2011

Estonian Academy of Sciences publishes analysis of research strengths of Estonia, 21 December 2011, Tallinn

21-12-2011

Jüri Engelbrecht, Vice-President of the Estonian Academy of Sciences, is editor of an important overview and analysis of the strengths of the Estonian science system.
The volume produced thanks to contributions from leading scientists from across the country’s premier science locations brings together articles in four broad fields: “Astronomy and Physics”, “Information [Technology] and Engineering”, “Biology, Geology and Chemistry, incl.Medicine”, and “Humanities and Social Sciences”.After an introductory chapter that looks and the changing environment in which the reforms and advances of the Estonian Higher Education and Research system took place – focusing on the period after national independence – the volume comprises a total of 22 detailed essays, which sketch the progress of science in the country through the eyes of case studies that are presented by some of Estonia’s leading scientists. The volume closes with a critical study by J. Allik on “Estonian Science estimated through bibliometric Indicators”.
Linkq Estonian Academy of Sciences

Academies invited to propose new members of ERC Scientific Council, 21 December 2011, Brussels

21-12-2011

The European Research Council, which has become a key institution in the funding of top-class basic research in Europe, is seeking to renew its Scientific Council in view of an envisaged doubling of its overall budget for the ERC under the new Framework Programme “Horizon 2020”.
The ERC Identification Committee is consulting the main science organisations in Europe, among them ALLEA and a number of other inter-academy consortia (such as EASAC or also EuroCASE for the engineering sciences, etc.), for proposals of candidates. The Scientific Council will exercise scientific leadership which is authoritative and absolutely independent, combining wisdom and experience with vision and imagination. Its membership should reflect the full disciplinary breadth of the research community across Europe, encompassing the exact sciences and engineering, as well as the social sciences and the humanities, with individual members enjoying an undisputed reputation as research leaders in their respective fields. Next to those who have exercised scientific leadership at European or world level, also younger next-generation leaders can be considered. Members must not be considered as representatives of a particular field of research and should not perceive themselves as such. Collectively, the members are expected to demonstrate a broad vision of important developments in research, ideally including also a range of experiences not only from across Europe but also from other research intensive countries. Relevant experiences may include support for and promotion of basic research, organisation and management of research and knowledge transfer, an understanding of national and international research activities, relevant research funding schemes and the wider political context in which the ERC is situated. Membership therefore should include those with experience in universities, research institutes, academies, funding bodies, research in business and industry, ideally in more than one country.

Founding meeting of European Alliance for the Social Sciences and Humanities, 20 December 2011, Amsterdam

20-12-2011

Hosted by ALLEA in Amsterdam, the founding meeting brought together a wide variety of actors and stakeholders in European SSH research, such as umbrella organisations of academies, research councils, ministries or universities, as well as European networks, such as ERA-Nets and Net4Society, university consortia, subject associations and selected national research performing agencies.
Chaired by ALLEA Executive Director R. Klein, the meeting helped to develop a shared view of the role that SSH research can and should play in Europe and beyond, reviewed expectations of potential members and shared experiences with similar undertakings elsewhere, agreed on its first tasks, as well as its future membership and outreach. A first area of intervention that was discussed at the meeting is the relationship between classical SSH research and security research, as contemplated for the new Framework Programme “Horizon 2020”.EASH aims to (1) articulate a single voice for the strategic promotion of SSH research, offering, where appropriate, a single contact point and platform for interaction with the varied fields of SSH research in Europe; (2) feature achievements of SSH-research across Europe, making a case for the creativity and value of our research, and open up avenues for original, interdisciplinary and intersectorial research; (3) strengthen the capacity of SSH research communities to engage in policy discussions and to advise policy, and to encourage mutual learning between different institutional settings; (4) develop a consistent argument about the nexus, between a well-endowed, sustainably nurtured basic research environment and the capacity to produce innovating research for the use of society at large. EASH membership is open to similar organisations, and will eventually also involve other European and global non-academic stakeholders. The EASH Planning Group had launched an Open Letter to the European Commission on the importance of SSH research for realising the objectives of the Europe 2020 strategy, with the tools of the new Framework Programme “Horizon 2020” (2014-2020) and through other means of national and local research activities, see: http://www.eash.eu/openletter2011/
Linkq ALLEA Interest Group Social Sciences and HumanitiesDocuments Programme R. Klein, “Origins, mission and vision of the European Alliance for the Social Sciences and Humanities”

ALLEA discusses at UNESCO the evolving role of global Humanities research, 19 December 2011, Paris

19-12-2011

Following earlier exchanges on the role of SSH research in analysing and promoting social innovation and on the potential of global Humanities, this meeting looked more closely at specific areas of future collaboration.
Recent outcomes of UNESCO-sponsored research include publications on areas as diverse as “Urban Policies and the Right to the City in India”, on female migration under a human rights perspectives and on “Teaching Philosophy in Europe and North America”.From 24 to 26 November 2011, the “World Humanities Forum” held at Busan (Republic of Korea), brought together researchers and artists in order to examine ways to mobilize the humanities and social sciences at the service of humanist values in the age of globalization, seeking recognition of their potential contributions of SSH in addressing major global issues. Organized by UNESCO, the Korean Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, and a number of other Korean sponsors, the Forum was convened under the heading “Universalism in a Multicultural World”, with sessions focusing on issues such as cultural relativism and universalism, identity in the age of globalization, conflicts among civilizations, global ethics and dialogue of cultures. The next round of exchanges will include the setting up of a global research agenda and an involvement of the relevant regional science organisations.Linkq UNESCO World Humanities Forum

Published volume by ALLEA President and Vice-President on the role of Academies in Europe, 16 December 2011, Amsterdam

16-12-2011

ALLEA President Jüri Engelbrecht and Vice-President Nicholas Mann publish a volume on the history and role of Academies in rejuvenating and advancing science in Europe.
The volume comprises a number of essays by the ALLEA President and Vice-President in which they highlight some of the unique functions of Academies in promoting science and education in Europe and elsewhere. Among the many topics dealt with, essays touch on the potentialities for collaboration and division on labour between the various science organisations in Europe, as well as on the solidarity between Academies and the scientific communities they represent, and the shared ambition to identify and nurture excellence in the pursuit of scientific knowledge. N. Mann expands on an earlier publication (Annual Report 2009) in which a detailed account of the various activities of Academies in support of young researchers was given (Young Academies etc.). Next to two more essays that illustrate the scientific interests of Engelbrecht and Mann, there is a selected list of some of the more important science policy speeches given by the President in the course of the last years of their presidential tenure.
Document The Sum of the Parts: ALLEA and Academies

Stefan Luby (SAVBA) and Marie-Therese Flanagan (RIA) appointed as acting Presidency by ALLEA Board, 16 December 2011, Amsterdam

16-12-2011

The extraordinary ALLEA Board meeting convened to discuss a number of membership issues and, following the end of the presidential service of Jüri Engelbrecht (Estonia) and Nicholas Mann (UK), approved as acting presidency Board members Stefan Luby (Slovakia) and Marie-Therese Flanagan (Ireland) who will take up office on 1 January 2012.
Acting President Professor Dr Sc Dr h.c. Ing. Stefan Luby, formerly President of the Slovak Academy of Sciences (1994-2009), has been representing SAS on the ALLEA Board since 2008. A graduate of the Faculty of Electrical Engineering at Slovak Technical University, he was engaged as principal investigator in 16 national and 12 international projects, sponsored by, among others, NATO, CNR, the Research Institute of Electrical Engineering and the Institute of Physics. Topics included amorphous semiconductors, superconductivity in multilayers, multilayers for soft X-ray optics, laser technologies for synthesis, patterning and deposition, GMR, nanoparticles etc. etc. He is author of some 340 scientific papers, 570 other papers, and 8 patents, has more than 450 citations, is a member of Association of Slovak writers, and author of six books, including the volume “My Intellectuals” about personalities who contributed to sustaining world peace and human dignity. He has served on the European Security Research Advisory Board, is member of 17 scientific societies and serves on the scientific councils and governing boards of 9 universities. He has been teaching in HE institutions for 20 years, supervised 8 PhD / CSc students, and is winner some 60 awards and prizes, such as the Pribina Cross of the I. class, the Cross of the President of the Slovak Republic and the Crystal Wing, and of four honorary doctorates (Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Vatican City). Acting Vice-President Professor Marie Therese Flanagan, Professor of Medieval History at Queens University Belfast, serves as International Relations Secretary of the Royal Irish Academy which has been a member of the ALLEA Board since 2008. A graduate of University College Dublin and of the University of Oxford, Marie Therese Flanagan is a former Vice-President of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland, a former President of the Ulster Society for Irish Historical Studies. Currently she serves on the Royal Irish Academy’s Executive Committee and Council, and is a member of the RIA’s Committee of Polite Literature and Antiquities. In the UK context, she is a member of the AHRC Peer Review College. Her research interests are focused on medieval Ireland, span the conventional historiographical division between the Gaelic and Anglo-Norman periods, and have generated a number of important monographs, most recently “The transformation of the Irish church in the 12th century” (2010).
Linkq Governance / Board (Steering Committee)

 

Ambitious restructuring of Hungarian Academy’s network of research units, 15 December 2011, Budapest

15-12-2011

Reforms were a precondition for obtaining substantial additional government funding, which is expected to help boost Hungary’s scientific standing in Europe.
After the decisive restructuring of the research network of the Academy, a major boost in research funding is envisaged for 2012 for the research organization of some 2,800 research in 40 research units. At the special general assembly, almost ¾ of members voted in favour of a plan that foresees that rapid reorganisation of the research units into ten large multidisciplinary research centres. The new centres will have revised research agendas, will be given modernized management structures and will benefit from the advice of international advisory boards. Only a few institutes – for Nuclear Research, for Experimental Medicine, for linguistics research, as well as the Alfréd Rényi Institute of Mathematics and the Computer and Automation Research Institute and the Biological Research Centre of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences will continue their normal operations. The new research network of the Academy, on the other hand, will comprise Agricultural Research, the Humanities, Astronomy and Earth Sciences, energy research, Economics and Regional Studies, ecological research, social sciences, natural sciences, as well as the Wigner Research Centre for Physics. The new network perceives itself as modelled on the example of the German Max-Planck Institutes. There will be intense competition for grants between institutes, and directors’ position will be advertised internationally after a transition period.

ALLEA and KNAW host international symposium “Plagiarism – legal, moral and educational aspects”, 14 December 2011, Amsterdam

14-12-2011

Following up on earlier work by ALLEA on research misconduct (fabrication, falsification, plagiarism, and related phenomena), this symposium sought to examine the rising incidence of cases of plagiarism among students and researchers in the contexts of conducting science under conditions of cultural change.
Largely prepared by the Dutch members of ALLEA’s Standing Committees on Science and Ethics (P.J.D. Drenth) and on Intellectual Property Rights (D.W.F. Verkade), this symposium took its cue from the observation that in all reports on forms of research misdemeanour plagiarism comes out as the most frequent transgression. Yet, plagiarism is not recognised as a major form of research misconduct by many, especially by younger students. Plagiarism management has therefore become a major challenge of present day universities. While plagiarism was described as the presentation of words, work or ideas of others as one’s own, there was also agreement among speakers from Europe and the US and an audience from 15 or so countries that as a moral problem plagiarism goes beyond a legal concept that would want to see it simply as violation of ‘intellectual property rights’. In their welcoming remarks KNAW President Robbert Dijkgraaf and Ludger Honnefelder, Chair of ALLEA Standing Committee Science and Ethics from the Union of the German Academies, drew attention to the recent joint work by ALLEA and ESF on the European Code on Research Integrity.The symposium was organised in four sessions. In a session “Contexts and Concepts”, Pieter Drenth, by way of introduction, placed plagiarism in the context of ensuring responsible conduct in research. Bernt Hugenholtz (Univ. Amsterdam) looked at legal, historical and moral aspects of the concept of plagiarism, before Ayse Erzan (Istanbul) treated plagiarism in textbooks. In the session “Plagiarism and the internationalisation of scientific collaboration” different institutional approaches to identifying instances of plagiarism were discussed by Bernt Pulverer (EMBO) spoke about the steps taken by journal editors, T. Vinther (Norway) / Dirk de Hen (KNAW) on the view from research integrity offices, and Melissa Anderson (Univ. of Minnesota) on plagiarism issues arising in international research collaborations. Under a heading “Technological fixes, high-tech solutions?” the plagiarism detection tool of the Dutch firm Ephorus was presented, followed by a critical comparative analysis of detection tools. In a session on ethical writing in the modern university Miguel Roig (US; St. John’s) spoke on the pedagogy of prevention, while Michelle Berghadaa (CH; Univ. Geneva) described her institutional approach to combatting plagiarism at universities.
Links: q Webpage Symposium q Programme

ALLEA Standing Committee on IPR at meeting on “Open Science”, 14 December 2011, Brussels

14-12-2011

Under the title “Discovery Reinvented? The Promise of European Open Science“, the Royal Society of London organised an afternoon event at “The Centre” in Brussels, presenting first reflections arising from its working group on “Science as a Public Enterprise” (SAPE), as European extension of a series of public and town hall meetings held across the UK.
Sir Roger Elliott (Royal Society) and Professor Joseph Straus from the Max Planck Institute for Intellectual Property and Competition Law in Munich – former and current chair of ALLEA’s Standing Committee on Intellectual Property Rights respectively -, were chair and keynote speaker in a session entitled “A qualified openness: commercial value and confidentiality”, which discussed limitations on openness arising from legitimate commercial interests, and from considerations related to confidentiality, privacy and security. The session focused on current debates over reform to the EU Data Protection Directive and on the need to make progress in the coordination of cross-Europe protection of intellectual property. It asked to what extent a culture of “open science” would be attractive to S&T-based companies that consider investing in Europe and what benefit could accrue to innovation in Europe. Other sessions were chaired by Professor Geoffrey Boulton Fellow of both Royal Societies, London and Edinburgh, and chair of the SAPE working group, and dealt with topics such as “The challenge and the promise of data-heavy networked science” which faced the following dilemma: more and more “science is done by a fast increasing number of scientists with equipment that produces vast amounts of data. If experiments are to be independently validated, theories tested, or data efficiently used by others, data must be accessible, assessable and re-useable. Moreover, citizens increasingly seek to interrogate the evidence that underlies scientific pronouncements in areas of public concern.” Another session focused on building the European research infrastructure to support open science (development of e-Infrastructures, digital libraries and large scale computing capacity, and responsibilities for the curation of and access to data). Linkq Science as a public enterprise

ALLEA Standing Committee discusses Responsible Research and Innovation, 13 December 2011, Amsterdam

13-12-2011

The European Commission’s intention to develop a governance and normative model for responsible research and innovation was one of the key topics of the ALLEA Standing Committee on SDcience and Ethics.
Meeting in Amsterdam at Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW), the Committee discussed among other topics the plans of the European Commission to develop a governance and normative model for responsible research and innovation. The current plans build on brainstorming workshops and expert synthesis of the subject matter. The Committee felt, however, that the current emphasis on “innovation” is likely to advance an affirmative (rather than a normatively sound) framework; the emphasis on industry collaboration – suggested also by the xamples provided, for which steering would be required, i.e.: ICT, nanotechnologies, synthetic biology, security research etc. – requires that a very wide area of contested fields of interaction be covered, including the notion of “open science”. The Committee stressed that a more comprehensive approach, dealing adequately with the continuum of basic and applied, academia- and industry-based research would be more appropriate, especially in the light of the Commission’s equally outspoken intention to enhance intersectorial mobility.
Linksq Programmeq ALLEA Standing Committee on Science & Ethicsq ALLEA Standing Committee on Science & Ethics – restriced, for members only

European Science Academies hold workshop on concentrating solar power, 8-9 December 2011, Athens

09-12-2011

Members of the European Academies Science Advisory Council convened at the Academy of Athens for a business meeting on 8-9 December 2011.
Next to the regular business and reporting, meeting participants attended a lecture by EASAC’s Brian Heap entitled “Towards Sustainable Production and Consumption”, and, on 9 December 2011, a workshop on “Solar Energy – Concentrating Solar Power”, jointly organised with the Academy of Athens. The workshop programme included a presentation on the renewable energy programmes of Greece by a representative of the Greek Ministry of the Environment, Energy and Climate Change, and a presentation of the conclusions of a study by the Bank of Greece on “The Environmental, Economic and Social Impact of Climate Change in Greece”, and speakers from other European countries. Recent EASAC reports were featured, as was the Desertec initiative.

Seminar and meetings of ALLEA at the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, 6-7 December 2011, Kiev

07-12-2011

Executive Director R. Klein, invited to seminar and a series of meetings in Kiev, welcomes, on behalf of ALLEA, the wish of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine to become more active in the ALLEA expert bodies.
The host academy had prepared a full programme of visits and encounters. On 6 December in the morning, Klein was given a tour of the core collection of the future Museum of Science, planned by the group currently representing Ukraine in ALLEA’s Working Group on Science Education. This was followed by an in-depth discussion about methodologies and institutional interactions with the directors of the Minor Academy of Sciences, the Institute of the Gifted Child and national institute responsible for teacher training. Klein was impressed by the nation-wide coverage of the efforts of all three to identify and support talented students.A seminar on Horizon 2020 was introduced by a keynote on “Key directions of Socio-economic Sciences and Humanities in Ukraine till 2020 and promising areas of cooperation with European partners”, given by the Vice-President on SSH of the Ukrainian National Academy of Sciences, Director of the State Institution “Institute of Economics and Forecasting of NAS of Ukraine, Professor Valery Heyets. Klein spoke about the action undertaken by ALLEA in the run-up to the framework programme. A number of potential research projects for European collaboration were also presented, e.g. «Systemic Risks of Financial Instability in Europe: ways for assessment and minimization” (Chief Researcher of the Institute for Economics and Forecasting and Chief Adviser of the Analytical centre of the Council of the National Bank of Ukraine, Professor Unkovska Tetiana), and on Energy Security (Head of the Sector for Forecasting of Energy Complex development of the Institute for Economics and Forecasting of the UNAS, Dr Doctor Podolets Roman). There was also a meeting with the Vice Preuident for International Affairs, which touched upon the recent EU-Ukraine meeting on scientific cooperation and other issues of mutual interest.
Linkq National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine

ALLEA director at meeting of Swiss Academies on new culture of Humanities research, 1 December 2011, Berne

01-12-2011

The Swiss Academy for Humanities and Social Sciences (SAGW) held this meeting entitled “Für eine neue Kultur der Geisteswissenschaften?” in Bern, discussing new challenges and opportunities for Humanities research.
Linkq Meeting “Für eine neue Kultur der Geisteswissenschaften?”

Central European V4 Academies meet in Slovakia, 29-30 November 2011, Smolenice / Bratislava

30-11-2011

The Academies of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia held their annual meeting to exchange experiences, coordinate on science policy issues, and honour young scientists.
The V4 Academies Forum 2011 was held in Smolenice (Slovakia) and hosted by the Slovak Academy of Sciences. Among other matters discussed, the meeting reviewed “Horizon 2020 – a new framework to support research and innovation” in a session chaired by Domonkos Szász of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. It also took a critical look at the possibilities for cooperation and membership of research organizations in the European associations in the light of the latest developments in ESF and ALLEA. This session was chaired by Jaromír Pastorek, the President of the Slovak Academy of Sciences.Further with a view to funding oppoetnities a session discussed using European structural funds to finance research activities, and the need to arrive at shared principles on the evaluation of research institutions. The meting was the occasion to renew and Protocol to the Agreement on Scientific Cooperation between the Slovak Academy of Sciences and the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic. Day two of the meeting saw the V4 Young Researcher Awards being handed out – this year for promising early career scientists in the chemical sciences, followed by short lectures of the awardees about key elements of their research.

ALLEA director speaks at network meeting of European Childrens’ Universities, 29 November 2011, Ankara

29-11-2011

Following up on earlier exchanges with the European project supporting the network of childrens’ universities, a new European project was presented and discussed at this launching conference.
The FP7 projects of SiS-CATALYST and EUCU.NET aimed at fostering mutual learning between the two networks through a joint conference under the title “From Providence to Evidence: Governance and Strategic Development of SiS Activities for Children and Young People in the Context of Change” hosted by the University of Ankara. The conference focused on advancing the engagement with children and young people in science communication, also with a view to changes in governance and institutional development of science organizations. Empirical evidence was presented, and conference participants started to engage in policy development on regional, national and European levels, notably with a view to enhancing broader access to higher education.Keynote speakers included J. van Iersel, President of the Europe2020 Steering Committee (European Economic and Social Committee), who shared his view of the strategy, and ALLEA executive director R. Klein, who presented the experiences American and European Academies had made with science education as a vehicle for inclusive education and opening up career prospects.Linkq Website EUCU.NET

ALLEA director invited to speak at ICSU conference on new academia-industry relations, 22-26 November 2011, Stockholm

26-11-2011

Following exchanges at the last meeting of the ALLEA Standing Committee on Science and Ethics in Prague, ALLEA Executive Director R. Klein was invited to speak about the position of the Academies vis-a-vis the new trends in European R&D policies.
The international conference on private Sector – academia interactions was held at Sigtuna Foundation near Stockholm. The conference was organised by ICSU’s Committee for Freedom and Responsibility in the conduct of Science (CFRS), in collaboration with the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences (IVA). It sought to identify ways in which scientists, companies and society would all benefit from a more intense collaboration between universities and industries. Sessions with speakers from academia, industry and the public sector highlighted a variety of opportunities for collaboration between academic institutions and industry, business and finance, but also pointed to possible conflicts of interest. The promise of profits accruing from successful relations with companies may also increase the competition between academic institutions, and may induce changes in research profiles and organisational structures. This interdependence may ultimately undermine the principle of free and unattached academic research. Discussions were planned to lead up to the formulation of a statement, which would contribute to the development of best practice recommendations, that would be applicable globally. perspective will be maintained.
Linkq Programme for the International Workshop on Private Sector – Academia Interactions

 

An independent science academy founded in Turkey, 25 November 2011, Istanbul

25-11-2011

Sixty seven out of the 138 members of the Turkish Academy of Sciences have resigned since it became clear, with a second decree issued on the 2nd of November 2011, that the government would not revoke its decision to directly or indirectly appoint two thirds of the Academy membership.
On the 25th of November 2011, seventeen former members of the Turkish Academy of Sciences have founded the “Science Academy Society,” as an independent, self-governing, civil-societal organization to promote scientific merit, freedom and integrity. The charter of the Science Academy was officially approved on the 2nd of December 2011. The Science Academy made its public debut on the 3rd of December 2011, at a well attended press conference which received considerable coverage in the mainstream news media.
The Science Academy will endorse the time-honored traditions of integrity, independence and social engagement, and endeavor to spread these traditions within the academic milieu. It will strive to contribute substantially to the improvement of science education and the public perception of science. The Science Academy will also provide informed and independent advice to the public on matters related to new scientific developments, science policies and science ethics.
Members of the Turkish Academy of Sciences who were elected prior to the governmental decree of 27 August 2011 have been invited to join the new Science Academy upon signing a declaration of adherence to the principles of academic excellence, freedom and integrity. At present the membership has reached 39. The Science Academy will continue to freely elect new members according to the highest standards of research and scholarship in the Natural Sciences, Mathematics, Social Sciences and Humanities.
It is the express desire of the new Academy to join international unions of science academies. The Academy will also seek close cooperation with other Academies and civil-societal organizations with similar aims both at home and abroad.

