International Journal of Human Diversity and Evolution
Coverage: 1923-1941 (Vols. I-XIX) & 1962-2021 (Vols. 1-59)
ISSN 0323-1119 (Print)
ISSN 2570-9127 (Online)
Special Issue dedicated to the memory of Vladimír Novotný is in preparation.

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'Bláha P, 2003: Welcome Speech. Anthropologie (Brno) 41, 1-2: 3-4'.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I have the honour to welcome you together with the Czech Anthropological Community and in the name of town Humpolec in this historical hall of Carolinum - the one of the oldest universities in the world. The international congresses of Dr.Aleš Hrdlièka have been held since 1969 once every ten years. The last time we met here was in 1999 at the 4th International Anthropological Congress called ”World Anthropology at the Turn of the Century”. The honourable president of the meeting was - like this year - Prof. Phillip V. Tobias. In his last speech, Prof. Tobias described his personal wish to organize Hrdlièka´s meeting earlier than in 10 years to be able to join it one more time in his life at least. The Czech Anthropological Society and our Department of Anthropology and Human Genetics were asked by the Council of European Anthropological Society in May one year ago to organize the meeting of the Council of this Society in Prague in May 2003. The final decision about the place of The Council meeting has been arranged in Zagreb last year in September. Prague was chosen as the right place not only because of the Council members´ opinions but also because of the wish of the famous Prof. Tobias that we all deeply respect and it is the honour for us to meet him again. And there is a third reason for choosing Prague, of course, the 60th anniversary of the death of Dr. Aleš Hrdlièka which we celebrate this year. The 50th anniversary of the death of Dr. Aleš Hrdlièka we also celebrated. It was the 19th congress of mainly Czech and Slovak anthropologists, which had about 100 participants. There are about 250 participants here today. There was an official uncovering of memorial desks to revere Prof. Matiegka and Prof. Maly in the town Melnik last evening. Prof. Matiegka, Prof. Maly and Dr. Hrdlièka are the tree biggest celebrities, founders and patrons of the Czech anthropology that was found at the beginning and the first part of the last century. Except their relationship there was a big ambition to contribute to the knowledge about the origin and development of man as a representative of the mankind of Homo Sapiens Sapiens. We, anthropologists at the beginning of the twenty first century, are forced to spread and cultivate their thoughts. Present anthropology becomes integral science, science about all aspects of man like the most perfect known being in the world. The wide spectrum of our actions shows that the significance of anthropological science for each of us is evident. It is more obvious in the era of globalization when the Homo Sapiens Sapiens is in the danger as a consequence of its own activities, and that is why the role and responsibility of anthropology constantly grows. I warned four years ago that our epoch unfortunately even more brings with itself reactions and decisions, which have nothing in common with science and any scientific analytic approach. Man makes trips to the space and discovers the base of human genome on one side but on the other hand the thinking of human being hasn´t done any big progress. Calculated escalation of religion directions, which covers terorism, power politics leading to benefit of fortune, which gives us the Earth and the situation when the truth is in the hands of the more forceable. According to our experience charlatanism in the sphere of human physical and spiritual health, in economics and last but not least even in politics as it dominates so much that scientific findings about man seem to be irrelevant. The low social prestige of science, anthropology included, perhaps also explains entirely insufficient financial backing of scientific programmes and the very schooling of scientists themselves. We haven´t had a long time to organize everything for our present Prague meeting - just eight months. But we tried our best. Before passing the word to other speakers, I would like to thank all of them who with great enthusiasm worked on the preparation of the congress. I cordially welcome Prof. Phillip Valentine Tobias and all other participants and guests from many countries. I hope that this meeting will bring outstanding results and help to move the anthropology one or more steps forward. I welcome you all and wish a lot of success during our actions. Have a pleasant stay in Prague. Herewith I consider the congress open. (Full text of the article)

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