Prof. Dr. Béla Ribár – Full Member (1930 – 2006)

Prof. Dr. Béla Ribár – Full Member (1930 – 2006)

After the tragic accident on 22 March 2006, our respected colleague and Academician Bela Ribár, Full Professor of the Novi Sad Faculty of Sciences, in retirement, passed away. His untimely death was a tremendous loss for the Academy of Sciences and Arts of Vojvodina and beyond, as well as for the world of science.

Academician professor Ribár was born in Debljača, on 5 September 1930. He finished high school in Zrenjanin and graduated from the Faculty of Sciences, Department of Physics in Belgrade. He obtained a doctorate in Physics at the University of Bern. In 1969 he was elected Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Sciences in Sarajevo. A year later he transfered to the Faculty of Sciences in Novi Sad, where he became an Associate Professor in 1975 and Full Professor in 1980. Professor Ribár’s scientific work clearly contributed to the national and international levels in the study of crystal and molecular structure of minerals, inorganic, organic and biologically active natural substances by X-ray diffraction. He published more than 177 scientific papers, mostly in renowned international journals, which received huge response in his research area. His papers earned him the top place of a leading researcher in former Yugoslavia in the field of X-ray crystallography and considerable scientific reputation. As a result, he was the most cited researcher in Vojvodina. More than 1,000 paper citations of Dr. Ribár in leading science journals, books, monographs, handbooks and dissertations demonstrate how acknowledged was his contribution to the development of scientific work in the field of structural analysis of crystals. He also published several books. The most prominent was his role in the advancement of research in crystallography in our country, and in recognition of this, he was elected Honorary President of the Serbian Crystallographic Society. Together with his research team he achieved an intensive and fruitful international cooperation. This cooperation is further illustrated by the fact that a considerable number of his publications was realized in collaboration with researchers from abroad.

For several years he was a reviewer of international journals, member of their editorial boards, member of the organization committees of a number of national and international scientific conferences, where he also participated with a total of 119 papers. Dr. Ribár was not only a prominent and respected researcher, but also an excellent teacher and mentor to many generations of students and young researchers.

In the scientific circles little is known of the social work of our colleague, Dr. Ribár. He was the founder and president of the Fund for financial support to pupils and founder of the Hungarian Scientific Association of Vojvodina. He was the editor of 130 manuals and workbooks for secondary schools in the Hungarian language in order to facilitate and improve the teaching of Hungarians in their mother tongue. He was very active in the popularization of scientific achievements in natural sciences.

Dr. Ribár received numerous awards for significant achievements in scientific and social work, of which we mention only a few: Medal of the Republic with a bronze wreath (1987), Acknowledgement of Prof. Dr. Vojislav K. Stojanović awarded by the Association of University Professors and Scientists of Serbia (1996), Recognition of the World Union of Hungarian Professors, Eötvös József Dij (2001), etc.

In recognition of the long-term success in his scientific and research work, he was elected Corresponding Member of the Academy of Sciences and Arts of Vojvodina in 1987, and Full Member of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts in 2000. He was elected Full Member of the reestablished Academy of Sciences and Arts of Vojvodina in 2004 and External Member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in 2005.

Our Academy is particularly indebted to Dr. Ribár. He consistently, courageously and reasonably advocated for the reestablishment of the Academy of Sciences and Arts of Vojvodina in a time and place when there was little understanding. He was a member of the Commission for the founding of VANU and gave a great contribution to the work of the Academy, especially in the year of its establishment.

Due to his charisma and esteemed reputation Academician Bela Ribár has not only a prominent, but also an exalted place in the science of our region. The results and the work that he has left behind, in scope and importance, represent a continuous value and deserve admiration and respect. An indelible mark of Academician Ribár will serve as a guide to future generations of scientists, especially the young professionals. The character and the work of Academician Ribár will remain in a continuous and wonderful memory of all the members of VANU, his associates, colleagues, and numerous generations of students, that knew him as a tireless worker and an outstanding man. A great thank you to our colleague Ribár for all that he has done for the benefit of our sciences and for VANU.