ALLEA at expert workshop on researcher career development, 21-22 November 2011, Strasbourg

22-11-2011

The meeting discussed recent research and activities and prepared an international conference in Luxembourg in February 2012.
The 2nd plenary workshop of the “European Alliance on Research Career Development” was hosted by the European Science Foundation as part of their Member Organisations Fora in Strasbourg, France. It served primarily to assess progress made in the various on EARCD Working Groups (notably on the research career development framework), and to review recent research and reports. Among the reports heard, there was a presentation on the “EU Mobility Strategy” under the heading Framework on Research Careers, a review of the “Researchers Report” and a state-of-play report on the preparations for the “E-axess Researcher’s Card”. A US researcher gave an overview over career tracking surveys and a speaker from the OECD Working Party on Research Institutions and Human Resources spoke about “Transferable Skills Training for Researchers” and how they would support career development and research. Other contributions were heard and the EUA presented their view on “Training of Researchers and Research Careers” from a global perspective. Other topics discussed included the Mobility Survey Analysis and an overview over perspectives on future Marie Curie Actions.The meeting also served to prepare the International Workshop on tracking researchers’ careers, to be convened under the auspices of François Biltgen, Minister of Higher Education and Research of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, on 9-10 February 2012 at the Conference Centre of the Chamber of Commerce, Luxembourg.

ALLEA at World Science Forum, 17-19 November 2011, Budapest

19-11-2011

Reviewing “the changing landscape of science”, the Forum ended for the first time with the endorsement by participants of the final session in the Hungarian Parliament of a the endorsement of the Declaration on a New Era of Global Science, read out by József Pálinkás, President of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
From the HAS Press releases and website: To make the world a better place in 2031: …experts working also on the strategic plans of ICSU for the 2012-17 period.
A scenario approach is necessary to answer the future challenges awaiting the different nations of the globe, said dr. John Marks (ICSU Taskforce on Foresight, chair, the Netherlands) explaining the importance of ICSU’s foresight process, the role of megatrends and key drivers. New scientific developments require international collaboration. At a time of global interdependence organizations need to be better prepared without being overwhelmed by short term issues.The focus of the lecture was identifing diverse international exploratory scenarios. Factors influencing international science are megatrends – factors whose future trends are reasonable and clear like demography, natural resource availability, global environmental change, human health and well being, technological change, availability of information. Key drivers are directions like state sovereignty, regulations, global science and society values, beliefs, scientific integrity and self regulation, international collaborative research, infrastructure, nature of scientific needs, science education. Science gained its independence through new breakthroughs. Together with nationalism we face a power struggle for global leadership. Under such circumstances it is worth keeping the vision: global science is thriving in all its diversity and is responding to societal challenges.
The next speaker, Francoise Caillods (WSSR senior managing editor) talked on overcoming the knowledge divide. Social scientists are in high demand, they are present everywhere but visible nowhere, she said. Economists are criticized for not having foreseen the 2008 crisis and not knowing how to cope with the present one. Sociologists and political scientists facilitate identifying major trends, nevertheless they are criticized for not providing clear answers to key issues. Yet social science is more crucial than ever to understand how human beings behave, interact with each other, with the physical environment. It is necesary to consider the meaning of poverty for those who experience it. There are no standardized solutions to all as people and countries do not see the world the same way. Social science can help to understand the role of cultures, values, beliefs in shaping the ways group are going to change.Apart from the geographical divide there is one between mainstream science versus alternative approaches, also in the quality of research carried out. Capacity divide – there are striking inequities across regions, countries, also in the numbers of researchers in certain countries. http://www.sciforum.hu/programme/speakers/nebojsa-nakicenovic.html
Nebojsa Nakicenovic (International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, Technische Universitat, Wien) spoke of social conduct for sustainability in his lecture. He called for new science for conservational changes, and improvement in duplicating energy efficiency by 2030.
Linkq World Science Forum

ALLEA President at Joint Programming Event on Public-Public Partnerships, 9-10 Nov 2011, Brussels

10-11-2011

Jüri Engelbrecht was invited to the annual Joint Programming event which considered progress made on public-public partnerships and the involvement of member states programmes.
By way of introduction, and following the video address by the Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science sent a video message, Anneli Pauli from DG RIS emphasised the new nature of “Horizon 2020” which will be more than a regular Framework Programme with a budget of ca. 80 billion €. Also a representative from the European Parliament (M. da Graca Carvalho) welcomed the meeting. Overall, the meeting was attended by some 350 participants, mostly from ministries, funding agencies, etc.The meeting was organized in plenary and parallel sessions. Progress in several of the initiatives were featured in the plenary sessions (neurodegenerative diseases, metrology, energy research, active healthy ageing, etc.). The parallel workshops sought to provide new insights on questions raised in Joint Programming activities and in ERA-Net management.
Discussions and talks showed that the complementarity of possible large-scale collaborative arrangements still needs to be better understood (compare JPI and ERA-NETs, article 185, etc). The importance of networking as preparation for successful programmes was emphasised (COST). Many problematic aspects well known from public-private partnerships return also in the context of large-scale public-public partners ships, such as IPR issues. The added value of the European Forum on Forward Looking Activities in the context of defining emerging JPI themes will need to be demonstrated. The ALLEA President remarked that the new body should be used to make sure that also the „missing“ Grand Challenges would be addressed. In 2012, a conference on “Grand Challenges” identified for “Horizon 2020” will be organized.
The Joint Programming Event was followed by the 4th NETWATCH Advisory Board Meeting on 11 November 2011. ALLEA President is member of the Advisory Board of the JRC-managed NETWATCH project, which seeks to map the levels and measures of preparedness of national research and innovation systems to be fully integrated players in the ERA. Responsibility for managing and organising the NETWATCH project lies with the JRC’s Institute for Prospective Technological Studies (IPTS) in Seville. The management and support team having been completely replaced according to the EC rules a new emphasis has been added to the project activities with regard to the how to add JPIs to the NETWATCH system. As the European Research Area is reaching completion (in 2014), and as the ERA Framework Directive is taking shape, it is likely that the variety of monitoring tools be merged into a single one.
Linksq Joint Programming event on Public-Public Partnerships q JRC Netwatch

Commissioner at ALLEA/British Academy meeting: SSH crucial for Europe, 10 Nov 2011, London

10-11-2011

Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, gave a keynote speech on “The future of Social Sciences and Humanities in Horizon 2020” at the meeting organised at British Academy.
Reacting to concerns articulated by ALLEA and its British Academy – led Interest Group on Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH) in Europe, that the new Framework Programme “Horizon 2020 might seek to scientifically tackle “Grand Societal Challenges” without involving the expertise of social and human sciences, the Commissioner succeeded in calming spirits by a well-balanced speech that gave a clear and convincing view of the value of SSH research for Europe. She acknowledged the mobilisation of the SSH across Europe and beyond through the “Open Letter” that had been prepared by the inter-agency group on SSH in Europe (http://www.eash.eu/openletter2011/), which highlights some of the vital insights that Socio-economic Sciences and Humanities (SSH) can contribute to addressing Europe’s and the world’s Grand Societal Challenges.The Commissioner received very positively the recommendations of some 25 Academies, universities and other organisations that defend the interests of the scientific community – such as science ministries, research councils and subject associations. Recommendations pointed to the important role of SSH expertise in advancing research into environmental change and adaptation, cultural heritage and European identity, migration and education, institutions of democratic governance worldwide, and the global changes in the balances of cultures and economies in the 21st century. Máire Geoghegan-Quinn also agreed with the praise for the usefulness of funding instruments that mobilise and coordinate national funding streams, such as ERA-Nets, and other institutions that aim at making accessible cutting edge research technologies and can cluster research efforts across the continent and beyond, such as large-scale, distributed and networked research infrastructures.The audience also alerted the Commission to the issue of coordinating and supporting small SSH disciplines and to find new ways of creating synergies that would align investment through structural and R&D funds in order to promote the advancement of SSH research in Central and Eastern Europe.
The symposium with the Commissioner was followed by a meeting of the ALLEA Interest Group (with invitees from a number of other large SSH organisations and networks from Germany, France, the Netherlands etc) that sought to come to an agreement on the key elements in response to the consultation on the ERA Framework Directive.
The following day (11 November) saw a working meeting of the planning group for the establishment of the European Alliance for the Social Sciences and Humanities, which has grown out of the Inter-agency Task Group for SSH in Europe. Linkq ALLEA Interest Group SSH Document Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, European Commissioner, keynote speech “The future of Social Sciences and Humanities in Horizon 2020”, British Academy, 10 November 2011

Engineering Academies discuss water and food security in Europe, Madrid, 10 November 2011

10-11-2011

The Euro-CASE Annual Conference 2011 was hosted by the Spanish Real Academia de Ingeniería in Madrid.
The scientific conference programme focused on food security and climate change issues and addressed the water requirements needed to produce sufficient food in the future for Europe and beyond. Sessions dealt respectively with sustainability and food security in Europe, the water and food connection, food security and climate change in Europe and technological options for sustaining food security under water scarcity.The Spanish Real Academia de Ingeniería (Royal Academy of Engineering of Spain, RAI) is the most recently created of the country’s national Academies; it is in effect the first national Academy created under King Juan Carlos I in 1994, with currently 60 full and 42 corresponding members from 16 countries. As all national Academies, the RAI is a public entity sponsored by the Ministry of Education and Science. RAI’ s objectives are to promote the quality and competence in Spanish engineering, fostering studies, research and progress in those sciences on which it is based, in the techniques required for its application and in the methods that encompass its creative activity.
Linkq Conference programme

EU Science Academies present new statement on concentrated solar power, 7 Nov 2011, Brussels

07-11-2011

Coinciding with its 10th anniversary, the European Academies Science Advisory Council presented its new statement “Concentrating Solar Power”.The latest statement, entitled “Concentrating Solar Power: its potential contribution to a sustainable energy future”, describes the contribution that solar power plants can make to help ensure a sustainable future for the world’s energy supply. The paper argues that solar thermal power plants are a reliable technology that can play a major role in bringing about the European grid switch to renewable energies. What distinguishes solar thermal power from other types of renewable energy, is the fact that it can deliver electricity as needed helping, in the process, to stabilise the grid. The statement was compiled by a working group chaired by Robert Pitz-Paal, co-director at the Institute of Solar Research of the German Aerospace Centre in Cologne.The report was presented during the 10th anniversary celebrations of EASAC at the Palais of the Belgian Royal Academies in Brussels. Speeches by Annette Schavan, German Federal Minister of Education and Research, and Lord May of Oxford, former Chief Scientific Adviser to the British Government and former President of the Royal Society framed the event. The secretariat of EASAC is hosted by the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina. Linkq Report Concentrating solar power: its potential contribution to a sustainable energy future

ALLEA Member Academies support innovative teacher training in the sciences, 4 Nov 2011, Paris

04-11-2011

The French Academy of Sciences convened a working meeting of the expanded Core Group of the ALLEA Working Group on Science Education and pioneering science education centres from across Europe.
Chaired by the coordinator of the IAP global science education programme Pierre Léna and by ALLEA WG chair Odile Macchi (both Académie des Sciences) the meeting sought to identify areas of intervention where Academies of Sciences can support the pioneering efforts of research and training centres specialising in innovative methods in science education. Institutions in some 15 countries were represented.ALLEA’s Working Group, which is operating as European Council of the IAP science education programme, has been advocating “Inquiry-Based Science Education” (IBSE) for several years, and is seeking to involve the National Academies in the effort of arguing the value of this pedagogical approach.
Experts and education managers agree that the pre- and in-service training of science teachers (at both primary and secondary schools) is key to gradually introducing IBSE into curricula. There also is agreement that exclusively extra-curricular activities in this field are not sufficient to promote science and technology careers among youngsters.The meeting reviewed progress in a number of countries and sought to identify areas, where the political, scientific and cultural support by National Academies could help strengthen the reform movement.
Linkq ALLEA Working Group Science Education

ALLEA Board and IC discuss vision for ALLEA strategy post-2012, 28 October 2011, Amsterdam

28-10-2011

The meeting explored what fresh approaches ALLEA could use in representing the National Academies of Sciences and Humanities in the arena of European science organisations.
Chaired by IC and Board member Ed Noort (former foreign secretary of Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences), this meeting of members of the Board and of the IC aimed at identifying elements for a work-plan and new strategy for the second period of the lustrum 2010-2015. Günther Stock, President of the Union of German Academies of Sciences, who contributed to the discussion by sketching his view for the role that the Academies can and should play in contributing to and enriching the discussions about Europe, its identity and its future. The meeting also put an emphasis on the nature of the Academies who are ALLEA members, which comprise all fields of science, including the social sciences and humanities.

ALLEA invited to founding meeting of national SSH-alliance Athéna, 27 October 2011, Paris

27-10-2011

ALLEA Executive Director R. Klein had been invited to the founding meeting of Athéna, the French national alliance on Social Sciences and Humanities.Athéna was officially established on 22 June 2010 by Alain Fuchs, president of CNRS, the French National Centre for Scientific Research and brings together the key actors of SSH research in France (Centre national de recherche scientifique CNRS), Conférence des Grandes Ecoles CGE), Conférence des présidents d’université CPU), and Institut national des études démographiques INED). Its main objective is to arrive at a better and more coherent coordination of SSH research in France.Among its functions is the strengthening of relevant centres for the exchange with foreign SSH researchers, such as Institut Universitaire de France, excellence chairs, Instituts d’Etudes Avancées, Maisons des Sciences de l’Homme etc., and to interact in a meaningful fashion with the traditional and more recent research infrastructures (libraries, collections, archives etc). Elements and institutions of internationalisation of SSH research in France (Ecoles françaises à l’étranger, networks of French research institutes abroad, etc.) and foresight also fall into its remit.
Linkq Website Alliance Athéna

 

ALLEA invites to dialogue with Islamic World Academy of Sciences, 22-24 October 2011, Doha

24-10-2011

The conference entitled ‘The Islamic World and the West: Rebuilding Bridges through Science and Technology’ examined the history of science, contemporary science diplomacy and the relationship between science and religion.The Islamic World Academy of Sciences (IAS), launched in 1986, serves the 57 member countries of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) as well as OIC communities worldwide. The academy sees as its key functions to promote the values of modern science in the Islamic world, to act as forum for debating scientific issues in modern societies and to be a repository of the history of science in Islamic civilisation. The conference brought together the scientific elite from the Muslim World as well as representatives of European and American Academies. The meeting was addressed by a number of political leaders from countries as diverse as Jordan, Kirgizstan, and Malaysia. Mohammed Hassan, IAP vice chair, mentioned four types of ‘bridges’: between countries, nations, and regions; between disciplines and multiple communities of practice; between scientists and policy (or decision) makers; and finally bridges across society-at-large by developing grassroots support for science through better communication and community engagement. Participants also decried the lack of a unified policy audience across the Islamic World when it comes to science issues; fewer than half OIC member countries have national academies, and many of those that exist are often poorly resourced. ALLEA’s honorary president Pieter Drenth offered reflections on the relationship of religion and science, drawing comparisons between East and West and pointing out the role of science academies in advancing dialogue. ALLEA executive director R. Klein pointed to the need to incorporate, into the work of science academies, also the social and human sciences, in order to be better equipped to tackle societal challenges. He issued a number of invitations to collaborate on issues on the Grand Challenges, on the Mediterranean Union, on science education, and on the responsible conduct of research in international research collaborations.A number of contributions addressed the issue of science education (incl. Ahmad Djebbar who showed an excellent example of how the history of Islamic science can be turned into a pedagogical tool, now also translated for use in the Anglo-phone countries thanks to an initiative from Malaysia) and Yves Quéré who referred to the French program “La main à la pâte”. Linkq Website Islamic World Academy of Sciences

ALLEA invited to EU Conference on the Financial Framework 2014-2020, 20-21 October 2011, Brussels

21-10-2011

The conference discussed the scope and impact of the funding framework that will support EU policies in the period 2014-2020.
Scope and shape of the next EU Multiannual Financial Framework are currently under discussion on the basis of the European Commission’s proposals which had been submitted in June. The conference explored how the Commission’s proposals resonate with other EU institutions and stakeholders and with the EU Member States. It sought to promote a shared reflection on the type of added value which the EU can provide and, consequently, about the way in which Union policies should be funded in the future. With contributions from the highest level of EU policy, the current, foreseeable and less predictable developments in the state of public finances across Europe loomed large. Numerous attempts were made to revisit necessary and potential synergies between national budgets and the EU budget.A first session, entitled ‘The Big Issues in the Next MFF’, was devoted to identifying key questions in the MFF process. It assessed the specific impact of the EU budget on activities which are envisaged to directly affect EU citizens. It provided an opportunity for a variety of actors at European, national, regional and local levels – towns and regions, civic bodies, NGOs and businesses, stakeholders of different actors of society, including science and technology, and many others – to engage in a wide-ranging dialogue with representatives of the European Parliament, the Council and the European Commission and of Europe’s national parliaments, on the substance and the details of the next financial framework.Linkq Website Conference on the EU Financial Framework 2014-2020

IHCP and science academies report on impact of engineered nanomaterials, 18 October 2011, Brussels

18-10-2011

Following an agreement between JRC and the European Academies Science Advisory Council have, a first report was published under the title “Impact of engineered nanomaterials on health: considerations for benefit-risk assessment”.
The report which presents a state-of-the-art overview over knowledge available on safety aspects of engineered nanomaterials was compiled by a group of 13 experts from both institutions. The report coincided with the adoption by the European Commission of a recommendation on a new common definition of nanomaterials, based on scientific advice from the Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks (SCENIHR) and the JRC. It stresses the need for a harmonised scientific and regulatory framework and points to the need for a stronger interdisciplinary collaboration. In the EU, nanotechnology is expected to make important strategic contributions towards economic gain and societal benefits. Despite the continuing scientific uncertainty and even controversy about the safety of nanomaterials, the report argues that there is only a limited amount of scientific evidence about nanomaterials and human health risks. It is recommended that policy development takes these issues seriously, as uncertainty risks leading to biased public debates and may negatively influence the willingness of business to invest further in nanotechnology in Europe. Linkq Impact of Engineered Nanomaterials on Health: Considerations for Benefit-Risk Assessment

40th anniversary of Montenegrin Academy of Sciences, 13-15 October 2011, Podgorica

15-10-2011

ALLEA President Professor Jüri Engelbrecht attended the celebrations for the 40th anniversary of the Montenegrin Academy of Sciences in the capital Podgorica.As the Montenegrin Academy of Sciences celebrated its 40th anniversary with a solemn assembly and conference in Podgorica on 13-15 October 2011, ALLEA President Professor Jüri Engelbrecht attended the celebrations and drew attention to the importance to the role of National Academies in bringing together scientific communities across Europe and beyond.The celebrations also reflected on the foundation, more than 60 years ago, of the Scientific Society of Montenegro. The Republic’s president, in his message, highlighted the role of the Academy in working towards the future of the country as a knowledge-based and ecological society in Europe. The Academy had been leading the very substantial study of Montenegro in the 21st century.
Linksq National Strategies of Research in Smaller European Countries, J. Engelbrechtq Montenegro in the 21st Century – In the Era of Competitiveness

Reflections on links between formal and informal science education, 13-14 October, Napoli

14-10-2011

The ALLEA Executive Director discussed with the first “Comenius NetsEU Conference” on enhancing the impact and better connecting pilot projects in Inquiry-Based Science Education in formal and informal settings.
The two-day international conference of the EU-funded “Network to improve non-formal science teaching in Europe”, organized by Fondazione IDIS at “Città della Scienza” in Naples (IT), brought together institutions, associations and people involved in different Comenius projects and other initiatives in Europe primarily in what has been described here as non formal science education. The conference was associated to the programme of the 9th edition of the “Convention Nazionale sul mondo della scuola”; the main language of the meeting was Italian.
In a presentation “Advances in Inquiry-Based Science Education (IBSE) and reflections on possible links between formal and informal science education”, R. Klein reviewed the principles and successes of the French science education programme “La Main à la Pâte”, and similar actions elsewhere in Europe and the world over. Building on discussion with the European Commission and national ministries, he drew attention to the necessity to let experimentation be accompanied by efforts at system-wide, institutional implementation. Also the Fibonacci project was presented, as well as the new Italian IBSE project SID (Anna Pascucci, ANISN).
In plenary discussions and workshops the need for reliable and sustainable platforms for new educational material and best practice studies was argued. In particular, Klein articulated concern about the project nature of the existing (typically: EU-funded) information platforms, which cast a shadow of doubt over their sustainability. He reiterated the offer discussed earlier with Lincei and ANISN to consider supporting a more sustainable platform in a national context, which could also serve a s a model for other countries.
The visit to Naples was also used to visit – together with Giancarlo Vecchio, member of Accademia dei Lincei and representative in the ALLEA Working Group Science Education – the pilot centre for the new national Italian IBSE project, based at the Zoological Station Anton Dohrn in Naples.
Linksq ALLEA Working Group Science Educationq NetsEU

