G7 Science Conference: The role of academies and academy networks in policy advice

The international conference, organised by Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei under the auspices of the G7 Academies initiative and Italy’s Presidency of the G7 2017 summit, brought together in Rome on 3 May prominent representatives of the national and international academies, as well as Italian high level officials to discuss the role of national academies and international academy network in providing policy advice to institutions.

Credit: G72017 Italia

ALLEA President Günter Stock participated in a panel discussion with representatives of international academy networks of Africa, Asia, America and Europe, and brought to the table a European perspective on the roles and responsibilities of academies to advise institutions. President Stock highlighted both the achievements of European academies in shaping the framework conditions for research in Europe and  more recent efforts in the field of science for policy field by providing science advice on societally-relevant matters on the European level.  In this regard, President Stock presented the work of the SAPEA project (Science Advice for Policy by European Academies), which connects academy networks across Europe to support the European Commission’s Scientific Advice Mechanism (SAM) on the development of science-based policies.

“We can no longer afford to sit in our ivory tower or we are running in real danger of drifting into obscurity, in modern terms we would call it alternative facts”

Recalling the most recent political developments in Hungary and Turkey, President Stock emphasised the challenges ahead for science and academies to defend the principles of academic freedom in times of political attacks and disdain to science and facts. “We can no longer afford to sit in our ivory tower or we are running in real danger of drifting into obscurity, in modern terms we would call it alternative facts”, said President Stock.

Furthermore, the conference presented the work of the G7 Academies initiative, chaired by Accademia dei Linzei President Alberto Quadrio-Curzio.  The coordinators of the working groups presented joint statements on three main topics: the relevance of culture heritage, the challenge of neurodegenerative diseases and the role of science, technology, innovation and infrastructure in the new economic growth.

The event was attended by high level Italian officials and personalities, including Sergio Mattarella, President of the Italian Republic, Romano Prodi, former Prime Minister and President of the European Commission,  Dario Franceschini, Minister of Cultural Heritage, and Pier Carlo Padoan, Minister of Economy and Finance.

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