Today the former Danish Minister of Foreign Affairs H.E. Uffe Ellemann-Jensen received the 2020 Endel Lippmaa Memorial Medal of the Estonian Academy of Sciences. In a ceremony at the Estonian Embassy in Copenhagen, the President of the Estonian Academy of Sciences, Prof. Tarmo Soomere presented the medal instituted in honour of Endel Lippmaa, who was both an Estonian academician and a member of the Estonian government.
The Endel Lippmaa Memorial Medal is granted as a token of recognition to an outstanding Danish politician, a good friend of Estonia and an ardent supporter of our aspirations for freedom, Uffe Ellemann-Jensen.
Academician Endel Lippmaa (15.09.1930–30.07.2015) was one of the great men of Estonian science and politics, and to this day he is one of the most well-known Estonian scientists in the world. As a capable personality with exceptionally sharp mind and wide grasp, he made a significant contribution to restoring the independence of Estonia and rebuilding a free society, influencing and shaping the development of our country for a long time.
By establishing the tradition of the Endel Lippmaa Memorial Medal and the related Memorial Lectures, The Estonian Academy of Sciences wishes to promote the spread of scientific excellence and innovation, as well as to recognise and value the mission of outstanding personalities in the history of Estonia. With this objective in mind, the person to be selected as a recipient of the Endel Lippmaa Medal is a prominent figure in the field of science or society, whose activity has had a substantial impact on the development of science or society and in whose work top-level science is combined with serving the society.
As Minister of Foreign Affairs of Denmark (1982–1993), Uffe Ellemann-Jensen was instrumental in the recognition process of the Baltic States at the time of the restoration of independence of the Republic of Estonia. Thanks to his efforts, Denmark became the first state to restore diplomatic relations with all the three Baltic countries. Together with his German colleague Hans-Dietrich Genscher he convened the Council of the Baltic Sea States in 1992, the central objective of which was to ensure a balanced development within the Baltic Sea region after the end of the Cold War. For twenty years (1998–2018) Ellemann-Jensen contributed vigorously to the activity of the Baltic Development Forum, which brought together top performers in the domains of business, politics, media, and science within the region.
The first Endel Lippmaa Memorial Medal was awarded to Nobel Prize Laureate in Chemistry Kurt Wüthrich, who delivered the Memorial Lecture in 2017. Uffe Ellemann-Jensen’s lecture took place virtually on September 29, 2020.
The recipient of the Memorial Medal is selected by the committee consisting of academicians Ene Ergma, Mart Kalm and Mart Saarma, as well as Jaak Lippmaa and Urmas Nagel.
The titanium Memorial Medal was designed by metal artist Risto Tali.