Academies and other ICSU members prepare for Rio +20, 12-14 October 2011, Helsinki

14-10-2011

The Delegation of the Finnish Academies of Science and Letters hosted the regional workshop for Europe on Science and Technology Development for Sustainable Development in Helsinki.
The Rio +20 Regional Workshop for Europe on “Science and Technology Development for Sustainable Development” was held in Helsinki, Finland, on 12-14 October 2011. Organized by the Group of the European ICSU members in cooperation with UNESCO and the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture, it aimed to discuss the key themes of the upcoming UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD 2012 – the Rio +20 Summit). The workshop – one of five such regional workshops around the globe – brought together natural scientists, social scientists, and engineers from across Europe (as well as some US North American speakers), and representatives from main societal stakeholder groups as well as policymakers. The outcome of the workshop should be a set of joint statement as input into the European intergovernmental preparatory meeting (Geneva, CH, 1-2 December 2011). The workshop was therefore structured along three thematic working groups: Green Economy, Institutional Framework, and New and Emerging Challenges. Linksq ICSU/UNESCO Regional Workshops and on the consultative processq Official UN Rio +20 Summit homepage

Towards a European Alliance for SSH research, 10 October 2011, Berlin

10-10-2011

The ALLEA Executive Director joined a small preparatory meeting to prepare a broader alliance of SSH stakeholders in Europe.
Hosted by EERA – the European Educational Research Association – at their offices in Berlin, the meeting brought together a small group of representatives of supranational networks of SSH-related umbrella organisations (ALLEA Interest Group SSH; ESF Standing Committees; Net4Society network of NCP’s), of international university-based networks (such as ECHIC and RISE), of Europe-wide disciplinary-based associations (EERA) and of national research organisations (e.g.: Leibniz).Discussed were the position of SSH in the future research programme and possibilities for supra-national, national and discipline-specific organisations and communities to reinforce the argument for a strengthened presence of SSH research – including educational research – in the upcoming new EC Framework Programme “Horizon 2020”.The EERA membership is made up of more than 20 national and regional Educational Research Associations from all parts of Europe. From 1994 to 2008 EERA was constituted as a charity under British Law based in Scotland; since 2008 EERA has been based in Berlin, Germany and is constituted as a “Verein” (i.e. Charity under German Law). EERA depends on the active participation of the national associations to take forward its mission of promoting educational research in Europe and of fostering cooperation between associations of educational researchers.Links q ALLEA Interest Group Social Sciences and Humanitiesq EERA (European Educational Research Association)

Members of ALLEA Academies receive Nobel Prizes, 5 October 2011, Stockholm

05-10-2011

ALLEA joins congratulations of scientific communities and institutions the world over to this year’s prize winners.The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences awarded this year’s Nobel Prizes for outstanding scientific discoveries to a number of excellent scientists who are also members of ALLEA Member Academies. Dan Shechtman (Technion Institute of Technology, Haifa) received the 2011 Nobel Prize for Chemistry “for the discovery of quasicrystals”; Shechtman has been an elected member of the Israeli Academy of Sciences and Humanities since 1996. Among the three laureates for astronomy who received the award “for the discovery of the accelerating expansion of the Universe through observations of distant supernovae”, Brian P. Schmidt had become in 2008 an elected fellow of the Australian Academy of Sciences, of the US National Academy of Sciences, and an elected Foreign Member of the Spanish Royal Academy of Sciences.When the Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institutet pronounced the awardees of this year’s Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their discoveries concerning the activation of innate immunity among the three awardees was also Jules A. Hoffmann, from University of Strasbourg (1974-2009) and former President of the French National Academy of Sciences (2007-2008).Linkq Nobel Prize

ALLEA observer at Governing Council meeting of ESF, 29-30 September 2011, London

30-09-2011

The European Science Foundation, at its last Governing Council meeting before the constituting meeting of the EuroHORCs successor organisation Science Europe, discussed a number of issues with regard to the transition to and cooperation with the new organisation.
The Governing Council made strong recommendations to the upcoming ESF Assembly for the succession of the ESF President, CEO and Chair of the Finance and Audit Committee. Against the background of the financial needs of the emerging work-programme of SciEu, the meeting debated a number of budget scenarios, which sought to secure the funding of current ESF science activities, and enhance as much as possible the continuity of current science policy initiatives (e.g.: Member Organisation Fora) in the transition phase. R. Klein represented ALLEA at the Governing Council and articulated the positions of the Academies, for example with regard to the continuation of the collaboration in the field of Research Integrity.
The meeting heard excellent presentations of the current scientific and science policy related activities of the ESF Standing Committee LEESC and of the ESF Marine Board. The expert boards in particular expressed the need for continuity of the visibility and of their policy work, as they are recognised as key actors in the policy-making and priority-setting exercises at European and national level, expanding also into global debates. The meeting heard that the EuroHORCs successor group “ScienceEurope” had taken steps to be established as an association under Belgian Law in Brussels.
While a speaker from Imperial College emphasised the need to better coordinate Brussels and national science policies and programmes, future ScienceEurope members were not yet ready to articulate a position as to the role national funding agencies will play in the future. This is in line with what has been spelled out in the statement “EUROHORCs vision for the realization of the European Research Area” (30 August 2011): Science Europe will present its analysis of the progress achieved so far on the road towards a European Research Area (also with the help of the ESF/EuroHORCs Roadmap) to Commission and Member Organizations no later than January 2012.
Linkq European Science Foundation

ALLEA Interest Group SSH preparatory meeting, 30 September 2011, London

30-09-2011

The ALLEA Executive Director met with members and staff of British Academy to prepare a symposium with Commissioner Geoghegan Quinn and a round table with MEP’s on the role of SSH in “Horizon 2020” later this autumn.
Against the background of earlier inter-academy meetings in Rome (December 2010) and Brussels (March 2011), the position of SSH in the future research programme of the European Commission (2014-2020) “Horizon 2020” and possibilities for supra-national and national organisations and communities to reinforce the argument for a strengthened presence of SSH research were discussed.As national governments are articulating their positions with regard to “Horizon 2020”, and as the joint position of directorates at the European Commission is beginning to emerge, there is concern in the SSH communities that the envisaged merger of SSH research and (industry-driven) “security research” into a single challenge “Innovative, inclusive and secure societies”, as had been proposed by the Commission in discussions with stakeholders at the beginning of summer, will not allow SSH research to make the contributions needed to make “Horizon 2020” a success. Furthermore, also the absence of a string SSH presence in the other challenges from the programme design phase onwards – as opposed to an integration as an add-on when all content dimensions have been decided – is seen with great concern.Links q ALLEA Interest Group Social Sciences and Humanitiesq British Academy

 

ALLEA is observer at 30th ICSU General Assembly, 26-28 September 2011, Rome

28-09-2011

ICSU debated new global programmes and preparations for the Rio+20 meeting in 2012 at the GA held at the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in Rome and elected new leadership.The ICSU membership endorsed two new international interdisciplinary initiatives: the Earth System Sustainability Initiative (still in the planning phase), which will bring together different scientific fields and societal stakeholders to address sustainability through five processes (forecasting; observing; confining; responding; innovating). ESSI is being co-designed by an alliance of science organisations, funders and UN policy bodies. It will build on the existing ICSU and other global change programmes currently co-sponsored by alliance members, with a focus on mitigation, adaptation and new pathways to sustainable development. The Assembly also approved a science plan for the second new initiative relating to urban health and wellbeing, which proposes a new conceptual framework for addressing the factors that influence health and wellbeing in the urban environment. With regard to the conduct and universality of science, the new wording endorsed by the Assembly emphasises more explicitly the responsibilities of scientists and calls upon ICSU members to uphold and promote these responsibilities. The meeting also discussed the strategic plan 2012-2017.New officers and members of the Executive Board were elected for the next three years (president-elect for 2014-2017: Gordon McBean, CA, meteorologist and climate change expert). Professor Yuan Tseh Lee’s presidential inaugural speech focused on the critical role that science must play in leading the transformation towards sustainable development. The European members met and discussed candidates for the election of the ordinary members of the Executive Board. The voting showed that it is very difficult for smaller European countries to be represented in the election lists; Academies representing those countries might need to develop a common position prior to the meetings. R. Klein represented ALLEA, while President Jüri Engelbrecht led the Estonian delegation.
According to the procedural rules, the Resolutions Committee was named in order to check the possible resolutions proposed by members for stronger ICSU involvement in society. The Resolutions Committee is instructed to be firm in rejecting all proposals for resolutions which have not been discussed at the General Assembly. The Resolution Committee includes among its members ALLEA President Jüri Engelbrecht (Estonia) and Board members Marie-Therese Flanagan (Ireland). A resolution on “Science on Disaster Risk”, specifying the role of governments in the process, was rejected unanimously, because the issue had not been discussed at the GA.
The General Assembly was preceded, on 26 September 2011, by the “Science and Society Day”, organised in the premises of the CNR and followed by a visit to the Accademia dei Lincei and Villa Farnesina, and scientific talks given by Lincei President L Maffei on “Brain and development” and by G. Setti on “Astronomy and society”.
Linkq ICSU General Assembly

Academies and scientific unions discuss science literacy, 26 September 2011, Rome

26-09-2011

ALLEA President and Director attended the “European Science and Society Day” organised by the Italian National Research Council (CNR) on the sidelines of the ICSU General Assembly.The programme of the “European Science and Society Day”, organized on behalf of the Group of European National ICSU Members, had been prepared by Marie-Lise Chanin (Académie des Sciences, FR), Loucas Christophorou (Academy of Athens, GR) and Attilio Boriani (Accademia dei Lincei, IT). Sponsored and hosted by the Italian National Research Council (CNR), the event entitled “Science literacy and the responsibility of scientists” started with presentations on science education by Roberta Johnson (Chair of the ICSU Review Panel on Science Education) and by Pierre Léna who spoke about the global and European science education programme of the Academies and proposed the programme as a possible and realistic conduit for the implementation of some of the ICSU recommendations, and ended with a review of the UK experience by Mary Radcliffe. The key underlying notions were defined as follows: “Science Literacy is the ability of common people to know and understand scientific concepts and processes. It enables people to make informed decisions, participate in civic affairs, and improve economic productivity. Governments should invest significantly in research on this matter.” Among the responsibilities of scientists, on the other hand, were the need to promote “the universal acceptance of science by society … …a more effective transmission of the intellectual and cultural value of science”.Other speakers were Jürgen Mittelstrass (Philosophy of Science, Univ. Konstanz), speaking on “values and credibility in science and scholarship” and Enrico Predazzi (Physics, Univ. of Turin) on “the third mission of university (on their interaction with society and schools)”. In the afternoon, Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei organised a visit of Palazzo Corsini and Villa Farnesina and a scientific session with Academy President L. Maffei speaking on “Brain and development” and G. Setti on “Astronomy and society”.
On the sidelines, ALLEA also discussed with the Delegation of the Finnish Academies the preparations of the IAP/ALLEA global science education conference in Helsinki 2012, and with Loucas Christophorou of the Academy of Athens on a joint meeting (Academy of Athens and ALLEA) on Values in Science (2012/13).
Link q Science and Society Day

Supporting Science Education across the Mediterranean, 26 Sept 2011, Rome

26-09-2011

ALLEA Working Group Science Education founding chair Pierre Léna and ALLEA Executive Director meet with President and Education Committee of Accademia dei Lincei in Rome.Accademia dei Lincei had accepted to join the Core Group of the ALLEA Working Group Science Education (IAP/ALLEA Regional Science Education Programme Council). The founding chair of the ALLEA Working Group Science Education, Pierre Léna (Académie des Sciences) and ALLEA Executive Director R. Klein met with the Lincei President and members of the Academy’s Education Committee of in Rome to discuss how best to include into the programme for the 2012 global science education conference: “Strategic Planning for Science Education: new issues” in Helsinki, Finland, a specific ALLEA session aimed at sharing IBSE experiences and resources with non European Arabic/Islamic or developing countries across the Mediterranean, with a special emphasis on fostering the presence of girls in science education, and the aim to enlarge their presence in S&T degree courses. Close interaction, it was argued, and the sharing of European IBSE resources with Euro-Mediterranean and neighbourhood countries from the Arab World also imply that the interfacing with the European Union services be expanded to advance the inclusion of Science Education into the action plan of the Union for the Mediterranean. Linkq ALLEA Working Group Science Education

ALLEA Hon. Pres. P. Drenth at 125th anniversary of KANTL, 23-24 September 2011, Gent

24-09-2011

During the 2-day anniversary symposium, the Belgian / Flemish Koninklijke Academie voor Nederlands Taal- en letterkunde (KANTL) discussed the role of Academie in the Dutch-language areain the past, present and future. KANTL was established in 1886 as “Koninklijke Vlaamsche Academie voor Taal- en Letterkunde”, and was meant to stimulate the cultural and literary life in Vlaanderen. The Academy was the first official institution of the Kingdom of Belgium where research and science were conducted in Flemish, including the natural and medical sciences. With its current focus on linguistics and cultural studies the Academy fulfils an advice function in Vlaanderen. With its “Centrum voor Teksteditie en Bronnenstudie”, the Academy is home to an important research centre.In the context of the celebratory symposium, honorary ALLEA president Pieter Drenth spoke on the role of an Academy of Sciences in national and international perspective. Another panel discussion concerned the future of the literary book in the digital age. Linkq Koninklijke Academie voor Nederlands Taal- en letterkunde (KANTL)

Executive Director speaks on European SSH policies at Ministry, 23 September 2011, Paris

23-09-2011

The French «Ministère de l’Enseignement Supérieur et de la Recherche» hosted a meeting on the role of Social Sciences and Humanities in the EC’s Framework Programme.
Following a welcome by M. Moroni, director of Affaires Européennes et Internationale at the Direction générale de la Recherche et de l’Innovation, a series of sessions presented opportunities for SSH research in the current Framework Programme. The meeting was attended by numerous representatives of French university, HE and research organisations. A Table Ronde was convened to discuss “Les sciences sociales et humaines dans le 8è PCRD : quelles perspectives ?”. Next to a number of representatives of French research organisations, speakers included representatives of the European Commission, and, on behalf of the ALLEA Interest Group Social Sciences and Humanities, R. Klein. He reported the positions of the Academies with regard to SSH in “Horizon 2020”, but also the activities of the inter-agency Task Group, where the Academies work together with research councils, universities and NCPs. On the part of the Ministry, J. Dubucs insisted on the necessity to mobilise for the research conducted at European level, also in the networked research, the best cutting-edge work, and to expand, as a basis for further collaborative research in Europe and beyond, the network of research infrastructures (which, for SSH, also often means networks of research institutes).
Linkq ALLEA Interest Group Social Sciences and Humanities

ALLEA on professional development of science teachers, 23 September 2011, Paris

23-09-2011

ALLEA Executive Director R. Klein discussed with Académie des Sciences and La Main à la Pâte a project to design structures for the continuous professional development of science teachers across Europe.The meeting discussed, among other things, the role of formative assessment in inquiry-based science education and the implications for continuous professional development. Reviewing the conclusions of a background paper by Wynne Harlen, the meeting agreed that developing formative assessment strategies form an important part of the professional development of teachers.Inquiry-based science education that enables learners to develop an understanding of ideas of science and ideas about science, see this “understanding” as a process, “a continuous function of a person’s knowledge”. Due to its process-like nature, a pedagogy for achieving understanding needs to rely on constant monitoring and on adjusting challenges. In a similar way, “the formative use of assessment is a continuing cyclic process in which information about students’ ideas and skills informs teaching and helps learners’ active engagement in learning. It involves the collection of evidence about learning as it takes place, the interpretation of that evidence in terms of progress towards the goals of the work, the identification of appropriate next steps and decisions about how to take them”. Assessment will be one of the key themes of 2012 IAP/ALLEA global science education in Helsinki.Linkq ALLEA Working Group Science Education

ALLEA President at annual meeting of Academia Europaea, 19-22 September, Paris

22-09-2011

The ALLEA President attended the 23rd annual meeting of Academia Europaea and the annual conference entitled “Chemistry, Sciences, Culture and Society in the making of Europe” with which AcEu marked the International Year of Chemistry 2011.
During the short business meeting, President Lars Walloe informed about past and upcoming activities. Jerzy Langer argued that Academia Europaea is the only organisation in Europe that can represent the voice of individual scientists (a claim made equally by many other organisations, such as the associations of academics in Salzburg, Brussels, Paris). He also explained the expansion of the office in Poland, thanks to an agreement with Wroclaw Municipality which offer 100 sqm office space rooms with two staff on the pay-roll of the Town Council. The mayor of Wroclaw was awarded a diploma of honorary member.
The annual conference was entitled “Chemistry, Sciences, Culture and Society in the making of Europe” to mark the International Year of Chemistry 2011. The French Chemical Society was actively involved in organizing the conference; as the organisers wrote that “the conference programme highlights, the structuring role of chemistry in our practical and theoretical way to relate to nature, stressing its broader impact on our way of thinking and on the history of civilization.” A tour of the University of Pierre and Marie Curie showed the buildings where Marie Curie has been working. The slogan for the IYC is «Chemistry – our life, our future»; objectives include to (1) increase the public appreciation and understanding of chemistry in meeting world needs; (2) encourage the interest of young people in chemistry; (3) generate enthusiasm for the creative future of chemistry; (4) celebrate the role of women in chemistry or major historical events in chemistry, incl. the centenaries of Marie Curie’s Nobel Prize and the founding of the International Association of Chemical Societies.
Linkq International Year of Chemistry 2011

ALLEA advances discussions on Social Innovation, 19-21 September 2011, Vienna

21-09-2011

Together with Milena Zic-Fuchs, Chair of the ESF’s Standing Committee for the Humanities, ALLEA’s R. Klein organised and chaired a session at the conference “Challenge Social Innovation-Innovating Innovation by Research” under the title “Innovate the Concept – Humanities and Social Innovation”.
Following an invitation to reflect on the role of Humanities in the currently evolving research landscape on social innovation, R. Klein accepted, together with Milena Zic-Fuchs from the Croatian Academy of Arts and Sciences (Standing Committee for the Humanities of the European Science Foundation), to co-chair a session at the conference “Challenge Social Innovation-Innovating Innovation by Research”. Speakers a the session included Jo Lo Bianco, president of the Australian Academy for the Humanities, Sean Ryder from HERA, Cristina Sanchez-Carretero from CSIC, Maurice Biriotti from SHM, Ilan Chabay from IHDP, and Edeltraud Hanappi-Eggert from OeAW.
Speakers shared their reflections on how better to inject current and future Humanities research into debates about the notion and into the practice of Social Innovation. They sought to advance the conceptualisation of “social innovation”, claiming a field well beyond the area of social entrepreneurship, and identified new research needs following an integrated concept of innovation that would include, inter alia, cultural studies and cognitive sciences. Humanities research, it was argued, can analyse the cultural and cognitive processes creating those socio-economic and cultural conditions that require or enable „social innovation“; it allows us to think forward where further social change – perhaps helped by „social innovation“ – can or should take us; Humanities research places the study of the acquisition and transformation of understanding and knowledge in cultural and historical contexts of worldviews and values. Without an understanding of the „different (and evolving) cultures of knowledge“ it will be impossible to design „social innovation“ processes that can address the Grand Challenges in an inclusive and sustainable way; ultimately, Humanities research deals with root causes of events and evolutions, with deep-seated cultural patterns, profound personal desires, and long-term aspirations of indivuals and societies; its insights provide the fundamentals that can help „social innovation“ to be a meaningful and successful contribution to societies in transition that need new knowledge and new ways of transmitting and using it.
In pursuing this inquiry during the session, we expect to be able to contribute to the Vienna declaration on future research needs, enriching thereby the process of designing content dimensions for the new European Framework Programme (2014-2020) from the point of view of the Humanities. We have tentatively called the sub-session “Language, literature and intercultural literacy”, where you will probably team up with Sean Ryder from Galway (IE), another key coordination figure in European Humanities research.
With some 350 scholars from more than 50 countries the conference was probably the largest gathering of concerning the scientific analysis and research on social innovation since the topic attained public recognition during the past years. The audience included many practitioners from the public and private sectors as well as from NGO’s alongside researchers, and allowed for a good mapping of the current state of the art pertaining to research on social innovation. The conference will produce the Vienna declaration on social innovation which is expected to be handed over to the Commissioner for Research and Innovation in early November.Linksq Conference websiteq Australian Academy for the Humanities

Swiss Academies: evaluation of transdisciplinary research, 14-16 September 2011, Bern

16-09-2011

A number of members of the ALLEA Working Group Evaluation participated in and spoke at the conference “Evaluation of inter- and transdisciplinary research: experiences and reflections on best practice” convened by Swiss Academies.The conference was the 4th and final conference dedicated to practices, methodologies and epistemologies of inter- and transdisciplinary research and teaching. If earlier conferences had focussed on problem-framing (2008), transdisciplinary integration along the whole research process (2009), and on the implementation of research in a “life-world context” (2010), the 2011 conference brought together experts on about evaluation models for inter- and transdisciplinary research proposals and processes and their outcomes in their larger scientific, socio-political and cultural contexts.Inter- and transdisciplinary projects, characterised as they are by the presence of a variety of disciplines, approaches and, frequently, practitioners in various professional fields outside academia, are often poorly served by general evaluation methods that have been developed for disciplinary work. What is missing are established frames of reference and bench marks against which performance and outcomes are measured. The conference offered elements for a systematic overview and critical review of the current methodologies and aimed at setting an agenda for the evaluation of inter- and transdisciplinarity (ID and TD) as a tool for learning, improvement, innovation and excellence of this type of research.Linkq Website Evaluation of inter- and transdisciplinary research

