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23. 10. 2013 10:28

prof. PhDr. Jan Sokol, CSc.

(born 1936)

He completed his apprenticeship as a jeweller and worked as one, later he worked as a mechanic. In 1958 he passed his distance study leaving exams and in 1963 started his distance studies of mathematics at the Faculty of Mathematics and Physics of the Charles University. In the years 1964-1990 he worked as a programmer, later as a team leader at the Mathematical Machines Research Institute. He published several books and articles about computers, translated philosophical and religious literature and was among the first wave of Charter 77 signatories. From 1990 Sokol was a member of the Přítomnost (The Present) magazine editorial board. In 1991 he started teaching philosophy, anthropology and religious studies at the Pedagogical Faculty and the Faculty of Philosophy of the Charles University. In 1997 he was named associate professor and in 2000 professor. Between 2000 and 2007 he had been the first dean of the Faculty of Humanities of the Charles University, where he still teaches.

After the first free elections Sokol was a Deputy for the OF in the Federal Assembly from 1990 to 1992. He was a Vice-Chair of the House of Nations and the Chair of the OF deputies club and the parliamentary delegation to the European Parliament. From January till July 1998 he was the Minister of Education, Youth and Sports in the Tošovský government. On 28th 2003 he was the coalition’s candidate in the third presidential elections, where he narrowly lost to Václav Klaus in the final round.

Hi is well known, among others, for his criticism of the expulsion of Germans from Czechoslovakia and in May 2007 he was among the first signatories of the declaration of the League against Anti-Semitism. In 2008 he was awarded the highest award of the French Republic, the Order of the Honour Legion in the rank of officer. Jan Sokol is a laureate of the extraordinary award PŘÍSTAV (Harbour), which he was given by the Czech Council of Children and Youth.

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