian-Hungarian monarchy. In 1938 the name of the Order changed to The Royal Hungarian Order of Saint Stephen. The Order was terminated in 1946 with the proclamation of the Republic of Hungary. It has been recreated in 2011 as the Hungarian Order of Saint Stephen, and is still the highest civilian order in Hungary.

Since the recreation of the Order in 2011, honored persons include politicians, artists, athlethes and scientists:

  • 2013: Krisztina Egerszegi und Sándor Lámfalussy
  • 2014: Imre Kertész and Ernő Rubik
  • 2015: Péter Eötvös and Judit Polgár
  • 2016: Éva Marton and Ádám Makkai
  • 2017: Péter Erdő and Tamás Vásáry
  • 2018: Pál Demény
  • 2019: Botond Roska

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