ALLEA at stakeholder seminar on ERA Framework, 13 September 2011, Brussels

13-09-2011

Executive Director R. Klein attended the event that launched public consultation on the European Research Area (ERA) Framework on 13 September 2011. The seminar was organised jointly with the European Research Area Committee (ERAC; formerly CREST).About 100 participants convened and discussed the main barriers and areas of untapped potential to the development and completion of ERA. Interspersed by contributions and statements by Commissioner Geoghegan-Quinn and Director General Robert-Jan Smits, speakers gave their views of problems and barriers that must be overcome by 2014. Sessions included “managing and monitoring the ERRA Partnership”, “researchers”, “cross-border operation of research actors”, “research infrastructures” and :”the external dimension of the ERA” (i.e.: global scientific challenges and collaborations), as well as “knowledge transfer and Open Access” and gender issues.The Seminar provided an opportunity for stakeholders, ERAC members, chairs of ERA groups and the Commission to engage in a first series of discussions as precursor to the responses by the organizations invited.ALLEA will consult its members about their assessment of their contributions to the ERA, and seek their reactions to the very substantial, if somewhat formulaic questionnaire prepared by the EC, and will invite the Science Policy Task Force to reflect on the broader implications of the plans for the directive.Linkq ERAC Stakeholders’ Seminar

 

SSH Task Group discusses with Commissioner’s cabinet, 12 September 2011, Brussels

12-09-2011

Following the presentation of the positions of the Task Group and of ALLEA at stakeholder meetings (communities and member states) in July, the Task Group now discussed how best to offer the Commissioner a platform from which to engage the SSH research communities in the challenges of “Horizon 2020”.The Task Group SSH in FP8 met on 12 September with Commissioner’s Geoghegan Quinn’s cabinet to discuss how best to offer the Commissioner a platform from which to engage the SSH research communities in the challenges of “Horizon 2020”. ALLEA attended next to the European Science Foundation’s Standing Committees (apologies); Net4Society; ERA-Nets; and ECHIC [a consortium of Humanities institutes]. The meeting also started preparations for a meeting between the Commissioner and the SSH communities to be held at British Academy. Linkq ALLEA Interest Group SSH

ALLEA opposes change in status of Turkish Academy, 12 September 2011, Amsterdam

12-09-2011

In letters to the President and to the Prime Minister of the Republic of Turkey, the ALLEA presidency, responding to a request of numerous ALLEA Member Academies, argued against the latest changes to the status of the Turkish Academy decreed at the end of August.
Following the recent changes in the legislation with regard to the Turkish Academy of Sciences (TÜBA), ALLEA communicated the expressions of concern from numerous leading scientists and National Academies from across Europe and beyond about the loss of autonomy of the Academy. The letter argues that “the raison d’être of a National Academy is to function as the conscience of science in society, from a position of political, economic and ideological independence, and with the authority of that excellence that is the hallmark of the best scientists in the country.” The recent legislative changes risk depriving the Academy of its independence: the Academy would lose its credibility in nationwide debates on the future role of science and technology, but also in global scientific exchanges.
TÜBA was until 2010 a member of the ALLEA Board. Members of TÜBA actively participate in ALLEA expert committees on science and ethics, intellectual property rights, evaluation and metrics, and science education. Their work is very important for Europe, because they represent the country with the fastest growing student population. TÜBA’s support programme for excellent young scientists (GEBIP) has served as a model in European and worldwide discussions about how best to nurture emerging scientific talent, and how to identify potential future Academy members through a extremely rigorous multi-stage selection mechanism.
The letter asks for a revision of the decision, and declares the willingness to discuss, against the background of other science systems in Europe or elsewhere, alternative strategies to strengthen the ties between science and the world of politics.Linkq Turkish Academy of SciencesDocument ALLEA letter

Academies expect meaningful research information systems, 12 September 2011, Brussels

12-09-2011

At the recent euroCRIS strategic seminar, the ALLEA Executive Director argued, against the background of preliminary exchanges with members, for the development and introduction of research information systems that would reduce the administrative workload of researchers (reporting and applications).For more than ten years reserach information systems and repositories have provided access to output of research (scholarly work and research data). It now seems to be the time to review the current architectures and to analyse their advantages and disadvantages. ALLEA had been asked to speak on “what do researchers want” and, against the background of preliminary exchanges with members, argued for research information systems that would reduce the administrative workload of researchers: ideally, such a tool would be intuitive in use for all reporting purposes and provide easy access to scientific information. Combining access to scientific publications, data and public outreach, it might also be helpful in developing more comprehensive support for showing impact. Linkq euroCRIS

Academies joins anniversary of Centre for Ethics, 7-9 September 2011, Tartu

 

09-09-2011

The ALLEA President and participants in activities of the ALLEA Standing Committee on Science and Ethics attended the celebrations in Tartu, Estonia.After a joint meeting on 7 September of the Board and International Board of Trustees of the Centre for Ethics at the University of Tartu Council Hall, which revolved around discussion on challenges of Interdisciplinary Centres for Ethics (chaired by Toivo Maimets), the international conference was held at Dorpat Conference Centre on 8-9 September 2011. Under the title“Ethics in Sciences and Society” speakers addressed the interfaces between ethics and science, law, human rights, religion as well as “Ethical Issues in Academic Administration”. A Panel also looked into a topic currently addressed by the ALLEA Standing Committee, namely “How to Teach Ethics to Students from Different Faculties?” (chair: Margit Sutrop). Day 2 of the conference was held primarily in Estonian. The conference was organised in cooperation with the Graduate School of Linguistics, Philosophy and Semiotics; the Faculty of Law, the Dept., the Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, DAAD Ostpartnerschaftsprogramm, and the Estonian Ministry of Education and Research (National Programme “Value Development in Estonian Society 2009 – 2013”).

Linkq Ethics in Estonia

ALLEA survey on access to scientific information, 9 September 2011, Amsterdam

 

09-09-2011

By the end of 2011, the European Commission intends to adopt a Communication and Recommendations on access to and preservation of scientific information as part of the Europe 2020 flagship initiative “Digital Agenda”. ALLEA has consulted its members in order to respond to the consultation launched earlier this summer.
The Communication will set out a plan for EC actions, while the Recommendations will detail actions to be taken at member state level. Accessing and re-using knowledge is a key objective of the “Digital Agenda for Europe” and the “Innovation Union”. European researchers, engineers, entrepreneurs, and interested citizens must have easy and fast access to scientific information. ALLEA and its Member Academies articulated its views on a number of key science policy questions: (1) how scientific articles could become more accessible to researchers and society; (2) how research data can be made widely available and how it could be re-used; (3) how permanent access to digital content can be ensured and what barriers are preventing the preservation of scientific output.
A dedicated webpage has been prepared with ample background information, including a collection of views already articulated on earlier occasions by ALLEA and Member Academies. The report reflects activities of Academies in global, European and national arenas, and is based on two surveys and consultations of Member Academies, one focusing on publishing activities and Open Access (late 2009 / early 2010), and one that took its cue from the EC online public survey (summer 2011). Also previous statements by Academies on the subject, the analyses conducted by the Standing Committee on IPR, to a lesser extent also the recommendations made in another context by the IG SSH, as well as work done in preparation of sessions of the interagency working group on research infrastructures have enriched the report. Many Academies have individual Open Access initiatives. Many believe that the EU needs to play a leading policy role in introducing measures to strengthen Open Access, and that also a degree of coordination in Member State policies would be helpful. However, the global character of advanced research needs to be reflected. Also the multiple forms of public-private research partnerships need to be considered and a balance ought to be achieved between the needs of the scientific community, of non-academic users, and of commercial publishers (notably due to the added value of their services: peer review, editing, text enhancement etc.). Some improvements of the current database directive and its implications on fair (re-)use were reiterated (they had been submitted by ALLEA to the relevant Commissioners previously).While overall access to scientific publications is satisfactory in Europe, the mismatch of decreasing library budgets and costs of publications was deplored. The distorting VAT differential for digital scientific publications was found to be inexplicable. Beyond the need to develop new funding models to cover new publication formats, Academies also alerted to the need for stronger professional support at research institutes, allowing them to comply with OA publishing rules, and argued for new, smart metrics that would reflect the usage of OA content. Academies were concerned that the survey on OA was largely limited to articles, whereas much SSH research still values the scholarly monograph (and other fields conference proceedings). Academies felt that access to data is a key issue: insufficient national and regional strategies and policies on access to research data were blamed for the current state of affairs. A strategy of combining national and structural funds for the integration of e-infrastructures, research infrastructures, incl. archives, libraries, museums and scientific collections, was seen as a way forward, considering that the Comité des Sages in their “New Renaissance” report had estimated costs of digitisation at €100 Bio. Responses reflected scepticism as to mandates which should be imposed only once quality control and access issues were technically and institutionally secured. This would include a robust investment in the structures necessary for data deposits, disposal practices and curation.
Academies found that many issues could not be properly addressed in this consultation, such as the questions of access / re-use to public service information, the linkages between IPR regimes, grace periods for publications, and sharing of data, or sector specific issues (e.g.: the case of clinical and other trials). Overall, the format of the survey made it difficult to develop arguments that would elaborate on links to related issues (for example for data policies: national / global; public / private; this communication etc / research infrastructures, Europeana, etc).Linkq Website Access to scientific informationDocument ALLEA report on access to scientific information

Academies invited to discuss improving teacher training, 9 September 2011, Belgrade

09-09-2011

The Committee for Education of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts organizes a conference under the title “Improving Specific Subject Didactics at the Teacher Training Faculties” on 20 – 21 October, 2011 in Belgrade (Serbia).
The Committee for Education of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts has structured the conference in four sections: Mathematics (10), Informatics (7), Sciences (10) and the Humanities (7); the sections will have respectively 10, 7, 10, and 7 contributions. Overall, some 30 presentations from more than 10 countries are expected. The working language will be English and there will be no conference fee.There will also be four plenary lectures by Bernard R. Hodgson (Canada), Roger Establet (France), Dusan Sidjanski (Switzerland) and Peter Menck (Germany).
Linkq For more information: www.sanu.ac.rs/English/Odbor-obrazovanje/ISDTF.aspx

Academies at symposium “Human Rights and Science”, 6-8 September 2011, Strasbourg

 

08-09-2011

Hon. ALLEA President Pieter Drenth and Chair of the ALLEA Standing Committee on Science and Ethics Ludger Honnefelder were among the invited speakers at the symposium organised by Leopoldina’s Human Rights Committee at the Council of Europe.
The International Human Rights Network of Academies and Scholarly Societies (IHRN) had been established in 1993 at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington D.C. The IHRN assists scientists around the world who are subjected to repression solely for having non-violently exercised their rights as promulgated by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Leopoldina’s Human Rights Committee was set up in 2001 and comprises members from Germany, Austria and Switzerland. In July 2003, the Committee joined IHRN. In 2010, the Committee has launched a series of annual workshops, aimed at discussing relevant human rights topics, both in Germany and in Europe. The 2011 meeting had a focus on human rights implications of biomedical research.
At the previous meeting participants had suggested that the European activities function as an ALLEA Interest Group, to be chaired by Leopoldina. A similar approach had also been suggested by the US National Academies of Sciences. At this meeting, the proposal was elaborated upon by P. Drenth, who argued that this could facilitate the inclusion of relevant topics in the broader science and ethics debates stimulated by ALLEA’s Standing Committee on Science and Ethics. A decision as postponed, pending the ALLEA presidential elections.

ALLEA at World Data System Conference, 3-6 September 2011, Kyoto

 

06-09-2011

Executive Director attended the conference which was convened with support from Science Council Japan under the title “Global Data for Global Science”.
Hosted by the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT) at Kyoto University, the conference was attended by some 155 participants (more than half of whom from Japan) from more than 20 countries, representing science organisations, data centres, data services covering a wide range of scientific disciplines, data scientists in a variety of natural and social sciences and information technologies, as well as data publishers. The conference was an opportunity to initiate a dialogue with WDS stakeholders and important partners such as the Committee on Data for Science and Technology CODATA and the International Oceanographic Data and Information Exchange (IODE). Important conduits for feedback – by, inter alia, the WDS Scientific Committee – were the members’ and partners’ open fora. Against the background of recent disaster, a special session on disaster data was organized in collaboration with the ICSU co-sponsored Integrated Risk and Disaster Research (IRDR) programme and the Disaster Prevention Research Institute at Kyoto University. The recent disasters in the Pacific region have drawn attention to the need to secure reliable acquisition, management, quality control and dissemination of disaster-related data; interoperable data systems need to guarantee full and open access to data in support of better disaster prediction, understanding, and mitigation, and hence of more effective responses.The World Data System subscribes to the ICSU principle of Universality of Science and “seeks to ensure the long-term stewardship and provision of quality-assessed data and data services to the international science community and other stakeholders”, aiming at a multidisciplinary integration of data and information to better address also the needs of emerging new ICSU programmes, such as the Earth System Sustainability Initiative. Beyond the international scientific community, open and full access to data needs to benefit society at large. The concepts of data publication and data citation should be adopted and promoted by the World Data System in order to facilitate the release of data, with proper recognition of providers. The conference proceedings will be published in a special issue of the CODATA Data Science Journal. Linkq The 1st ICSU World Data System Conference

ALLEA President discusses collaboration with EuroCASE, 1 September 2011, Tallinn

01-09-2011

During a visit from the National Academy of Technologies of France to Estonia possibilities for closer collaboration were explored.
Bruno Revellin-Falcoz from the National Academy of Technologies of France visited the Estonian Academy of Sciences. From the Estonian side were present Academy vice-president J. Engelbrecht and secretary general L. Mõtus.The National Academy of Technologies of France (“Academie des Technologies”) was founded in 2000, developing from the Special Committee of the Academy of Sciences and industrialists. With currently 270 fellows from a variety of fields of applied sciences and engineering the Academy’s funding comes from the Ministry of Research.In terms of international engagement, the Academy is engaged in GID – the French network of Academies in the Mediterranean area; their premises at the Grand Palais des Champs-Elysees also houses the Secretariat of EuroCASE. EuroCASE, the European Council of Applied Sciences and Engineering, brings together is Academies of Engineering, Applied Sciences and Technology from 21 European countries and acts as a permanent forum for exchange and consultation between European Institutions, Industry and Research. The mission of Euro-CASE is to pursue, encourage and maintain excellence in the fields of engineering, applied sciences and technology, and to promote the science, art and practice of engineering and technology for the benefit of the citizens of Europe.
Linksq Academy of Technologies q EuroCASE

ALLEA report on the impact of science education projects, 31 August 2011, Amsterdam

 

31-08-2011

Based of a series of surveys among Member Academies conducted in 2009/2011, the report provides an overview over the intentions of National Academies of Sciences in Europe to contribute to the reform and rejuvenation of science education in their respective countries, and of early impacts of such interventions.
Through questionnaires information was gathered about the engagement of Academies in support of reforms of science education (in particular with a view to introducing IBSE approaches) and on the perceived or expected impact of experiments and participation in FP-supported activities in the field of IBSE (incl. mathematics teaching). Next to the responses received to surveys circulated among the 53 ALLEA Member Academies and to the ALLEA Working Group Science Education and besides the exchanges and oral reports during the WG plenary meetings in 2010 and 2011, occasional references provided by the Academies gave rise to additional online research.The report seeks to shed some light on the ways in which National Academies have stimulated and moved forward national debates and actiosn at national level on reforming science education, as well as their own activities in the field. Special attention is paid on the role and responsibility of leading scientists in supporting teachers, providing a role model and instilling a passion for science and technology among the young. Interspersed in the country reports, the report provides some examples – rather than a complete overview – over interactions between the activities of National Academies (or, occasionally, other actors at national level) and the pilot projects co-sponsored by the European Commission, and offers some insights into the impact of such pilots at national level. The report makes recommendations for a better interaction between the leaders of the scientific community – represented as they are by the National Academies – and policy-makers, society and business. It argues that efforts to reflect and act on the rejuvenation of science education across Europe will benefit from a very inclusive approach, making full use of the consensus that is building across the continent for such a transition and the resulting desire to take action at European level, bearing in mind that the subsidiarity principle allows for implementing locally the most appropriate institutional solutions for this transition. It argues to mobilise intellectual, political and financial resources also to advance science education as part of the European neighbourhood policy (with changing regimes and economies in the Arab World and parts of Central Asia) and of the European global engagement for sustainable peace, human dignity and prosperity, and human rights.
Linkq ALLEA Working Group Science EducationDocument Report on “Inquiry-Based Science Education in Europe: intentions and impacts of the interventions of National Academies of Sciences”

 

ALLEA to support IAP-IAC activity on research integrity, 30 August 2011, Amsterdam

30-08-2011

Following exchanges between the ALLEA presidency and the IAP co-chairs, Pieter Drenth, lead author of the European Code of Conduct on research integrity, was invited to advise the IAP-IAC activity on research integrity, which thus can build on the achievement of ALLEA and its members in Europe.
IAC and IAP will jointly develop a short policy report on principles and guidelines, for individual scientists, educators, and institutional managers, on research integrity, which will include addressing issues of research management, reward, principles, practices and culture. The product will have use throughout the global science community. In addition to constituting a basic source for use by all the IAP and other academies, it will be provided to research funding agencies around the world; university leaders; ministries of education, research, science and technology; scientific and professional societies and associations; relevant international scientific disciplinary unions; and other relevant international bodies. The draft report will be subjected to the IAC peerreview process involving an additional set of experts from around the world. This project will be undertaken by a subgroup of six persons from the full Expert Committee, appointed by the Expert Committee co-chairs, in consultation with the IAC and IAP co-chairs. This project should be completed by November 2011.In addition – and complementing the activities already launched by ALLEA in the area of ethics as part of research training – IAC will develop international educational materials for individual scientists, educators, and institutional managers, addressing principles and guidelines for scientific responsibility, including scientific ethics, integrity, and responsibility for avoidance of misuse of science. The products will have use throughout the global science community. The project will be undertaken by the full Expert Committee. This project should be completed by October 2012.

Linkq ALLEA Research Integrity page

ALLEA Working Group Science Education: elements of the workplan for 2012, 15 August 2011, Paris

15-08-2011

Following discussions at the last plenary meeting and in alignment with IAP´s Science Education Programme, the Core Group of the ALLEA Working Group, functioning as the regional SEP council, developed elements of the workplan for 2012 that will enhance the quality of exchanges with the global programme.
The Working Group has been established, in the course of the last 1,5 years, a good working relationship between the Member Academies and political and other societal stakeholders, moving higher, on the list of priorities in pursuit of the `Innovation Union` that foundational investment that is improved science education. In the course of 2012, exchanges in the global programme will be intensified by supporting members (beyond the EU-25) to join the global conference on new strategic opportunities. In particular ALLEA would be asked to organise a survey on assessment practices in the run-up to the next global science education conference, to be held in all likelihood at the House of Science of the Delegation of the Finnish Academies in Helsinki. Other aspects to be approached in the course of the year include cooperation with the Southern Mediterranean and intersectorial collaboration with industry: the Working Group will co-organise a session on `girls into science` at the 2012 Helsinki conference with experts and Academies from the Euro-Mediterranean Region / Muslim World, while a follow/up meeting is scheduled at the Accademia dei Lincei in autumn. One objective is to ensure that science education is included as a topic into the preparations for EU-DevCo/Med-Union programmes. Following up on exchanges with the EU President´s cabinet, ALLEA also intends developing a platform to connect Academies, education ministries, EC directorates and industry to improve communication about science education (core message: teacher training as key to sustainable IBSE). Here one of the Irish and Finnish Member Academies will among the key actors. Resources will be applied for to allow for IBSE resources developed as part of the IAP and EU/sponsored programmes to be shared with educational authorities and Member Academies and Academies from the European neighbourhood regions (translation).

