Elizabeth II, Queen of the United Kingdom and the other Commonwealth realms, has awarded the Order of St. Michael and St. George to Terence V. Callaghan, Professor at TSU and the University of Sheffield and a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. His cavaliers are outstanding figures in art, science, business, politics, and security. Dr. Callaghan received this award for his contribution to international collaboration and the development of Arctic science. The ceremony took place at Buckingham Palace, where the scientist received the sign of the Knight Commander from the hands of Prince William.
For almost 50 years, Professor Callaghan has worked in the area of the Arctic environment. His research interest is the relationship between the environment, plants, and animals, including the reaction of Arctic ecosystems to climate change, carbon dioxide in the Earth's atmosphere, and UV radiation.
Professor Callaghan played a crucial role in the formation of the British research base on the island of Spitsbergen in the high Arctic. One of the largest and most successful European network projects on the study of climatic changes in the Arctic - INTERACT, which brings together about 80 ground and high research stations - came about thanks to his initiative, supported by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. In 2016, it included three scientific bases of TSU - Aktru, Khanymey, and Kaybasovo.
Since 2013, Professor Callaghan has headed the International Academic Council of TSU, taking an active part in promoting the University in the world. In 2016, with his direct participation under the auspices of TSSW (Trans-Siberian Scientific Way), the international network SecNET was established. Its purpose is a comprehensive and interdisciplinary understanding of environmental changes in Siberia and their social impact on the national and global scale.
During the award ceremony, Prince William asked why Professor Callaghan had chosen the Arctic for exploration and what particularly valuable it has that distinguishes it from other regions.
- I love the Arctic - its wildlife, landscapes, and inhabitants. All of them are now subject to change. The events that take place in the Arctic today affect people living not only in this region, but all over the world, - says Terry Callaghan. - In fact, the more I study the Arctic ecology, the more questions arise, especially questions related to the future of this part of the planet. During the award ceremony, I briefly told the prince about the INTERACT program and about the fact that thanks to it, almost a thousand scientists can conduct their research every year in different places on Earth.
As Terry Callaghan notes, this award is also has a TSU contribution, because without the University there would not be any new INTERACT projects in Russia. Tomsk State University enables him to work with other Russian scientific centers, providing an opportunity to create and implement new projects.
Во время специальной службы, которая проходила в соборе святого Петра в честь награжденных, не обошлось без неожиданностей. В часовне, построенной в честь рыцарского ордена Святого Михаила и Святого Георгия, есть таблички, на которых указаны имена каждого, кто когда-либо был удостоен этой награды. Среди них профессор Каллаган обнаружил своего однофамильца.
During the ceremony that took place in St. Peter's Cathedral in honor of the awardees, there was a surprise. In the chapel, built in honor of the Order of St. Michael and St. George, there are plaques showing the names of everyone who has ever been awarded. Among them, Professor Callaghan found his own namesake.
- But I thought that I’m the one who’s so great, the scientist jokes. - In fact, I'm very interested in who this man was, what he did. I will try to figure this out, it may turn out that he is my distant relative.
In addition to science, Terry Callaghan pays great attention to educational programs. So, for example, a large-scale international educational project – the creation of the virtual Arctic – is being implemented under the guidance of the professor, based at TSU. The interactive resource will contain the largest amount of text information, video, and computer graphics about this unique region.
Currently, Terry Callaghan is at the high-altitude station Aktru, where TSU is conducting its summer school devoted to the transformation of the environment in Siberia and the Arctic, which he traditionally participates in. As a part of the educational course, he will read lectures to students from South Africa, the United States, Italy, Japan, France, and the Netherlands who have come to Siberia to learn to understand the Arctic.