Ruđer Bošković

International Scientific Symposium

From Ruđer Bošković to Today:
Contribution of Croatian Scientists to the World Scientific Heritage


about the symposium

Distinguished guests of the symposium,

as President of the Austrian Academy of Sciences let me congratulate the organizers of the Dubrovnik symposium on this excellent initiative to commemorate Ruder Bošković, who is without doubt one of the most remarkable figures in the history of European natural science.

The life of Ruder Bošković is closely linked to Vienna, not only because his most famous book, the „Theoria Philosophiae Naturalis“ was first published in Vienna in 1758 but also because of Bošković’s almost lifelong friendship with State Chancellor Prince Kaunitz and his close ties with the Jesuit friar and physicist at the University of Vienna, Carl Scherffer. As we know Empress Maria Theresia of Austria commissioned him to write a report on constructional defects of the cupola of the Baroque State Hall of the Court Library in Vienna, one of the world’s most beautiful historic libraries (now the National Library) and tried to convince Bošković to become adviser to the Court.

Surprisingly Bošković, whose work inspired such famous scientists as Faraday, Maxwell, Kelvin or Thompson, and whom Heisenberg described as the “Croatian Leibnitz” has so far not gained the attention at the international level that he deserves.

In October 2008 an international symposium was held in Vienna in the Austrian Academy of Sciences to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the first publication of Bošković’s world-famous „Philosophia naturalis theoria”, which he wrote in less than 100 m distance from the Austrian Academy of Sciences in his apartment in Vienna. One of the main objectives of the 2008 symposium, which united some of the leading international Ruder Bošković experts, was to intensify the still under-developed Bošković research, particularly in the German-speaking world.

I am convinced that the high-ranking international conference celebrating Bošković’s 300th anniversary in the fascinating city of Dubrovnik, that I am proud to participate in, will not only help to make the life and work of this great European scientist and philosopher better known to the international world of science but that it will also give an impetus to developing and fostering partnerships between scientists and scientific institutions from Croatia, Austria and other participating countries.

Prof. Helmut Denk
President of the Austrian Academy of Sciences

Organizers Dubrovnik RBI Gim TZDU Agrokor