Linkq ALLEA Working Group Science Education

ALLEA Members Academies share views on computing in schools, 8 August 2011, London

08-08-2011

The Royal Society of London had invited Academies active in the ALLEA Working Group `Science Education’ to submit answers to their study that looks at the way that ‘Information and Communications Technology’ (ICT) and ‘Computing’ are taught in schools.In the United Kingdom, the Royal Society of London, has been carrying out a study looking at the way that the subjects ‘Information and Communications Technology’ (ICT) and ‘Computing’ are taught in primary and secondary schools and colleges. Through this study teachers, academics and other members of the computing community are coming together to address growing concerns that the design and delivery of the ICT and computing curricula in schools is putting young people off studying the subjects further. RSL would submit international data collected from ALLEA Member Academies for analysis to the National Foundation for Education Research (NFER) The international survey seeks to establish how concepts relating to the subject areas of ICT and ‘Computing’ are included in the curriculum in different educational authorities, but also, more generally, how these types of learning are described in other countries) for example, are these skills included in the teaching of other fields, such as ‘Science’, ‘Technology’, ‘Engineering’, ‘Informatics’, ‘Business’), as well as the age groups at which the curriculum is expected to be taught.The survey also touched upon the use of software packages taught, what level of proficiency is aimed for in manipulating the programmes supplied, or whether indeed programming is part of the curriculum (incl. network building and systems management).
Linksq Royal Society – Computing in Schoolsq National Foundation for Education Research

ALLEA and the European Research and Innovation Area Board, 29 July 2011, Brussels

29-07-2011

The new Board that will replace ERAB in 2012 shall comprise 11 members. They are appointed by the Commission in a personal capacity for a four-year term of office, starting 1 March 2012.The High-Level Identification Committee under chairman Frank Gannon (Ireland, now Australia) requested ALLEA to submit nominations to the ERIAB of original thinkers, accustomed to identifying new roads to addressing challenges with a prominent research and/or innovation profile, including those with expertise in non-technological innovation and innovation in the creative sectors. They should be respected in the world of science and innovation who can also speak with authority on matters of (European) research and innovation policy and who will be selected on the basis of merit. TThe Europe 2020 Flagship Initiative “Innovation Union” will expand the remit of the European Research Area Board (ERAB, http://ec.europa.eu/research/erab/index_en.html, of which ALLEA President Jüri Engelbrecht was a founding member) which has functioned since 2008 as an independent authoritative consultative body responsible for advising the EU on the realization of ERA. Under the new name ERIAB, and with a reduced membership of 11, the Board will evaluate and advise the Union on a continuous basis, reflect on trends, and make recommendations on priorities and actions.
Linkq European Research Area Board – ERAB

ALLEA supports database of Palestinian diaspora scientists, 26 July 2011, Amsterdam

26-07-2011

PALAST, the Palestinian Academy of Science and Technology launched a database of Palestinian scientists, experts and scholars working in the diaspora. The database should enable better networking among them and help mobilise their expertise for Palestinian institutions in view of a stronger S&T base for the country.
ALLEA responded to a request by the Palestinian Academy of Science and Technology (PALAST) to help collect entries for this database of Palestinian scientists, experts and scholars working in the diaspora, and circulated the relevant information among its members and the scientific unions, encouraging them in turn to contact their membership. Database entries can be made online in both languages, English and Arabic, and will be validated, see: http://www.palestineacademy.org/main/index.php?option=com_form&view=form&Itemid=137&lang=en .The database will be maintained by the recently established STI Observatory in collaboration with the United Nations Economic and Social Commission of West Asia (ESCWA). STIO, which is currently endorsed by the Palestinian Authority, measures STI performance and publishes indicators that help institutions, policy and decision makers in their development plans. Once the experts’ data is validated and upon approval of the scientists concerned, the information can be consulted online by Palestinian institutions, scientists and experts in order to build networks, seek expert advice, or peer review support.
In building the database, PALAST relies on its membership in international inter-academy consortia, such as IAP, IAMP, NASIC, HRN, COSTIS and EMAN. The initiative is also facilitated through a collaborative initiative with the US-National Academies.
The ALLEA Standing Committee on Science and Ethics, following an initiative of the Norwegian Academy of Sciences and Letters, had launched an activity to support higher education and research in Palestine. The activities of the ALLEA initiative are monitored by a Steering Group (made up of Palestinian and European scientists) which is led, at the Palestinian end, by PALAST, the Palestinian Academy of Science and Technology. This initiative has contributed to closer exchanges between European and Palestinian universities (for example through the UNESCO PEACE programme and actions by individual universities, e.g. in Turkey and Norway) and keeps encouraging exchanges of Palestinian and European scientists (young scientists for the building of research groups, and senior scientists also with a view to lecturing, mentoring and supervision). At the Palestinian end, there are now regular exchanges of the Deans of Research of the leading universities, who have compiled – following exchanges with the ALLEA secretariat – a needs assessment for such exchanges that seeks to mirror strategic priorities which are being articulated as part of the national science plan.
Linksq ALLEA activity to support higher education and research in Palestineq Diaspora Palestinian Scientists and Experts Database (DPSEDB)
Document Description Palestinian Scientists and Experts Database (PSEDB)

ALLEA launches members’ consultation on access to scientific information (EC Digital Agenda), 20 July 2011, Amsterdam

21-07-2011

By the end of 2011, the European Commission intends to adopt a Communication and Recommendations on access to and preservation of scientific information as part of the Europe 2020 flagship initiative “Digital Agenda”. The Communication will set out a plan for EC actions, while the Recommendations will detail actions to be taken at member state level. The EC has just launched a consultation, and ALLEA – who have been participating in the public hearing of stakeholders earlier this year – is invited to express their views on the initiative. The consultation focuses on the following key science policy questions: (1) how scientific articles could become more accessible to researchers and society at large; (2) how research data can be made widely available and how it could be re-used; (3) how permanent access to digital content can be ensured and what barriers are preventing the preservation of scientific output. ALLEA plans to submit a written statement, reflecting the views of the National Academies, which are now being collected systematically. Accessing and re-using knowledge is a key objective of the Digital Agenda for Europe and the Innovation Union. European researchers, engineers, entrepreneurs, and interested citizens must have easy and fast access to scientific information. This will help ensure competitiveness of Europe in different domains with counterparts across the world. A number of challenges must be overcome, including high subscription prices to scientific publications, the need to deal with a growing volume of scientific data, and the increasing complexity of curating and preserving research outputs. Modern digital infrastructures can play an important role to address these and other urgent issues. Also Open access, defined as free access to scholarly content over the Internet, can be a powerful tool. A dedicated webpage has been prepared with ample background information, including a collection of views already articulated on earlier occasions by ALLEA and Member Academies. To access the website please click here.

UK Academies assist government in identifying exceptionally talented migrants, 20 July 2011, London

20-07-2011

The UK government announced the method to identify exceptionally talented leaders in the fields of science, humanities, engineering and the arts to be accepted to move to the UK.Under the new procedures, ‘exceptionally talented’ migrants may apply for entry under the new Tier 1 Exceptional Talent category which will open on 9 August 2011. This new category will facilitate not only those who have already been recognised but also those with the potential to be recognised as leaders in their respective fields. There is a limit of 1,000 places in the first year of operation. There will be 500 places available between the 9 August and 30 November and a further 500 places available from the 1 December to 31 March 2012. The number of places will be reviewed at the end of March 2012. The UK Border Agency will be advised on these ‘exceptionally talented’ migrants to ensure that they are the brightest and best in their field by the Royal Society (able to nominate up to 300 places); the Royal Academy of Engineering (200 places), Arts Council England, the national development agency for the arts (300 places) and the British Academy (200 places). While the government has allotted a number of places to each body, it will be open to the bodies to transfer additional places to those with more demand if this becomes necessary. Migrants seeking entry to the UK under Tier 1 (Exceptional talent) will not need to be sponsored by an employer, but will need to be recommended by one of the competent bodies; criteria have been published for endorsement.
The President of the British Academy, Sir Adam Roberts, said: “’The Humanities and Social Sciences are flourishing in the UK and attract many excellent scholars from overseas…. The British Academy is ready to play its part in identifying those outstanding scholars for whom Tier 1 is the appropriate visa category.” The President of the Royal Society, Sir Paul Nurse, said: ‘The government has listened to the science community’s concerns about jeopardising our international leadership [scil.: in science] by restricting the immigration of scientists and the Royal Society will play its part in ensuring that the very best international talent can continue to come to the UK to work.’Details of the new exceptional talent route and how to apply can be found on the UKBA website at http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/All inquiries should be directed to the UK Border Agency and not to the Academy.

Brainstorming meeting with chairs of research related organisations on research infrastructures, 15 July 2011, Brussels

15-07-2011

ALLEA is among the key European stakeholders, regularly consulted about the developments in the sector of research infrastructures.
This brainstorming meeting with chairs of research organisations – including funders, operators and users of research infrastructures, as well as specialised reflection groups (ESFRI, e-IRG) – held on 15 July 2011 at DG Research and Innovation in Brussels, focused, initially, on an analysis of the responses (with regard to research infrastructures) that had been received during the consultation on the Common Strategic Framework for the funding of research and innovation. The achievements of RI’s were praised as much as their potential as major leverage to coordinate and cluster national research funding, and to contribute to the innovation agenda. ALLEA and other participants at the meeting emphasised, however, not to abandon the RI philosophy in place so far, which stressed the importance of basic research (and facilities for basic research) as long-term, but ultimately open-ended investment in basic research, which may (or may not) eventually lead to products on an innovation chain. Any promises to short-circuit this complex environment would be misplaced. There are also need and room for improvement in better connecting research infrastructures – those on the ESFRI roadmap and others – and joint programming initiatives. A final round of discussions concerned the possible role of RI’s in promoting the ERA.Linksq EU research infrastructures portal q ALLEA Interest Group research infrastructures

Member States and Associated States delegates debate SSH programme under Horizon 2020, 13 July 2011, Brussels

13-07-2011

ALLEA executive director R. Klein attended as guest the meeting of delegates from EU Member States and Associated States that debated, for the coming Common Strategic Framework for Research and Innovation “Horizon 2020” the possible challenge “Towards more inclusive, innovative and secure societies”.
The meeting was sponsored by (and brought together the relevant delegates on programme committees of) DG Research and Innovation, DG Enterprise and DG INFSO. The represented respectively the programme components SSH, “Science in Society”, security research (basically technology- and industry-driven) and cybersecurity.ALLEA was the only non-governmental guest, apart from the rapporteurs from the previous workshop. The SSH unit of DG Research presented an analysis of the 788 position papers received (compared to the more than 1300 responses through the online questionnaire) which shows that the EU-15 countries were overrepresented. 265 contributions from 29 countries as well as international associations comprised concerns about the role of SSH research under the new CSF; indeed, 42% of the papers ask for a dedicated programme allowing SSH-expertise to be harnessed. Not surprisingly, the nature and depth of contributions on SSH are very diverse, as SSH per se have not been tackled by a specific question in the consultation. Four main categories of responses can be identified: general support (key field of research for Europe), mainstreaming (must be included in the other societal challenges), architecture (format of funding) and topics suggested. Around 10% of the responses also tackle the topic “social innovation”, highlighting the difficult nature of the “broad” concept (not only “responsible innovation” or entrepreneurial “social innovation hubs”). Rather, there are real research needs to tackle societal ills and opportunities, to take into account behavioural aspects, and to link social innovation to improved social services both in the public sector and in organisational and management terms. In this context, DG Research offered a working definition of social innovation as follows: “Social innovation can be defined as a new product, service or model that simultaneously meets social needs (more effectively than alternatives) and creates new social relationships or collaborations. Social innovation offers a way forward to tackle societal challenges when the market and public sector do not respond to the social needs. It is about developing new forms of organization and interactions to respond to social issues. Social innovation can address a social demand or need (e.g. care for the elderly), contribute to addressing a societal challenge (e.g. ageing society) and, through its process dimension (e.g. the active engagement of the elderly , new services) it contributes to reshaping society in the direction of participation, empowerment and learning. This definition suggests that « social innovation » either occurs due to the need for a system change (in the context of a societal challenges), a social need or is being driven by social values (e.g. participation, democracy, empowerment of citizens, social cohesion)”. Net4Society (the network of national contact points) provided arguments for the strengthening of the SSH budget which had been discussed previously in the Task Group SSH with ALLEA, ESF, ERA-Nets etc.: the current success rate for excellent SSH proposals is, in FP7, under 10%, in some topics under 3% [this is lower than in the ERC]. Yet, the Midterm Evaluation recommends a success rate of significantly over 20% as required in order for a programme to make sure it can involve the best actors a given field. After all, EuroSTAT figures of 2007 (which exclude France and Greece) count an overall number of 385.349 SSH researchers in Europe in the HE plus governmental sectors alone, or just under 1/3 of the total number of reseachers (1.223.029) in those sectors (this is not counting the many more in NGOs, creative industries and many other societal fields).The fairly bold proposal was reiterated to expand the current FP7-budget for SSH (623 Mio.) to a more appropriate 5 Bio., reflecting: 1.800 Mio for some continuity (and elaboration of) work initiated under FP7, 700 Mio. for new work on “social innovation”, 1.200 Mio. for a new emphasis on employment and education, 900 Mio. for better coverage of the external responsibilities of Europe (“Actor Europe” in world diplomacy), and 400 Mio. for horizontal activities (foresight, capacity building, research infrastructures etc.etc.). Strong opposition against to such a merger of different fields into a single challenge “Towards more inclusive, innovative and secure societies” was articulated by the representatives from the current programme on security research, but also by delegates from many Member States.Linksq programmeq presentationsq ALLEA Interest Group SSH

Former SCSE Chair G. Toulouze attends 59th Pugwash Conference on European contributions to conflict resolution, 1-4 July 2011, Berlin

04-07-2011

More than 350 people from 43 countries took part in the 59th Pugwash Conference on Science and World Affairs under the title “European Contributions to Nuclear Disarmament and Conflict Resolution”.The conference (for the full programme, see: PDF) held from 1-4 July 2011 in Berlin, was accompanied / preceded by the 2nd Simons Symposium, “European Security and Nuclear Disarmament,” co-sponsored with the EuropeanLeadership Network for Multilateral Nuclear Disarmament and Non-Proliferation and involving the German Foreign Minister and other current and former policy makers. The International Student/Young Pugwash supported by the German Pugwash Group (the VDW) brought together 32 people from 18 countries, and held debates with a focus on the Middle East. Plenary sessions on the arms trade treaty, changing relations between India and Pakistan, Fukushima, the changing Middle East, incl. Palestine and many more. Working Groups presented their reports which were expected to include concrete points and advice for policymakers. Working Group sessions at Pugwash meetings are closed to the public to encourage uninhibited discussion; no attempt is made to issue any collective statement of agreed conclusions, where participants speak as individuals, not as representatives. Working Groups included “Nuclear Disarmament, Nonproliferation (after the 2010 NPT Review Conference)”, “Prospects for Peace and Security in the Middle East” (see the Report), “Regional Stability in Central and South Asia: the situation in Afghanistan, and Indo-Pakistani relations” (see the Report), “European Security and Disarmament (nuclear and conventional arms control and disarmament)”, “Social Responsibility of Scientists”, and “Climate Change, Resources, and Conflict Prevention (see the Report). The Federation of German Scientists had convened earlier the 7th International Student/Young Pugwash Conference (Berlin, 29-30 June 2011) under the heading “Conflict and Cooperation The Global Impact of Regional Security Efforts”. The meeting also produced a Report. With the focus of several plenary sessions on developments in the Middle, former SCSE Chair G. Toulouze – who is also one of the three European members of the Steering Group of that project, otherwise chaired by PALAST, the Palestinian Academy of Sciences and Technology – had an opportunity to draw attention to the ALLEA initiative to support higher education and research in Palestine, and notably to the recent Memoranda of Understanding between ITU Istanbul and the Palestine Academy for Science and Technology.The statement of the Pugwash Council emphasises that “…dialogue is essential if we are to overcome the walls that divide people, countries, religions, and ideas. Disarmament – particularly nuclear disarmament, arms control, and military and non-military confidence-building measures are powerful instruments in creating a more peaceful and secure world.” It concludes with pertinent remarks on the social responsibility of scientists, which, it says, “has become increasingly important in both informing robust and evidence-based policy making and in the responsible use of science. Scientific input will continue to be critical in dealing with emerging technological risks, including the challenge of tackling climate change and giving early warning of potential disaster and the amelioration of disaster consequences, as at Fukushima. The problems of ensuring scientific quality in an environment of secrecy (whether for national security or commercial reasons) need to be addressed, as do those inherent in the possible dual use of scientific advances such as nanotechnology. More attention should be given to the exploitation of science and technology for human development rather than human – and environmental – destruction, and to the broader education of working scientists in their responsibilities to society.”
The Turkish delegation offered that the next 60th Conference could be hosted in Istanbul perhaps around April 2012.
Linksq 59th Pugwash conferenceq Statement of the Pugwash Council q ALLEA Initiative to support higher education and research in Palestine

 

Synthetic Biology: prospects and precautionary principle examined by Academy research centre, 4 July 2011, Bonn

04-07-2011

As the ALLEA Standing Committee on Science and Ethics prepares recommendations on the ethics of research into synthetic biology, SCSE chair and ALLEA executive director attended a meeting on the applied ethics in the field, under the title: “Synthetic Biology: towards artificial life?”

The meeting was convened as the 4th ethics forum under the chairmanship of Dieter Sturma. It was jointly organised and hosted by Deutsches Referenzzentrum für Ethik in den Biowissenschaften (DRZE; “German reference centre for ethics in the life sciences”), a research centre of the North-Rhine-Westphalian Academy of Arts and Sciences (one of the member academies of the Union of the German Academies) and by Institut für Wissenschaft und Ethik (IWE; Institute for science and ethics) of Bonn University. Lectures dealt broadly with the responsibility of the sciences in democracies, but also specifically with the ethical challenges of synthetic biology. The forum was open to the public; without there being an overarching coordination, it was part of a series of similar meetings, held by other academies in Germany, that debate the promises and risks of synthetic biology. The ALLEA Standing Committee on Science and Ethics is preparing, based on these and similar activities by Academies elsewhere a set of recommendations on how Academies can serve as a platform in order to lead the ethical debates surrounding the progress of synthetic biology Linksq Ethik Forum q ALLEA Standing Committee Science and Ethicsq ALLEA SCSE page on synthetic biology

ALLEA publishes statement advocating a more comprehensive approach to digitization projects in Europe, 30 June 2011, Amsterdam

30-06-2011

With this statement – elaborated by the ALLEA Standing Committee on Intellectual Property Rights (Chair: Joseph Straus, Munich; lead author: Alain Strowel, Bruxelles) and discussed with Member Academies through a consultation process – ALLEA draws attention to the great potential of current large–scale digitisation projects of books, but also to the underestimated risks of vast private projects in this domain.The statement offers a number of recommendations to public authorities (EU and national) aimed at limiting the potential negative effects of the commercial Google Books project. For even after the rejection of the Google Book Settlement (GBS) between Google and some publishers and authors in a New York court, the underlying problems of an erosion of basic copyright rules and of unsatisfactory access provisions in Europe remain unresolved. European citizens and Europe-based researchers risk being barred from access to the benefits of this private digitisation project, while competing projects (public or private) may find themselves without access to relevant public-sector content collections (libraries). It is also important that the digital files received by the libraries after digitisation of their books are suitable for advanced research uses in a digital environment.National Academies take an interest in this issue as leading representatives of Europe’s cultural and scientific heritage – through their collections, libraries etc. – , but of course also as publishers, authors and end users.
DocumentALLEA Statement on Opportunities and Risks the Digitisation of Books and the Google Book Settlement, 30 June 2011, AmsterdamLinkq ALLEA Standing Committee on Intellectual Property Rights

ALLEA joins EU-presidency conference on “Training, Career and Mobility of Researchers in the Innovation Union”, 28-29 June, Budapest

29-06-2011

ALLEA has been promoting, among its Member Academies and in other European policy context the necessity to expand support for your researchers – also in the field of science policy (e.g. Young Academies) – and is participating in a number of initiatives (European Alliance on Research Career Development) pursuing similar goals.
This conference provided a welcome forum for highlighting challenges and best practices in promoting training, career and mobility of researchers in light of the Innovation Union commitments. As the Hungarian Presidency of the European Council gives special attention to the involvement of young people as a horizontal priority, the emphasis of this conference was on young researchers’ lifepaths and careers. Discussions at the conference benefitted from the presence of MEP’s, ministerial and EC representatives, as well as business people, policy makers from other sectors, academics, representatives of industry and civil society (ALLEA was represented by executive director R. Klein). As they shared experiences, best practices and main achievements, ALLEA stressed the following points: – With regard to mobility schemes, also senior researchers should be targeted, in such a way, for example, that support schemes facilitate joint appointments in two universities;- With regard to the strengthening of returnee schemes as part of regional capacity building, co-funding with national and structural funds should be explored and encouraged;- With regard to Industry-academia exchange and intersectoral mobility schemes, opportunities should also be offered for SSH researchers (about 1/3 of all researchers in Europe), including also exchange schemes with public administrations, NGO’s, cultural institutions etc. as part of the drive to accelerate social innovation in a broad sense;- With regard to external talent recruitment at the level of students and researchers, special efforts should be made to attract talent also from neighbourhood regions (CIS; Mediterranean); an example mentioned was the initiative tio support higher education and research in Palestine; – With regard to internal talent development, inclusiveness as a principle of all educational efforts must aim at harnessing the talent residing in minority and marginal groups of society;- With regard to the strengthening of European human resources in the field of science and technology, the reform of science education must be the basis for all long-term commitment.Linkq Conference website

ALLEA publishes statement demanding a better European patent system, 27 June 2011, Amsterdam

27-06-2011

The statement, elaborated by the ALLEA Standing Committee on Intellectual Property Rights (Chair: Joseph Straus, Munich) and discussed with Member Academies through a consultation process, argues that the current European patent system does not satisfy the IPR needs of scientific research and falls short of providing the necessary support to the bold vision of the European Innovation Union.The statement supports the creation of a unitary European Union patent, as a supplement to existing European and national patents, of a single European patent judicature, and of a centralized European appeal court. In the absence of an unanimous position amongst Member States, however, the statement welcomes the alternative solution requested by 25 EU member states within the framework of enhanced cooperation, which will result in a European patent having unitary effect in all Member States except Italy and Spain. In addition, the statement draws attention in particular to the need to find a harmonized approach to regulations regarding employees’ inventions, especially those involving academic research in public institutions. It also encourages the European Commission to re-launch efforts aimed at ensuring that European law provides for a grace period similar to the one existing in US law.
DocumentALLEA Statement on the Future Patent System of the European Union, 27 June 2011, AmsterdamLinkq ALLEA Standing Committee on Intellectual Property Rights

ALLEA argues for strong role of Social Sciences and Humanities in “Horizon 2020” at post-consultation stakeholder workshop, 27 June 2011, Brussels

27-06-2011

The stakeholder meeting had been convened to explore a possible joint “grand challenge” theme that could involve expertise from SSH fields and security research (incl. cybersecurity). It was sponsored by DG Research and Innovation, DG INFSO and DG Enterprise.
In the opening presentation, ALLEA executive director R. Klein emphasised that as emphasis shifts to key themes of the vision “Europe 2020” (smart, sustainable and inclusive growth), SSH approaches must be treated with priority, such as (1) knowledge and innovation (smart), (2) better governance at all levels (sustainable), and (3) diversity and inequality (inclusive). In a time of crisis, Europe would have to solve its lack of inclusiveness in the political, economic, cultural domains where SSH research would be able to provide the necessary insights and policy guidance. The meeting had been convened to explore a possible joint “grand challenge” theme of SSH and security research (incl. cybersecurity) and was therefore sponsored by DG Research and Innovation, DG INFSO and DG Enterprise, the members of the European SSH Task Force (ALLEA, ESF, Net4Soc and others) expressed their concern that the state if the Union held too many imponderables for the necessary and wide-ranging expertise of SSH researchers (after all: one third of all researchers in Europe) not to be harnessed at European level. The SSH Task Force had developed a “6th challenge: Understanding Europe in a global context: towards innovation societies”. Klein insisted in his talk on some of the key questions of relevance, such as (1) How is knowledge / innovation created, structured, transmitted, used? (2) How can societies develop effective and resilient social, political and economic structures? And (3) What is the role of culture and values in transition processes?Among the basic parameters that would need to be addressed by any new programme structure he listed appropriate consideration for the new global context (“Actor Europe”) and the strengthening of research capacity from the EU15 and candidate countries, and the necessity of building strong links with the new education portfolio. Specific support measures would also need to be established for (1) foresight studies, (2) the development of indicators, (3) the fostering of global networks (area studies; research institutes), and (4) research infrastructures (essential also for longitudinal studies).He also emphasised that there are a number of deep transformations of culture and values that can only be studied with the help of Humanities research, including themes such as “Identity, language, religion”, “Media and communication (incl.: digital agenda)”, “Creative industries”, as well as issues to do with changing gender, intercultural (incl. migration), and intergenerational relations. The Commissioner had emphasised that more attention needed to be drawn to opportunities for “Social Innovation”. ALLEA and partners had responded byu suggestion that an 6th challenges, focusing on SSH research, should receive additional support to enable researchers and practitioners to make rapid progress in this field, for example through experimental social action research (involvement of societal actors), promotion of social innovation in the public administration, innovative educational approaches (to tackle both social and scientific questions), harnessing migration phenomena and diversity as assets, the development of conscious linkages to market institutions (design; marketing; etc.) and the development of new forms of inclusive governance (also for selecting and implementing the political measures to deal with societal grand challenges).Speakers representing the EU-related security and cybersecurity research communities from the public and private sector expressed cautious optimism that a closer association with SSH expertise might be fruitful also for the product development in their domains.
Document New! ALLEA Position Paper on the EC Green Paper. “Common Strategic Framework for EU Research and Innovation Funding”
Linksq ALLEA Interest Group Social Sciences and Humanitiesq Website Stakeholder workshop on the Common Strategic Framework (CSF) for Research and Innovation “Towards more inclusive, innovative and secure societies”

