Obituary: Magda Zlámalová

It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Magda Zlámalová. The memory of her was written by her supervisor, Professor Ladislav Kavan, and Dr. Květa Stejskalová, with whom she collaborated in popularization of science.

We have met with Magda Zlámalová on various professional and social occasions since the beginning of her tenure at the J. Heyrovský Institute of Physical Chemistry. Our professional contacts strengthened since September 2019, when Magda was admitted to the postgraduate studies of inorganic chemistry at the Faculty of Science at the Charles University, and I was appointed her supervisor. By a coincidence of unhappy circumstances, Magda's studies fell into a difficult time, complicated initially by the Covid-19 pandemic, and later by her own illness, which she fought bravely, but unfortunately in vain.

In spite of these enormous problems, Magda fulfilled all the prescribed exams and other obligations defined by the study plan; except for the state doctoral exam and the dissertation defense, which was planned for this year. We published jointly 9 articles in high-quality journals during 2019-23. Magda had been involved as a team member in 5 national and one international grant, she had introduced a new experimental technique (atomic layer deposition) in our institute, and more. With reference to these facts, I can  skip the pathetic sentences, which are usually written in an obituary, because in the case of Magda Zlámalová, it is really not necessary; and those who knew her, will surely agree  with me. Perhaps just one personal note, which illustrates Magda's indomitable personality: at the end of 2023, a few months before her death, we were still exchanging work-related e-mails, for example, concerning the annual evaluation at the Institute and the University. Needless to say, Magda's annual evaluation at the Faculty of Science was always at the highest grade (A).

Ladislav Kavan


I spent a lot of time with Magda and the other students during their studies at the university when they were working on their theses and/or   dissertations. Magda was one of the first to join the team of science promoters who communicated chemistry to visiting students. We spent time on preparing the assignments and then on the teaching itself. The contact with the pupils, passing on information and skills was something she found very satisfying. She was part of the team that prepared the assignments with their manuals and we even trained the high-school teachers. Magda also subsequently had several of her trainees repeatedly as part of the Open Science project of the Czech Academy of Sciences, where she led a didactic chemistry internship on forensic analysis. She was involved with us in the program at the Science Fair or the Researchers' Night, and we gave presentations together on popularization of science at conferences. She had the personal gift of communication and patience that is so important in the education of children and youth. Many of us will also remember her from various non-scientific events. too, as Magda never refused to help with exhibitions or theatres for children during children's days. Her velvet voice was also heard at our exhibition openings. Magda passed away, and it will be a long time before we can accept her loss.

Květa Stejskalová