Lem was born in Lviv to a family of a laryngologist. Between 1940 and 1941, after the occupation of Lviv by Soviet troops, he was not allowed to study at Lviv Polytechnic, as he wished, and due to his father’s connections was accepted to study medicine at the Lviv Medical Institute. In 1946 Lviv was no longer on Polish soil and Lem, like many other Poles, was resettled to Krakow where he took up medical studies at the Jagiellonian University. He received a certificate of completion of studies, nonetheless refused to take the final exams in order to avoid obligatory military service.
Lem made his literary debut in 1946 with a number of works of different genres, including poetry and a novel “The Man from Mars“. His pieces of work explore philosophical themes through speculation on the technology, the nature of intelligence, humanity’s place in the Universe, the impossibility of understanding an aliens’ intelligence and also despair about human limitations.
“The Invincible” published in 1964 was one of the first novels to explore the ideas of microrobots, a smartdust, artificial swarm intelligence and evolution of non-living matter. This is a brilliant book that presents a sad story where Lem sets out the concept that any contact between two fundamentally different cultures is highly unlikely to result in any form of meaningful communication and, knowing the nature of human beings, may prove disastrous.
Lem’s books gained him a reputation of one of the greatest writers in the history of science fiction, have been translated into 41 languages and have been sold in over 45 million copies.
Text written in April 2019.
Martyna Krupinska a volunteer from Poland, loves traveling, hiking and skiing.
Erasmus+ is a programme of the European Commission embracing the fields of education, training, youth and sports during the period 2014-2020. One of the major aspects is the cooperation between the different fields where the programme acts, hence contributing for a diverse and rich Europe.
Amongst the several goals of the programme, the following are prioritised: the objectives of the Europe 2020 Strategy, including the headline education target; the aims of the strategic framework for European cooperation in education and training (ET 2020), including the corresponding benchmarks; the sustainable development of Partner Countries in the field of higher education; the overall goals of the renewed framework for European cooperation in the youth field (2010-2018); the objective of developing the European dimension in sport, in particular grassroots sport, in line with the EU work plan for sport and the promotion of European values in accordance with Article 2 of the Treaty on the European Union.
In order to achieve these goals, the Erasmus+ has several action policies. The Key Action 1 (KA1) is directed towards the mobility of people; Key Action 2 (KA2) for the cooperation for innovation and the interchange of good experiences; and Key Action 3 (KA3) which is for the support of reformation policies.
Since 1991 the University of Madeira Students’ Union has developed a wide incentive policy for voluntary work. In 2013 the Students’ Union started the process to receive, send and coordinate Erasmus+ projects of the European Voluntary Service, in order to have a larger influence in the volunteering field. The Union received its first volunteer withing the ambit of a KA1 project in 2014. Many efforts have been done to allow young people from Madeira to take part in several initiatives in Europe, as well as propose several projects allowing young people from several countries to work in the projects of the Students’ Union of the University of Madeira. The main goal of the voluntary work is the contribution of the volunteers to the communities and places they will be staying, being their work not rewarded with payment.
We believe that the European Voluntary Service is a mechanism full of experiences, allowing the approved candidates to have the privilege of taking part in these projects and benefit the places and communities where these volunteers will be staying.
Since 2013, the University of Madeira Students’ Union has received volunteers that have collaborated in several activities and initiatives. Besides being able to enjoy a wonderful experience which will contribute to their personal and professional growth, they are able to contribute in a unique way to the community in which they are inserted and to join dozens of volunteers from the University of Madeira.