ALLEA represents academies as observer at ESF Governing Council, 22-23 June 2011, Lisbon

23-06-2011

As several national research funding agencies and some research performing agencies in Europe are preparing to establish a new lobbying organisation in Brussels, operations of the European Science Foundation are scaled down, restructured and, it seems, expected to terminate in 2015. ALLEA and its Member Academies had argued that such a radical transformation calls for a thorough independent evaluation of the achievements of ESF so far and for a needs assessment from the point of view of the diverse scientific communities, including those not habitually served by the themes and forms of collaboration offered in the context of EU sponsored and FP-related initiatives.
The ESF Governing Council discussed the focusing of activities promoted by the European Science Foundation which will become necessary in the light of the EuroHORCs (European Heads of Research Councils) decision to forge ahead with setting up a new lobbying organisation, ScienceEurope (see http://www.eurohorcs.org/E/Pages/home.aspx), which will be launched later this year in Berlin. This decision comes as criticism about the new directions was reiterated by many ESF members also during the last extraordinary General Assembly in May 2011. The ESF Governing Council postponed its decisions on the launch of a number of activities proposed by the scientific community and by Member Organisations. ESF will, however, launch a Forward Look activity in the field of “Science in Society” building on a forum that had explored the possibilities of Member Organisations to better promote their science support activities. Thus it is currently uncertain, whether ESF will be able to relaunch its activity on research integrity, where it had been coordinating a MO Forum and had produced, jointly with ALLEA’s Standing Committee on Science and Ethics, the European Code of Conduct on Research Integrity. ALLEA and those Member Academies which at the time had also been ESF members had articulated a series of critiques and suggestions for a more inclusive and less disruptive process of transition, but eventually another six Academies (British Academy, as well as the Academies of Estonia, Slovenia, Sweden (2) and Switzerland) joined Royal Society, Royal Irish Academy and KNAW and declared they would leave ESF.In advance of the establishment of ScienceEurope, ALLEA had advocated a meeting of the various pan-European science and research organisation in order to create a proper platform for exchange and coordination. This suggestion had been met with a positive response also from European Commission directorates.

ALLEA WG ScienceEducation discusses first results of its impact survey of European pilot projects, Académie Royale de Belgique, 22 June 2011, Brussels

22-06-2011

A rejuvenation and strengthening of Science Education is the basis for any long-term policy aimed at creating the necessary human resource base for a knowledge-based society, ALLEA had argued – with the Presidency of the European Union in the run-up to the definition of the Innovation Union concept and in its comprehensive response to the EC Green paper “Towards a Common Strategic Framework.
This focus on European policy efforts remains a key elements of the ALLEA Working Group on Science Education even as it strengthens its global involvement through the IAP Science Education Programme. At the recent WG meeting, Academy delegates discussed the input received for a study on the impact of science education pilot projects at national and European level. As the result of discussions with President Barroso’s Bureau of European Policy Advisors, this was found to be a necessary and urgent exercise which should be conducted by an independent advisory body such as ALLEA. At the meeting, presentations by external speakers gave overviews over current EU-funded and several large-scale national pilot projects. The Working Group thanked founding chair Pierre Léna (Académie des Sciences) for his pioneering work, and followed with its vote unanimously the recommendation to propose Odile Macchi (also Académie des Sciences) as new chair. Pierre Léna will continue, as coordinator of the IAP programme, to be closely associated with the activities of the Working Group. The next major joint undertaking will be the preparation of the next global conference on Science Education in cooperation with IAP, to be held in Helsinki in May/June 2012. The meeting discussed parts of the two main foci of the programme (industry involvement and assessment) with the help of kick-off presentations by Maija Aksela (Delegation of the Finnish Academies) and Wynne Harlen (UK).
Linkq ALLEA Working Group on Science Education

Prof. J. Engelbrecht attends EASAC meeting at Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters, 16-17 June 2011, Copenhagen

16-06-2011

ALLEA (with its Member Academies) and EASAC (through its three high-level science portfolios) are working towards strengthening the voice of Academies in Europe.
ALLEA represents the wider community iof Academies in the EASAC council. In his introduction to this council meeting, Brian Heap briefly mentioned the successful ALLEA-EASAC presidential and high-level meetings. J. Engelbrecht concurred that they formed a good basis for developing a joint statement on the role of Academies in Europe, which will be elaborated in the course of the autumn. The meeting discussed progress of EASAC’s three science portfolios (energy, environment, health), as well as an update on policy advice from national academies. Participants also discussed the relationship to policy advisers employed by political entities (a letter of intent is being prepared for future cooperation with the JRC). Participants also heard a preview for the future Danish EU Presidency (one focus will be on energy policy). The IAP Co-Chair H. Alper gave an overview over IAP activities, referring also to the activities engaging young scientists (e.g. the WEF meetings, in the development of which ALLEA’s role was highlighted). ALLEA President J. Engelbrecht reported on the progress of work on ethical dimensions of Synthetic Biology and on the ethics of scientific policy advice (both by ALLEA’s Standing Committee on Science and Ethics).

ALLEA symposium on the role and remit of ethics committees, 13-15 June 2011, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Prague

 

13-06-2011

As science and society are interacting ever more closely, the trust of society in science and the accurate understanding of the promises and risks that can be derived from scientific research require a greater consciousness, also within the scientific communities in Europe, of its ethical responsibilities.
The ALLEA Standing Committee on Science and Ethics held its second meeting in 2011 at Villa Lanna – the guesthouse of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic – in conjunction with the symposium on the role and remit of ethics committees. Participants discussed the variety of functions of national ethics committees – for example: their advisory or normative role, or their remit in co-assessing grant proposals. Following a preparatory meeting in Brussels at the end of March, where presentations were also heard from the European Commission’s EGE and the Council of Europe’s CDBI, this meeting also engaged with the committees that deal with ethical issues in the context of UNESCO and ICSU.The meeting reviewed progress on the dissemination and implementation of the European Code of Conduct on Research Integrity and made some pertinent recommendations; as part of the follow-up a symposium on plagiarism will be prepared in December in Amsterdam. Participants commented on the final draft version of a set of recommendations to promote ethics education as part of research training which will be published shortly.
Documents and linksq ALLEA Standing Committee on Science and Ethics
The European Code of Conduct on Research Integrity (lead author: Pieter Drenth, honorary President ALLEA)

ALLEA invited to attend conference on Common Strategic Framework for EU research and innovation funding, 10 June 2011, Brussels

10-06-2011

ALLEA had submitted a substantial position paper on the reshaping of EU research and innovation funding. As a follow-up to the consultation, the conference explored the various dimensions of the new Common Strategic Framework.
Executive Director R. Klein attended the conference on behalf of ALLEA. The programme featured high-level speakers from the European Parliament and from the European Commission, inter alia the Commissioners for Research, Innovation and Science; Economic and Monetary Affairs; Environment; and Internal Market and Services. Among the stakeholders represented were research institutions, industry, universities, and non-governmental organisations.The conference was structured according in the three sections that underlie the Green Paper, namely: “Strengthening Europe’s science base and European Research Area”, “Tackling societal challenges”, “Strengthening competitiveness”. The conference wrapped up the public consultation on the Green Paper, presented results and gave the stakeholder community an opportunity to discuss them.
Commissioners insisted on the need to better link “science for science, for society (challenges) and for competitiveness” in order to advance Europe in the global context. Commissioner Geoghegan-Quinn emphasised the turning point that CSF will represent; M Barnier (Internal Market) stressed improvements in the IPR sector as a key element for progress, while M Potocnik referred to the need to better connect research activities across all directorates.Among the key political messages were calls by MEPs Judith Merkies (rapporteur on Innovation Union) and Marisa Matias to ensure that basic research is recognised, also in funding terms, as the foundation for any future innovation cycles. Along with most other speakers they also argued that those sectors of knowledge production that (1) have pushed European growth in the recent past and (2) that are needed to address the societal challenges of the present time and of the future, need to be substantially supported under the new CSF, a reference, not just by implication, to the need for a substantial boost for research funding in the Social Sciences and Humanities.During the discussion, Martin Horvath, rapporteur of the HLG on Synergies, referred to the key messages of the report, namely a better coordination (but not merger) of two common strategic frameworks for R&I and for cohesion (please click here to see also his presentation at the recent conference during the Week of Innovative Regions of Europe, Debrecen 7-9 June 2011).
At the close of the conference Commissioner Geoghegan-Quinn launched the voting for the name of the future Framework Programme, a name that will be followed in the extended version of the title by the words: “Framework Programme for Research and Innovation”.
DocumentNew! ALLEA Position Paper on the EC Green Paper. “Common Strategic Framework for EU Research and Innovation Funding”Linksq European Academies Science Policy Task Force q Conference website

ALLEA participated in high-level seminar on U-Multirank, an EU-funded global university ranking study, 9 June 2011, Brussels

09-06-2011

The seminar discussed the results of the feasibility study on U-Multirank, a performance profiling tool that wishes to provide a new perspective on the international higher education landscape.
U-Multirank is a new, multi-dimensional global ranking in higher education. It claims to be substantially different from existing higher education rankings and, therefore, to better address the needs of various stakeholders in higher education. The project was initiated and funded by the European Commission (DG Education and Culture) and has been carried out by a consortium of research organisations under the name CHERPA Network (consortium for higher education and research performance assessment). Executive Director R. Klein was scheduled to attend the seminar on behalf of ALLEA (click here for the presentations).The objective of the project is to develop an instrument that can provide a more transparent map of the institutional and programmatic diversity of European higher education in a global context. It is based on a stakeholder-driven approach: this approach was chosen to help build a coherent transparency tool, to assess and gain social acceptance for it and for its dimensions and underlying indicators. The tool aims to describe the various missions of higher education institutions and their performance in these fields. Increased transparency should make it easier for students and researchers to make an informed choice on where and what to study and where to work; by the same token, accessible, transparent and comparable information will help institutions better to position themselves and improve their development strategies and performance. The project contributes to the EU objective of enhancing transparency about the different missions and the performance of higher education institutions and research institutes (see also http://ec.europa.eu/education/higher-education/doc1649_en.htm); the European Commission supports several complementary initiatives in this field.
Documents 1st interim report 2nd interim report: LINK: ALLEA WG EvaluationLinksq U-Multirankq ALLEA Working Group Evaluating for Science

Better framework conditions needed for exploiting IPR in European research funding, argues ALLEA advisory body, 7 June 2011, Munich

07-06-2011

The ALLEA Standing Committee on Intellectual Property Rights convened at the Max-Planck Institute for Intellectual Property, Competition and Tax Law, Munich, and discussed recommendations on IPR-related framework conditions for research funding in Europe.
Having contributed to the ALLEA position paper on the Common Strategic Framework for the European research and innovation funding with comments targeting the more general level, the Committee observed with concern that the Communication (2011) 287 “A Single Market for Intellectual Property Rights. Boosting creativity and innovation to provide economic growth, high quality jobs and first class products and services in Europe” failed to address the necessary practical changes of framework conditions in Europe.The Chair of the ALLEA Standing Committee on Intellectual Property Rights, Joseph Straus (delegate of the Union of the German Academies and corresponding member of the Slovenian Academy of Arts and Sciences) proposed a series of more specific comments and recommendations that were discussed by the Committee. Issues such as the introduction into European patent law of the Grace Period, of the “research exemption”, of the necessary investments into human and other resources necessary for the best possible exploitation of patentable and patented knowledge, as well as the role of Knowledge and Technology Transfer Offices. The Committee also elaborated a statement on the necessity of developing European strategic plans for IPRs systems.The Committee also started preparing input for the discussions, under the European Digital Agenda, on preservation of, access to and sustainability of scientific information, and to the envisaged consultation.
Document ALLEA Position Paper on the EC Green Paper. “Common Strategic Framework for EU Research and Innovation Funding”
Linksq European Academies Science Policy Task Force q ALLEA Standing Committee on Intellectual Property Rights

EU Presidency conference in Hungary heard report on Synergies between FP7, the CIP and Cohesion Policy Funds, 7-9 June 2011, Debrecen

07-06-2011

The connection of regional innovation policies, research infrastructures, and European level research and innovation policies had been at the heart of ALLEA debates on several occasions and were addressed also in the recent position paper on the Common Strategic Framework in Research and Innovation.
The “Week of Innovative Regions in Europe 2011” (WIRE 2011) conference in Debrecen (HU) sought to connect debates on cluster development and research infrastructure policy in order to enhance innovation performances and regional development. The conference took as point of departure the documents ‘EUROPE 2020, a strategy for a smart, sustainable and inclusive development strategy’ and the ‘Innovation Union Flagship Initiative’.
Among the questions of relevance for innovation and research policy at regional level, the following were at the heart of debates:• “Can the regions use the resources devoted to research and development, especially Structural Funds, the Research Framework Programme, the Competitiveness and Innovation Programme and other funding resources more efficiently to support their clusters and research infrastructures?• How smart specialisation strategies related to EU Regional Policy can enable to optimise the use of research infrastructures by considering their role in clusters, regional innovation support systems and networks? How should the cooperation between EU regions and coherence between the priorities defined at the different levels of governance be ensured? • Can the regional dimension of research infrastructures contribute to regional development and better regional research and innovation performance? Will member states complete and launch the construction of 60% of the ESFRI Roadmap Research Infrastructure projects by 2015, as it is called for in the Innovation Union?• Can tools, such as European Research Infrastructure Consortia, help to improve the construction of and the access to high quality large research infrastructures?”
Martin Horvath, rapporteur of the HLEG on Synergies, presented during the Week the brand new report of the High Level Expert Group (due 1 June 2011).Linksq Week of Innovative Regions in Europe 2011q Presentation by Martin Horvath, rapporteur of the HLEG on Synergiesq ALLEA website “European Research Area”

ALLEA participated in EU hearing on scientific information in Europe, 30 May 2011, Luxembourg

30-05-2011

The ALLEA Executive Director attended the hearing on the current developments in the scientific dissemination system in the run-up to a consultation to be launched later this year.With this information hearing the European Commission sought information on the scientific information dissemination system from the European scientific publishing sector, European researchers, European funders, European consumers and society at large. The meeting convened at the EC’s Jean Monnet Building in Luxembourg discussed in particular the following issues: 1. access to scientific information and possible actions to consider,2. preservation of scientific outputs,3. the research evaluation system,4. actions to be carried out at Member State/European level
Background to the Commission’s concern with scientific and scholarly Information is the digital revolution which has radically changed the way scientific information is spread. With most publications now available online, access to this vast quantity of e-data is essential for innovation. But also in order to safeguard our scientific heritage, this wealth of information must be adequately preserved for future generations. While many argue for an open-access system, with publications and data available to all online, free of charge, publishers often point to their investments in the peer review system and other valuable quality support services. The challenge is to combine wide access with a fair return on investment for publishers. Among the basic options currently being considered are: • Author-pays publishing – the author of an article (or the body funding the research) pays for publication rather than user • Self-archiving – the author deposits the peer-reviewed article in an open archive, sometimes after an embargo period – a delay to allow publishers to get a return on investment. Appraisal, preservation and storage emerge as key challenges when seeking to ensure that publications and research data are not lost to future generations. Just like books and paintings, digital materials have to be managed and maintained, otherwise:• files may be unreadable when the hardware or software used to store them becomes obsolete;• material will be lost when storage devices deteriorate over time (some CD-ROMs have a lifetime of just 10 years);• storage systems could be overwhelmed by the sheer volume of new and changing content.Most EU countries have no clear policy on digital preservation, though the issue is now being given more attention. National authorities agreed to step up their efforts following the Commission’s 2006 recommendation on digitisation and digital preservation and in 2007 governments decided that preserving research findings was especially important (see Council Conclusions of November 2007) .
ALLEA’s Standing Committee on Intellectual Property Rights takes a broader approach when it is working on access to scientific information, as does the Royal Society of London project “Science as a Public Enterprise”.
Linksq ALLEA Standing Committee on Intellectual Property Rightsq Royal Society of London project: “Science as a Public Enterprise”

ALLEA President is member of the International Advisory Board in the reform process of Higher Education in Romania, 26-27 May 2011, Bucharest

26-05-2011

ALLEA President Professor Jüri Engelbrecht attended the meeting of the International and National Advisory Boards of the cluster of strategic projects in the reform process of higher education in Romania.
The meeting of the International Advisory Board and the National Advisory Board gave an overview on the following Strategic Projects in Romania: (1) Romanian Research Assessment Exercise; (2) Doctoral Studies in Romania; (3) Quality Leadership and Higher Education; (4) Improving University Management; (5) National Students Enrolment Registry. In addition to this cluster of projects supported by EU structural funds, an overview on the project „University graduates and labour market“ was given. Also the role of the Romanian Institute for Advanced Studies – a new entity mentioned in the new Law of National Education – was discussed. The Romanian Minister of Education, Research, Youth and Sport, Dr. Daniel Funeriu, explained that the IAS is meant for returning Romanian scientists in order to give them a starting platform. The Minister declared the full support of the government to this reform project and stressed that the process of restructuring is irreversible; he welcomed that all universities had understood the necessity for this reform: the restructuring process has included many discussions and workshops and the general line of actions: define-test-validate is accepted by stakeholders. The Minister indicated that the mentality towards research and higher education in Romania is improving. Within the framework of this project, there will be a conference on the Bologna process on 17-19 October 2011 in Bucharest.

Kick-off meeting of the Palestinian Academic Committee, 25 May 2011, Ramallah

25-05-2011

Following an initiative of the ALLEA Standing Committee on Science and Ethics in support of research and Higher Education in Palestine, the Palestinian Academy of Science and Technology hosted a meeting of 13 Palestinian universities in order to implement the recommendations.
The meeting took place on Wednesday, 25 May 2011, at the offices of the Palestine Academy (PALAST) in Ramallah. It considered the documentation produced by the joint ALLEA-Palestinian steering group in support of research and Higher Education in Palestine, the resulting needs assessment conducted among Palestinian universities in terms of international cooperation, as well as the recent ITU-PALAST agreement (incl. technical details of the general protocol).
The “Palestinian Academic Committee” (PAC) is established with members from all Palestinian Universities and from PALAST, initially with a view to implementing the agreement signed by ITU (Istanbul Technological University) and PALAST for the benefit of all Palestinian universities. Inter alia the following steps will be taken: PALAST will be coordinating the distribution of the ITU online Library-Access to Palestinian universities. The 5 PhD scholarships offered by ITU will follow ITU suggested procedure and application forms in addition to what has been agreed upon with regard to possible interviewing session of the candidates by an assigned committee including a representative from ITU. Each Palestinian university will identify two PhD candidates and ITU will advise how to proceed. Also distance education and video courses could be managed provided that more information regarding ITU facilities and Palestinian facilities are provided. In this sense, each university representative will have the information of the Internet Connection Specification provided to a ITU-IT-Contact. PALAST also briefed PAC about the meeting with colleagues from ITU at Energy Research Center, Euraia Research Center and High Performance Computing Center and the possibility of cooperation.
PAC members also agreed that they will have to modify the list of needs identified. The worksheet will have additional information for each need describing required action which is either a visiting faculty and/or strengthening academic/research capacity need. The list will be updated each academic year and when needed.In closing the meeting, PAC members thanked ALLEA and expressed their hope to be able to extend cooperation to other academic institutions as such cooperation will certainly help Palestinian Higher Education institutions.
Document ALLEA-Palestinian steering group: recommendations (final version)Linkq ALLEA SCSE meeting on in support of research and Higher Education in Palestine

New British Academy report: History for the taking? Perspectives on material heritage, 24 May 2011, London

24-05-2011

A new report urges the UK government to recognise the significance of cultural (material) heritage to the society, economy and culture of present and future generations, at a time when in the current climate, heritage seems to be slipping further away from the mainstream agenda.
The report warns that government spending cuts and rushed legislation within the cultural heritage sector are leading to a “devastating” loss of vital expertise, and to human activity that has the potential to “destroy” heritage irreparably. History for the Taking? Perspectives on Material Heritage focuses on archaeology and built heritage as the areas most at risk, with experts John Curtis (British Museum), Fiona Reynolds (National Trust), Michael Fulford and Anthony Harding (archaeologists) exposing particular elements of concern. The report reveals:• the threat to the historic environment posed by the coalition government’s desire to liberate the economy from “red tape” and extend planning powers to neighbourhood level• the loss of essential heritage expertise following extensive cuts in the number of conservation officers employed in local government• the growing threats to UK archaeology with 90% of all investigations carried out in England since 1990 now being undertaken by commercial organisations (and less than 10% of those reaching final publication)• the well-documented but under-addressed risks to cultural heritage in war zones such as Iraq and Afghanistan• the ethical dilemmas and issues for scholars handling antiquities of dubious provenanceRecommendations are made by the authors to address each area of concern, including the development of a formal framework for localism, a ratification of the Hague Convention and the setting up of an effective system for ensuring the completion and publication of archaeological projects undertaken during the planning process. It is the task of government to ensure its preservation for future generations, to introduce mitigation strategies where erosion of heritage assets is unavoidable and to have in place robust legislation to curtail exploitation. Each essay makes recommendations to policymakers and academics on how to take steps to better protect material legacies of the past.
Document History for the Taking? Perspectives on Material HeritageLinkq British Academy

