Hundreds of eminent scholars of Polish origin and ancestry reside in the United States. These scholars have excelled and achieved high recognition in diverse branches of science. While many are known for their outstanding work within the confines of their particular field of activity, little is known of their achievements by scientists working in other disciplines or to the general public in the USA or in Poland. 

In order to bring deserved recognition to the achievements of Polish scientists the Kosciuszko Foundation (KF) is establishing the "Kosciuszko Foundation Collegium of Eminent Scientists". The goals of this initiative are: (i) to honor eminent scientists of Polish origin and ancestry who have achieved recognition in the USA; (ii) to recognize, highlight and publicize the achievements of individual scientists of Polish background in the United States who have made important contributions to their respective fields of science. Significant achievements by Polish scientists could be provided to news media and made accessible through the internet; (iii) to identify, record, and catalogue eminent Polish scientists and scientists of Polish descent residing in America. This compendium will be of interest to future historians in Poland and elsewhere and to Polish organizations in the USA. Scientists honored by election to the Collegium will be recognized as Distinguished Fellows of the Collegium. 

To establish and maintain the prestige of the Collegium the criteria for election of the Fellows are set at a high level. Objective measures such as numbers of publications, frequency of citations, h (Hirsch) citations impact factor, number of US patents and ranking on professional websites and assessment of other attributes will be employed. 

The following criteria are considered: 

1. Professorship and tenure position(s) at respective universities or colleges; 

2. Leadership position(s) and strong scientific background at the research-oriented national or private institutions, e.g., National Institutes of Health, NASA, pharmaceutical or biotechnology companies; 

3. A significant number, e.g., 50 or more depending on the discipline, of scientific publications in peer-reviewed journals; 

4. A significant number, e.g., 1000 or more depending on the discipline, of citations (Thomson Reuters' ISI Web of Science; Google Scholar); 

5. A significant number, e.g., over 10, of US patents; 

6. h - (Hirsch's) citations impact factor 25 or higher;

7. An advanced scientific career combined with strong activity in Polish-American scientific institutions, e.g., PIASA, engineering- or medical- professional societies.

An additional category for Collegium Membership is that of Honorary Member granted to those American Scientists not of Polish ancestry, who, by virtue of their significant contribution to a branch of science in Poland have importantly advanced that discipline and are recognized by academic and/or governmental scientific institutions in Poland for their special achievements.

The Board of Trustees of the KF has established a standing committee, the "Committee of the KF Collegium of Eminent Scientists". The Committee consists of: Zbigniew Darżynkiewicz (Chair) as well as Miroslaw Brys, Piotr Chomczyński, Hanna Chroboczek Kelker, Christopher Kolasa, Włodek Mandecki, Marek M. Pienkowski, Waldemar Priebe and Ewa Radwańska. The Honorary Advisory Members are Professors Roald Hoffmann (Cornell University), Maria Siemionow (University of Illinois, Chicago), Wacław Szybalski (McArdle Institute for Cancer Research) and Frank Wilczek (Massachusetts Institute of Technology). The Committee has been charged with the critical function of reviewing individual scientists for recognition by the Collegium. 

The directory listing the honored individuals (Distinguished Fellows of the Collegium) is accessible on the special website of the KF (http://www.thekf.org/programs/eminentscientists/). This directory may be useful to Polska Akademia Nauk (PAN), Polska Akademia Umiejetnosci (PAU) and to other scientific organizations and institutes in Poland and in the USA seeking to invite speakers for scientific events, organize joint meetings, webinars on selected topics, consultations or other types of research interactions. Polish scientists applying for Kosciuszko Foundation scholarships or fellowships will find the directory a useful source for establishing contacts with Polish American scientists. 


Marek Skulimowski

President and Executive Director 

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