ALLEA presents position paper on the future of research and innovation funding in Europe, 20 May 2011, Amsterdam

20-05-2011

The European Commission’s consultation on the Green Paper on future EU R&I funding closed on 20 May 2011; many Academies had participated in national and European level consultation, and had contributed to the ALLEA position paper “Towards a Common Strategic Framework”.More than 1300 responses to the online questionnaire have been received by the Commission as well as more than 750 written responses. ALLEA had presented a written response. All of the written responses are being made available on the consultation website, although due to the high number of responses received there may be some delay in publication. The Commission is analysing the responses and a summary analysis will be made available on the website before 10 June 2011. ALLEA submitted a substantial position paper that aims at giving a coherent representation of opinions, assessments and analyses which emerged in the course of discussions, consultations and dedicated meetings with and among Member Academies and expert advisory bodies, notably also by the European Academies Science Policy Task Force. Given their diverse histories and remit not all Member Academies had always agreed on all issues, though certain common and widely shared concerns have clearly emerged. They include issues such as: 1. emphasis on excellence and on blue-sky research as the basis for any scientific and technological progress (support for ERC, MCA, and FET); 2. better support mechanisms allowing newer Member States, candidate countries and the neighbourhood areas to strengthen and expand their S&T base; 3. necessity to consider Social Science and Humanities research as key component in the construction of the European Union, and to support it accordingly (see also: Interest Group SSH)4. necessity to start any intervention concerned with the innovation culture in Europe at the very basis, i.e. with a reform of education that aims at enabling creativity and an inquiry-based science education; 5. urgency to better harness scientific and technological knowledge – whether in the natural, social or human sciences – for relevant political decision-making.The text seeks to strike a balance between the many consensual, creatively dissenting and constructively controversial contributions that were received in the course of the encounters and consultation.Linkq European Academies Science Policy Task Force [Consultation on the Green Paper]

G8+ Academies issue statements on “Education for Science-Based Global Development” and on “Water & Health”, 19 May 2011, Paris

19-05-2011

With a view of the upcoming G8 Summit Meeting (26-27 May 2011, Deauville, France), the National Science Academies of several G8-G20 countries, plus Senegal as an invited guest, have addressed two Joint Statements to their respective Heads of State.
France playing host for the G8 Summit, the French Académie des Sciences – Institut de France chose and proposed two themes. As it has been tradition since 2005, the G8+ Academies focussed their debates on current topics with strong socio-economic relevance. The recommendations, vetted and approved by all the Academies present, were deliberately limited to five for each theme, underscoring those actions deemed as priorities and that the Summit Governments are invited to implement in each of the areas concerned.Education for a Science-based Global Development. With a view to offsetting a certain decline in interest for science, a form of scientific ‘alphabetisation’ must be launched at primary school and continued during the secondary school education. In order to meet these challenges, the Science Academies recommend:- that globalisation of knowledge be seen as an objective, thereby aiding the developing countries to acquire and maintain the infrastructures and the personnel as needed, and, for this purpose, to facilitate the return of those trained abroad to their countries of origin;- that support be given to distance learning (e-learning) processes and to open access to data banks and similar sources of scientific literature;- that full use be made of research in cognitive sciences, improving learning processes and programmes;- that a network of virtual reference centres specialised in innovating education programmes be set up;- that support be provided for exchange not only among research scientists but also with Society ( general public, the media, the policy-makers …).
The ALLEA Working Group on Science Education is working with Academies worldwide towards this aim. Its Founding Chair, Pierre Léna, has just been elected Chair of the global science education programme of IAP.
Water & Health – the Science Academies recommend:- that a priority action plan be implemented to provide sanitary equipment for supply of clean water and treatment of waste water, notably for schools in rural areas;- that education and training in both water management and water quality protection be promoted;- that help be provided to assist in identifying pathogens and development of relevant vaccines;- that the key role of women in water management and hygiene be supported;- that the efficiency of all forms of use of water be improved.
Documents Joint G8+ science academies’ statement on Water & Health Joint G8+ science academies’ statement on Education for a Science-Based Global Development
Linkq Le 19 mai, déclaration commune des Académies des sciences pour le Sommet du G8 de mai 2011q ALLEA Working Group on Science Education

Stakeholders Conference Forward Look “Responses to Environmental and Societal Challenges for our Unstable Earth” (RESCUE), 16-17 May 2011, Brussels

17-05-2011

ESF and COST had invited stakeholders, including Academies, with their vast coverage of all scientific fields, to this concluding conference of the RESCUE foresight initiative which aims to help Europe in addressing the societal and scientific challenges related to global environmental change.
Academies, with their vast coverage of all scientific fields, had been considered an important set of stakeholders for the RESCUE conference (RESCUE: “Responses to Environmental and Societal Challenges for our Unstable Earth”), a joint ESF and COST foresight exercise: its focus is anthropocentric and the goal is to stimulate an integrated, innovative response to the challenges, harnessing knowledge, insights and perspectives from natural, social and human sciences. This intention of the RESCUE translated into three key objectives: 1) To propose a strategic process for natural, social and human sciences to improve their interdisciplinary synergy, to respond efficiently to societal and policy-relevant needs; 2) To articulate new scientific issues related to global change, especially those of transdisciplinary nature or of major society-driven relevance; 3) To explore new approaches towards interdisciplinary science, and to facilitate the ‘revolution’ in education and capacity building it requires. The conference concluded the main RESCUE work plan, and discussed key RESCUE findings with a range of actors and stakeholders such as science funding agencies, science policy makers, researchers, research managers representing key science communities and initiatives, representatives from universities and NGOs, in Europe and beyond. Organized around plenary, thematic (related to research, education, society, governance, innovation, audiences) and integrative sessions (roadmap implementation; importance feasibility; desirability; confidence; tools for monitoring progress; success metrics and risks factors), it aimed at consensus building in view of the establishment of a common roadmap. The implementation of the key RESCUE recommendations will depend to a large extent on their uptake by funding agencies – both ESF members and others. The conference also included a public outreach event with a keynote lecture on the topic of “sustainability science meets society”. Linkq Responses to Environmental and Societal Challenges for our Unstable Earth (RESCUE)

ALLEA Statement on Patenting of Inventions Involving Human Embryonic Pluripotent Stem Cells in Europe, 13 May 2011, Amsterdam

13-05-2011

The ALLEA Standing Committee on Intellectual Property Rights (Chair: Professor Joseph Straus, Munich) has produced a new statement entitled Statement on Patenting of Inventions Involving Human Embryonic Pluripotent Stem Cells in Europe.
With this statement, ALLEA wishes to draw attention to the fact that European researchers in the field of human embryonic pluripotent stem cells find themselves in a regulatory dilemma, and, potentially, at a competitive disadvantage, owing to the inconsistencies in the application of moral approaches between European legislators and the institutions called upon to enforce the regulatory framework. This statement explains the background and the reasons for this situation, urges that the position be clarified as soon as possible. It comprises recommendations aimed at strengthening support for R&D capacities in this field in Europe. ALLEA hopes that the statement will be a constructive contribution to the ongoing process of clarification. It should be noted that this statement does not address the regulatory solutions concerning embryo research in European countries, nor does it address embryo research as such; it focuses exclusively on a regulatory dilemma and the resulting effects on research.
Document ALLEA Statement on Patenting of Inventions Involving Human Embryonic Pluripotent Stem Cells in Europe, 13 May 2011, AmsterdamLinkq ALLEA Standing Committee IPR

Estonian Academy of Sciences hosts Marine Board meeting, 10-11 May 2011, Tallinn

11-05-2011

ALLEA President Professor Jüri Engelbrecht welcomed, on behalf of the Estonian Academy of Sciences, the participants of the spring 2011 plenary meeting of the Marine Board.
The Marine Board is a pan-European partnership of national organisations involved in marine scientific research, including both research funding organisations (e.g. research councils, ministries), research performing organisations (e.g. major national marine research institutes) and large university consortia. The Marine Board is entirely self-financed by direct contributions from its Member Organisations, and external (FP) contracts. At the Spring 2011 Plenary Meeting the Board formally accepted membership applications from four new organizations: Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ), Belgian Science Policy Office (BELSPO), Marine Universities of France (consortium of nine major French universities performing marine research) and Croatian Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries (IZOR). The Board also held elections for the vacant positions of Chair and vice-Chair, Lars Horn and Jan Mees having completed their full terms as Chair and vice-Chair respectively. Kostas Nittis (Hellenic Centre for Marine Research) was elected as Chair of the Marine Board and Peter Haugan (Marine Strategic Board I University of Bergen, Norway) as a vice-Chair.

SCIENTIX Conference gives overview over FP-funded science education projects, 6-8 May 2011, Brussels

06-05-2011

ALLEA Working Group Science Education attended the SCIENTIX Conference, which offered an opportunity to learn more about the different (mainly FP-funded) projects in the field of science education in Europe.
The conference served as a forum to share expertise, experiences, and best practices among colleagues from across Europe and beyond. While the conference targeted especially science, maths and technology teachers, also other stakeholders were present, such as researchers, policy makers and science communicators. The conference also heard keynotes from Robert-Jan Smits, Director General of Research and Innovation, and Sir John Holman, formerly Director of the National Science Learning Centre in the University of York, UK (venue of the recent meeting of the IAP-ALLEA world conference on taking IBSE to secondary schools) and the UK government’s National STEM Director since 2006. In their speeches, both speakers stressed the importance of research and education for economic growth. John Holman highlighted the need for scientifically literate population, aware of societal, economical and cultural implications of scientific research, and identified some of the key challenges science education must address to meet the needs of both the future scientist and the future citizen.
Links1. Scientix 2. ALLEA Working Group Science Education

Chair of ALLEA Working Group Science Education gives keynote at International Workshop, 5-6 May 2011, Berlin

05-05-2011

WG Chair Pierre Lena (Académie des Sciences) gave a keynote presentation at the workshop “Future Dimensions of Science Education and Technology Literacy in Europe”, organized by Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities in Berlin.

Chaired by Ortwin Renn, the workshop brought together experts and scientists from Norway, Hungary, France, the Netherlands and Germany to debate different national approaches, science education systems and experiences with enhancing technology literacy. The workshop served to enrich the recommendations that will be elaborated by the Academy working group in Germany, to be submitted to the government shortly. Topics discussed included comparisons of innovative approaches to the integration of science and technology education (international comparison), an update on the UNESCO-sponsored ROSE project, based in Norway (How do young people feel about their school science and technology? Results and perspectives from the international ROSE project), and links between cognitive sciences, pedagogy and epistemological challenges in modern science education. Also aspects such as gender asymmetry in science and technology education, and the necessity to include the presence of technology into other subjects in primary and secondary education (for example: social studies; literature) were touched upon.
LinkBBAW: EUTENA – Zur Zukunft technischer und naturwissenschaftklicher Bildung in Europa

ALLEA President attends ESF Extraordinary Assembly, 4 May 2011, Frankfurt

04-05-2011

ALLEA President Prof. Jüri Engelbrecht attended the extraordinary Assembly of the European Science Foundation as observer. ESF member organisations (among them several Academies that are also ALLEA members) were asked to vote on the steps leading to a merger with the organisation of national research councils (EuroHORCs) and to the discontinuation of most research funding and networking activities of ESF. Two options were presented: 1) Creating a new organisation in Brussels, based on the principles of ESF and EUROHORCs, while winding down ESF and closing EUROHORCs; and 2) Transforming the current ESF and closing EUROHORCs, forming a new organisation that retains an office in Strasbourg and opens an office in Brussels. Neither option obtained the respective majority of votes required. At the earlier General Assembly of EuroHORCs on 14 April in Istanbul, Option 1 had received a clear majority. Both organisations will now discuss next steps. A number of Academies have left ESF in the meantime, being in disagreement with the recent changes.On earlier occasions, ALLEA and its members that are also ESF Member Organisations had presented a series of arguments for a stronger presence of the research community in whatever new structure may emerge.

President of Hungarian Academy welcomes European Future Technologies (FET) conference and exhibition, 4-6 May 2011, Budapest

04-05-2011

József Pálinkás, president of the Hungarian Academy of sciences was one of the speakers giving a “political welcome”, next to Zoltán Cséfalvay (Minister of State for economic strategy and parliamentary affairs – Ministry for National Economy) and Nellie Kroes (Vice President of the European Commission).
The FET11 conference and exhibition provided a good platform for an international cross-disciplinary dialogue and discussion on visions and challenges for frontier research in future and emerging information technologies. It involved some key policy makers, and featured a mix of panel discussion, keynote speakers, scientific sessions, and posters sessions. While the FET Conference essentially focused on bridging disparate disciplines and communities, and fostering the interplay between science, policy and society, there were also scientific highlights: the finalists of the FET competition under FP7 were given an opportunity to present themselves.Within the EU Framework Programme, Future and Emerging Technologies (FET) is funding frontier research based on a radically new visions of what can be done and grounded in scientifically valid ideas how to make major steps towards achieving such visions. It acts as a pathfinder, is open to new ideas and helps to create opportunities, going beyond some of the conventional boundaries of Information and Communication Technology and venturing into uncharted areas. FET funded projects increasingly rely on fresh synergies, cross-pollination and convergence with different scientific disciplines and with the arts and humanities. This transdisciplinary and high-risk research requires new attitudes and novel organisational models in research and education. The multidisciplinary creative process that is at the heart of future and emerging technologies is a constant challenge to conventional academic boundaries.Linkq The European Future Technologies Conference and Exhibition 2011

Steering Group on support for research and HE in Palestine reports signing of protocol between ITU and PALAST, 2 May 2011, Istanbul

02-05-2011

Rector Prof Dr. Şahin of Istanbul Technological University announced that his university would act upon the recommendations issued by ALLEA’s Standing Committee on Science and Ethics in support of research and higher education in Palestine.
SCSE had established a mixed Euro-Palestinian steering group, which is chaired by PALAST, the Palestine Academy for Science and Technology. Following a meeting organized by ALLEA at the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters in June 2010 in Oslo, ITU became involved in the initiative which aims to encourage and coordinate solidarity with institutions of higher education in Palestine. A visit of a Palestinian delegation had been prepared by Prof. Ayşe Erzan, faculty member at ITU, member of the Turkish Academy of Sciences, and member of the steering group, and ITU hosted the delegation formed by Secretary General of PALAST and representatives of universities in Palestine. The Palestinian delegation including academics from universities in Jerusalem, Ramallah and Gaza and signed a protocol with ITU regarding exchange for faculty members, sharing scientific resources and distance learning tools and experiences. ITU will also provide library support (making the electronic archive of the ITU library available to Palestinian universities) as well as book support. Within the framework of distance learning, common lectures and video conferences will be given. ITU will also start student exchange opportunities for students in Palestine to study at ITU.
Document ALLEA-Palestinian steering group: recommendationsLinkq ALLEA meeting on support for research and higher education in Palestine

ALLEA President speaks at 150th anniversary of Croatian Academy, 28-29 April 2011, Zagreb

28-04-2011

ALLEA President Prof. Jüri Engelbrecht gave a welcome speech during the festivities to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts in Zagreb. The official ceremony took place under the auspices of the Croatian Parliament at the Croatian National Theatre. In 1860, Josip Juraj Strossmayer, bishop of Đakovo and Srijem, founded a South Slavic Academy in Zagreb, presenting Josip Šokčević, the vice-roy of Croatia, with a 50,000 florin endowment for the founding of the Academy. He also sent a letter expressing his wish that the Academy should “bring together the best minds (…) and find a way in which books in the national languages could be produced in the Slavic South; the Academy should also take under its aegis all the areas of human science”. During the ceremony, extracts from the speech held by Strossmayer were interpreted by the dramatic artist Kruno Šarić. Welcome speeches were scheduled by J. Engelbrecht, President of ALLEA, Jadranka Kosor, Prime Minister of the Republic of Croatia, Luka Bebic, Speaker of the Croatian Parliament and Ivo Josipovic, President of the Republic of Croatia.
Linkq Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts

ALLEA and ESF publish European Code for Conduct on Research Integrity, 28 April 2011, Strasbourg

28-04-2011

After a number of studies and meetings in the context of the ALLEA Standing Committee on Science and Ethics and as part of the ESF Member Organisations’ Forum on Research Integrity, the European Code of Conduct for Research Integrity has now been published in its full form.
The foreword to the document, authored by ESF’s CEO Marja Makarow and ALLEA President Jüri Engelbrecht, states: “Science is expected to enlarge mankind’s knowledge base, provide answers to global challenges, and guide decisions that shape our societies. Yet when science is compromised by fraudulent activities, not only the research enterprise stumbles, but also society’s trust in it. Thus, researchers and leaders throughout the world should ensure that science is trustworthy to our best knowledge. This can be achieved by education, promoting a culture of integrity, and by development of and compliance with joint rules and norms.”The ESF had published in 2000 a science policy briefing ‘Good Scientific Practice in Research and Scholarship’; one of the recommendations envisages, as an important task for the National Academies, the formulation of codes of good scientific practice. ALLEA had developed, on the basis of a document from KNAW, the ‘Memorandum on Scientific Integrity’ (2003), which has been translated into several languages and is in use in many countries today.The international debate continued with the First World Conference on Research Integrity (Lisbon 2007), organised together with the US Office for Research Integrity; in 2008, a survey was carried out on research integrity structures, ‘Stewards of Integrity – Institutional Approaches to Promote and Safeguard Good Research Practice in Europe’: a dedicated debate platform was set up – an ESF Member Organisation Forum on Research Integrity, with 31 research funding and performing organisations from 22 countries, together with ALLEA. The work of this group produced the ESF-ALLEA consensus document ‘The European Code of Conduct for Research Integrity’, launched at the 2nd World Conference on Research Integrity held in July 2010. The Code addresses the proper conduct and principled practice of systematic research in the medical, natural and social sciences and the humanities. It stands as a canon for self-regulation with clear recommendations, and is now on the way to being taken as a reference template for implementation throughout Europe. It is not intended to replace existing national or academic guidelines, but to represent a Europe-wide agreement on a set of principles and priorities for the research community. Linkq ALLEA Standing Committee Science & Ethics
Document The European Code of Conduct for Research Integrity

ALLEA joins US National Academies of Sciences Workshop on measuring impact of research, 18-19 April 2011, Washington

18-04-2011

ALLEA executive director R. Klein participated in an NAS workshop on “Measuring the impacts of federal investments in research”, co-sponsored by NSF, NASA, and a number of other federal research funding agencies.
The workshop sought to identify analytical and data needs and opportunities in assessing the returns to federal research funding across a wide range of fields and government missions. Many of the concerns expressed resonate with recent discussions surrounding the European Commission’s new strategic framework for research funding. Questions discussed included reviews of different efforts to measure the economic and noneconomic benefits of federal research investments, including the impact of research on non-market values such as climate change mitigation, food security, environmental protection, and national security. Given the recent emphasis on constructing a long-term data infrastructure for measuring research impacts, sessions also dealt with STAR Metrics and the efforts that need to be made to encompass different performers and funding mechanisms. Some comparisons were made with methods and metrics used in Europe and Latin America.The final panel emphasised the need to create subtle metrics that would also aim to capture long-term benefits and benefits and achievements of non-mission oriented research, that would recognise the beneficial impacts on the education of the labour force, and, generally, that would foster research conditions under which there is sufficient room for serendipity, considered by all panellists as one of the driving forces of scientific discoveries with strong long-term impact. Especially this last panel captured also the views of ALLEA on the requirements for any sustainable research ecosystem.A commissioned background paper “Promises and Limitations of Performance Measures” is available on the workshop website.

 

ALLEA at workshop to guide new research initiative “Knowledge, Learning, and Societal Change”, 13-15 April 2011, Grindelwald

13-04-2011

ALLEA executive director R. Klein participated in a workshop sponsored by Swiss Academies (sc-nat) aimed to guide and launch a new cross-cutting IHDP core research initiative on “Knowledge, Learning, and Societal Change: Finding Paths To a Sustainable Future”
As the world is facing unprecedented challenges in managing the global ecosystems on which it depends, one challenge is in understanding the changes to the ecological, geo-physical, social, and economic conditions on Earth on multiple temporal and spatial scales. A second challenge is to enable mitigation and adaptation with changing conditions to effect a transition to a sustainable societal system. Addressing the second challenge is the task of this new IHDP initiative “KLSC”. The mission of the KLSC project is to contribute toward building a sustainable future by identifying, understanding, and enabling the effective use of the mechanisms and levers of behavioral and societal change that are linked with knowledge production and learning processes. The workshop brought together the core of an emerging collaborative community of practice (including researchers, funders, practitioners and activists in the socio-political domain, stakeholders from media and the arts). The workshop aimed at refining the research and action agenda, including the establishment of new connections and collaborations, and the discussion of funding strategies, capacity building activities, and public-science-policy interactions.
Linkhttp://www.ihdp.unu.edu/article/read/klsc

ALLEA General Assembly discusses new strategy for Academies in European science policy matters, 12-13 April 2011, Amsterdam

12-04-2011

ALLEA’s members – 53 National Academies of Sciences and Humanities from 40 countries – were invited to attend the annual General Assembly 2011, which debated the positioning of National Academies in European science policy.
The science policy session heard presentations on a variety of networks led by National Academies, and often involving other partners: EASAC was presented as the advisory council through which European Academies advise European institutions on science dimensions of policy choices in the domains of biomedical research and health, as well as energy and the environment; the V4 network explained its strategy to strengthen research performing academies in central Europe; other regional networks informed about their approaches to specific science challenges in the Alps, South-Eastern Europe, and around the Mediterranean. Individual National Academies presented and discussed the linkages of the new EU strategy to the science and HE issues that are of core concern in their respective countries.The plenary business meeting debated the new financial framework for ALLEA, reached agreement on how to approach the action plan for 2012, discussed possible changes in the ALLEA governance (strengthening of the Board) and launched the process of presidential elections.The plenary session was preceded by a meeting of the European Academies Science Policy Task Force, which debated the emerging new EU strategy for research and innovation funding with a view to strengthening the Innovation Union, including the challenges in the fields of Higher Education and the new forms of public-private partnerships. ALLEA is preparing the response of All European Academies to the Commission’s consultation on the Green Paper (see also: [LINK to European Academies Science Policy Task Force]). The position paper will also benefit from the input of ALLEA’s advisory bodies (on ethics, intellectual property rights, science education and evaluation, as well as the existing and emerging interest groups on social sciences and humanities, research infrastructures and clustering). One of the challenges to be addressed includes the position of non-EU science communities in the evolving EU funding landscape.

Results of ALLEA Interest Group Social Sciences and Humanities presented at meeting of NCP plus Programme Committee, 8 April 2011, Athens

08-04-2011

The ALLEA executive director presented the work of the ALLEA Interest Group Social Sciences and Humanities at a meeting convened by Net4Society, the network of National Contact Points, in the presence of some members of the Programme Committee and of guests from Asia.Following the meeting on 31 March 2011 of this British Academy-led ALLEA Interest Group (composed of some 25 Academies) with European Commission services, some ministerial representatives, ESF Standing Committees (Humanities and Social Sciences) and some other relevant SSH networks and institutions, ALLEA now presented its view on the role of Social Science & Humanities research in Europe after FP7, in particular the role of SSH research in the context of societal Grand Challenges, the importance of support for research infrastructures in the SSH, and the SSH dimensions in the ALLEA-coordinated response of the Academies to the consultation on the Green Paper on a “Common Strategic Framework for Research and Innovation”.A separate session during the meeting discussed the questions of what indicators need to be constructed to demonstrate impact of SSH research beyond the field of academia.

ALLEA participates in discussion on Joint Programming Initiatives in the CSF, 7 April 2011, Brussels

07-04-2011

ALLEA President and Executive director participated in this strategic workshop on how to better link European, national and regional research and innovation systems through funding frameworks such as the Joint Programming Initiatives, ERA-Nets and others.
As grand societal challenges are put at the centre of the EU research and innovation policies, emphasis is also placed on strengthening the science base and the link of research with innovation in order to strengthen Europe’s competitive position. This ambitious set of goals requires an integrated approach that needs to be applied through EU and national policies; it also needs to engage industry and end users in defining strategic research agendas. Stimulating innovation – for example through pre-commercial public procurement or building public private partnerships – and stimulating demonstration projects and prototyping are part of this approach. This new focus challenges the appropriateness of national research systems and their scope and modes of operation: strategies for internationalisation of research will become more and more important, which presents a challenge in particular for smaller Member States. Currently, the joint programming landscape includes a number of instruments, some of which, like ERANETs and Art. 185, have accumulated significant experience over several years of implementation. New approaches like Joint Programming Initiatives (JPI) or the more recent European Innovation Partnerships (EIP) are also finding their way to implementation. While ensuring a sufficient level of commitment by member states and stakeholders is crucial. to date, pooling of resources and achieving critical mass has remained suboptimal. Progress in completing shared strategic research agendas is linked to the process of building trust between partners. The workshop considered whether a new model for support of joint programming between member states may be needed reflecting a shift in the Commission’s role from the coordination of national programmes to the coordination of national and EU programmes in jointly addressing societal and other grand challenges. The governance of JPIs also still remains an open issue: including civil society among the actors is not an easy task. The meetings was doubted whether joint programming initiatives should be targeted beyond the politically identified ‘Grand societal challenges’, and was sceptical as to new programme formats. Rather, an optimised ERA-NET instrument, through the merging of ERA-NETs and ERA-NET Plus, were suggested as better suited for those other objectives and areas of interest. Also the need for creating new instruments has to be thoroughly examined. ALLEA argued that steps must be taken to ensure that even with the involvement of other societal stakeholders scientific excellence has to remain adequately balanced against all other forms of expected excellence throughout all selection processes. ALLEA also urged to make sure that global scientific participation is enshrined in all programme components – be it under JPI’s or elsewhere – since the societal grand challenges had been identified also for their global relevance; especially in programme formats where national programmes are coordinated, returns to restrictive entry conditions should be avoided. Further, it was emphasised that simple and coherent rules across all initiatives is always a desirable aim, harmonisation must not lead to unification of rules, as this would risk flexibility to researchers’ and other stakeholders’ needs.

ALLEA Working Group Science Education as European network at global action committee meeting, 2 April 2011, Paris

02-04-2011

The chair of the ALLEA Working Group on Science Education, Pierre Léna, and the ALLEA executive director discussed with IAP’s global action committee, composed of all regional networks, the coordination of activities during a meeting at Académie des Sciences.
The meeting heard short reports from the four regional coordinators about the Science Education activities organized in the Americas, Africa, Asia-Pacific and Europe. Also the strategies for translation and dissemination of the conference report of the jointly sponsored conference in York (October 2010) was discussed. The ALLEA executive director suggested to prepare also an Arabic translation in order to involve the rejuvenating efforts in science education in the Arab world. Among the preparation of global activities for 2012, the meeting discussed the possibility of holding another global conference in 2012 (possibly in Helsinki), with a focus on assessment methodologies and with a stronger involvement of industry. The ALLEA executive director also requested, on behalf of some ALLEA members, a clearer positioning of the IAP initiative vis-à-vis the renewed efforts of ICSU in the field of science education.

British Academy-led ALLEA Interest Group SSH convenes meeting between European Commission and European Academies, 31 March 2011, Brussels

22-03-2011

The British Academy-led ALLEA Interest Group convenes a meeting between European Commission services and European Academies in support of Social Science & Humanities research in Europe after FP7.The Belgian Academies will play host, at their Palais des Académies in Brussels, to a meeting co-sponsored by British Academy and ALLEA where the European Commission’s Director O. Quintana Trias (Directorate B: European Research Area) and others will discuss with the National Academies and a select group of other relevant stakeholders the necessity to support European Social Science and Humanities research after FP7, also in the framework of the envisaged Common Strategic Framework for Research and Innovation. One focus of the meeting are Grand Challenges for Europe, for which SSH can provide exclusive expertise (e.g.: social inclusion; education; memory and identity etc.).
This is a follow up to an earlier meeting co-organised in a similar way and held at the British School in Rome in December 2010 with the participation of some 20 National Academies. That meeting produced a draft set of recommendations on European Social Science & Humanities research after FP7 which had informed subsequent discussions with the Commission, ministries, research council and other SSH networks in Europe.The agenda for this meeting also includes discussions on research infrastructures, on the role of SSH research in the context of Grand Challenges identified by other scientific fields, and the response of the SSH communities to the ALLEA-coordinated response of the Academies to the consultation on the Green Paper on a “Common Strategic Framework for Research and Innovation”.Links1. ALLEA Interest Group Social Science & Humanities2. ALLEA consultation of Member Academies on the EC’s Green Paper on a “Common Strategic Framework for Research and Innovation”

ALLEA Standing Committee Science and Ethics meets with partner committees from Council of Europe and European Union, 29-30 March, Brussels

21-03-2011

Alongside ongoing business – ethics of scientific policy advice, capacity building (ethics committees), promoting research integrity, developing a framework for ethics education as part of research training, science and human rights, etc. – the ALLEA Standing Committee Science and Ethics meets at this spring’s plenary meeting with its counterparts, the Steering Committee on Bioethics (CDBI) which since 1985 has been responsible for the intergovernmental activities of the Council of Europe in the field of bioethics, and the and the European Union’s European Group on Ethics in Science and New Technologies. One purpose of the meeting is the preparation of a joint horizon-scanning exercise.
Links1. ALLEA Standing Committee Science and Ethics2. Council of Europe, Steering Committee on Bioethics (CDBI) 3. EGE: European Group on Ethics in Science and New Technologies

Launch of Global Science Report “Knowledge, Networks and Nations” by Royal Society of London, 29 March 2011, London

21-03-2011

ALLEA had been invited to attend the launch of the Royal Society of London’s Global Science Report “Knowledge, Networks and Nations: Global scientific collaboration in the 21st century”. The report offers a snapshot of the locales and actors of cutting-edge science around the world in 2011. It also reminds policy-makers of the crucial role that international collaboration plays in strengthening the breadth, quality and impact of research, as it addresses some of the ‘global challenges’ such as climate change, food security and infectious diseases. The report is a useful addition to ALLEA’s work on “Grand Challenges”, whether taken forward in the context of its Young Academy project or in direct discussions with the European Commission. It also adds a new dimension to the work of Member Academies on global and regional, transnational research cooperation.
LinkProject website: Knowledge, Networks and Nations: Global scientific collaboration in the 21st century”

ALLEA explains “European Young Academy” project at meeting of Global Young Academy, 19 March 2011, Berlin

19-03-2011

As invited keynote speaker, ALLEA Executive Director R. Klein reviewed progress and perspectives of the ALLEA project “Towards a European Young Academy” at a meeting of the “Global Young Academy” (GYA) held at the German Institute of Economic Research in Berlin. He also pointed to the emergence of a number of new national Young Academies in Europe, following the exchange of experiences that ALLEA’s platform discussions had enabled in 2009 and 2010; the latest developments include Belgium, Scotland and Sweden. In Poland, the relevant Ministry has moved towards supporting the notion of a young scientists’ advisory council. Klein also pointed to the strong interest on the part of the European Commission in having access to the views and visions of young scientists about the future of research and innovation in Europe, next to being able to resort to the advice from ERAB. Such matters had emerged from discussions between the ALLEA President and the Commissioner at EU Presidency meetings in Spain in 2010.GYA has grown out of the network of alumni from the IAP-supported presence of young scientists at the “summer Davos” meetings in China in 2009 and 2010. The principle of a forum for exchanges between young science, business and political leaders had been co-developed by the IAP chairs and the ALLEA President J. Engelbrecht ever since 2007.The GYA meeting adopted the new constitution and moved to establishing a series of activities. Given that some areas show a large degree of overlap with existing activities of IAP, ICSU and TWAS or, in Europe, ALLEA, there will be a large potential for synergies, cooperation and complementarity.Links1. ALLEA Project European Young Academy2. Global Young Academy

ALLEA initiative to support higher education and research in Palestine leads to closer cooperation, 18 March 2011

18-03-2011

ALLEA initiative to support higher education and research in Palestine leads to closer cooperation between Turkish and Palestinian universities and libraries.Following a series of workshops and meetings in 2010 that aimed at a establishing specific areas for intervention of European Academies in support of Higher Education and Research in Palestine, an agreement is now being discussed between Turkish and Palestinian universities about sharing of library resources. Key in bringing about this strand of activities was the former member of the ALLEA Standing Committee for Science and Ethics and member of the Steering Group on the Palestine Initiative, Professor Ayşe Erzan.Other activities under this initiative – launched by Dagfinn Føllesdal from the Norwegian Academy of Arts and Sciences and member of ALLEA’s Standing Committee for Science and Ethics – include a thematic needs assessment of Palestinian Universities in terms of capacity building (teaching and research support in line with strategic priority plans), a directory of academics willing to engage in capacity building and evaluations, circulation of scholarship opportunities for Palestinian researchers in Europe, and a close interaction with the UNESCO-supported programme PEACE between European and Palestinian universities. ALLEA’s key interlocutor for this project is PALAST, the Palestinian Academy of Science and Technology. In particular, ALLEA will support PALAST in organizing a meeting of the main foreign and international support agencies for higher education and research in Palestine, in order to achieve a better coordination, notably with a view to the national science plan.Links and documents: 1. ALLEA initiative in support of Higher Education and Research in Palestine2. UNESCO PEACE Programme Resolutions and work-plan for the initiative in support of Higher Education and Research in Palestine

 

3 new statements from ALLEA Standing Committee on Intellectual Property Rights, 10 March 2011

10-03-2011

3 new statements from ALLEA Standing Committee on Intellectual Property Rights on the future of the European patent system, on patenting opportunities in human stem cell research and on the digitization of books.
The Standing Committee on Intellectual Property Rights, chaired by Professor Joseph Straus, Emeritus from the Max-Planck-Institute for Intellectual Property and Competition Law, is consulting with ALLEA’s 53 Member Academies on three new statements it has produced. The statements concern respectively:- Patenting of Inventions Involving Human Embryonic Pluripotent Stem Cells in Europe;- The Future Patent System of the European Union;- Opportunities and Risks the Digitisation of Books and the Google Book Settlement.
The statements will shortly be placed on this website and will be injected into the relevant debates in particular in Europe and in the U.S.Links and documentsALLEA Standing Committee on Intellectual Property Rights Patenting of Inventions Involving Human Embryonic Pluripotent Stem Cells in Europe; The Future Patent System of the European Union; Opportunities and Risks the Digitisation of Books and the Google Book Settlement.

High level meeting of ALLEA and EASAC prepares new framework for European policy interventions of Academies, 9 March 2011, London

09-03-2011

At a meeting hosted by Royal Society of London the presidencies of ALLEA and EASAC discussed with a number of key Member Academies the framework and strategy for future interventions, as the voice of European science, in European policy and science policy debates.
EASAC, with its Academy delegates engaged in three scientific portfolios, focuses on timely and high-quality policy advice on scientific matters related to the fields of biomedical research, energy and the environment. Recent work covered inter alia infectious diseases and groundwater and biodiversity issues. ALLEA, with its expert groups and task forces supported by 53 National Academies from across Europe, articulates the voice of the scientific and scholarly communities on framework conditions for doing research in Europe and promotes the exchange of best practice and information between its Member Academies. Current work under the headings “policies for science” and “science and society in Europe” leads to recommendations in the areas education, higher education, research funding, science systems and innovation challenges. Says ALLEA Executive Director R. Klein: “Europe expects to hear the united voice of science and scholarship on crucial issues of the continent’s and the Union’s future. Better coordination between relevant Academy networks will take us a long way in meeting this expectation”.Links 1. EASAC2. ALLEA activities

ALLEA Academies debate plans to better address science policy challenges, 8 March 2011, London

08-03-2011

A number of Member Academies convened at British Academy, London, with Board and Presidency to discuss how best to adapt the wide-ranging ALLEA Strategic Plan 2010-2015 to the current conditions of financial crisis.
As many national R&D budgets across Europe have come under pressure, it is more than ever necessary to strengthen the voice of National Academies in Europe and better target their messages in defense of knowledge-based societies in Europe. ALLEA has established a good working relationship with the European Commission services, but it will be necessary that Member Academies themselves become more active in connecting domestic, European and global science policy concerns. Examples for activities envisaged under this approach are the French Academy-led ALLEA Working Group on Science Education (with 25 European Member Academies, links to IAP’s global science education programme, and regularly interactions with President Barroso’s cabinet), the British Academy-led ALLEA Interest Group on Social Sciences and Humanities in Europe (also with c.25 European Member Academies, and regularly feeding into discussions with the relevant Commissioner and Directorate) or also, in a different format, the Norwegian Academy’s initiative to support Higher Education and Research in Palestine (with ALLEA’s Standing Committee on Science and Ethics, and in close interaction with UNESCO and European agencies).
Links 1. ALLEA Working Group on Science Education2. ALLEA Interest Group on Social Sciences and Humanities in Europe3. ALLEA Standing Committee on Science and Ethics

ALLEA and pan-European group of intergovernmental and community stakeholders support research infrastructures

03-03-2011

ALLEA and other members of the pan-European group of intergovernmental and community key stakeholders support better policies for research infrastructures.ALLEA’s Executive Director R. Klein was scheduled to attend the high-level reflection group of research related organisations on research infrastructures, which seeks to support the concept, use and funding of a coherent pattern of large-scale and distributed research infrastructures in Europe.The meeting discussed contributions on research infrastructures to the Green Paper consultation on the Common Strategic Framework (CSF) for Research and Innovation. In this context, the issue of the use of RIs for innovation (after research) was raised, but it was argued that so far the focus had been on basic research. Participants debated ways of presenting and implementing the joint understanding on support for research infrastructures organisations. The group also discussed the issue of evaluation of research infrastructures, of cost efficiency and the evolution of costs (see: ESFRI report on cost containment), and on the dynamics of technology and cultural developments. It was proposed that this group of representatives function as a “sounding board” to prepare the future consultation process of stakeholders. Future meetings would need to discuss also dimensions of regional R&D policies.
Links 1. ALLEA Website IG Research Infrastructures 2. EU Portal Research Infrastructures

ALLEA articulates voice of European Academies in consultation on “Common Strategic Framework”, 1 March 2011, Brussels

01-03-2011

ALLEA’s Executive Director R. Klein was scheduled to represent ALLEA at the meeting in Brussels of key stakeholders where the European Commission’s Directorate for Research and Innovation discussed the process of consultation on a “Common Strategic Framework for EU Research and Innovation funding”.The European Commission proposes a Common Strategic Framework for EU research and innovation funding. The aim, as set out in the Green Paper, is to make participation easier, increase scientific and economic impact and improve value for money. Stakeholders have until 20 May 2011 to express their opinions. A conference in Brussels on 10 June 2011 will wrap up the consultation. The input will be used for the development of the formal proposal for the Common Strategic Framework to be adopted by the Commission by the end of 2011.
ALLEA consults its Member Academies and expert groups on the Green Paper and intends to discuss first results at the upcoming General Assembly on 12-13 April 2011. Links and documents European Academies Science Policy Task ForceALLEA / EU Consultation questionnaire (for ALLEA Member Academies only) Green Paper

ALLEA participates in EU Presidency Conference of FP7 Interim Evaluation, 24-25 February 2011, Budapest

24-02-2011

The EU Presidency conference on the Interim Evaluation of FP7 convened on 24-25 February 2011 in Budapest, Hungary. The results and recommendations of the interim evaluation, conducted by an EC-appointed expert group under chair Rolf Annerberg (Director General of FORMAS, the Swedish research council for ), had been presented earlier this year. The conference heard the European Commission’s response and gave insights into methodology and likely impact, and made links to evaluations of new and smaller components among EU research funding streams, likely to be incorporated with the FP into the “Common Strategic Framework”, such as Joint Technology Initiatives, EIT etc., but also the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP) which targets small and medium-sized enterprises.Stakeholders discussed inter alia the involvement of industry, and opportunities for improved participation of EU-12 countries in the FP. For the second topic, better synergies with the use of Structural Funds was identified as key. The programme, some presentations and the conference conclusions are available on the conference website. Many of the issues raised by the conference and by the interim evaluation will be integrated into the consultation on the Green Paper on a Common Strategic Framework.Links 1. EU Interim Evaluation of FP72. EU Presidency Conference Half-Time Highway3. European Academies Science Policy Task Force: Consultation on the Green Paper

ALLEA Working Group Science Education agrees on cooperation with Barroso’s Bureau of European Policy Advisors, 21 February 2011, Brussels

21-02-2011

On 21 February the Core Group of the ALLEA Working Group on Science Education led by founding chair Pierre Léna (Académie des Sciences) met in Brussels with the Head of the Bureau of European Policy Advisors (BEPA). BEPA activities, its strategic input and reports complement those of other Commission Services: they concentrate on the early stages of the policy cycle, thereby helping to shape policy options in the medium and long term. Within the Commission, BEPA holds a unique position as it operates directly under the President’s authority.During an earlier round of discussions with BEPA and the relevant directorates (15 September 2010) a number of issues had been identified on which Academies would be invited to engage with the Council of Ministers or where their support would be sought through other means. These proposals were subsequently discussed at the plenary meeting of the ALLEA Working Group during the global conference on “Taking Inquiry-Based science Education into Secondary Education” in York, UK, 27-29 October 2010, which was co-sponsored by ALLEA, IAP, Royal Society and Wellcome Trust. Based on the resolutions at the plenary meeting of the Working Group, a correspondence with the Council of Ministers as well as he relevant the Commissioners and the Directorates ensued. As an outcome of this correspondence, in order to prepare the next practical steps, and with a view to ensuring appropriate coordination across directorates, this meeting was convened. During this meeting, a number of conclusions were reached: – The EC appreciates the contribution of National Academies to the rejuvenation of science education; there is some concern about the impact of EU-funded pilot projects in member states and elsewhere in Europe; the Academies are invited to conduct a light-weight survey about the impact of EU-funded and other national exercises;- The EC agrees with the concern of the Working Group that existing EU high level and expert group dealing with the rejuvenation of science education need to draw also on the expertise of leading scientists as are assembled in the National Academies, appropriate steps will be taken to ensure such a representation of the National Academies;- The EC supports the idea of a conference on science education in 2012; such a conference would have to bring together scientific, educational and business communities. Tentatively it was suggested to hold such a conference in Finland.LinkALLEA Working Group Science Education

ALLEA President attends 21st meeting of the FP7 People Programme Advisory Group, 18 February 2011, Brussels

18-02-2011

The 21st meeting of the FP7 People Advisory Group, held at DG Education & Culture, discussed the links between the “People” programme and the more recent developments that focus on “Grand Challenges” and to strengthen the link between research and innovation. In terms of the ethical framework conditions, the European Charter and the ALLEA-ESF co-developed European Code of Conduct for Research Integrity were highlighted. Participants also discussed the findings of recent reports on mobility of researchers out of and into the EU (prepared by JRC IPTS).
LinkA European Code of Conduct for Research Integrity

ALLEA President attends 3rd meeting of Advisory Board NETWATCH at JRC, 16 February 2011, Seville, Spain

16-02-2011

The 3rd meeting of the Advisory Board of NETWATCH – Development of a Central Information Platform on Transnational R&D Programme Collaboration – charted the progress made in this three-year programme that was started on 1 January 2009. The Advisory Group welcomed that NETWATCH reflects now data not only about ERA-NETs, but also of self-sustainable networks (7), and of joint programmes according articles 169/185 (4), altogether of 78 entities. The database showed that while the themes of ERA-NETs follow the FP7 priorities, areas such as health and IT are not well represented. A report „Developing the European Research Area: Opening-up of National R&D Programmes and Joint R&D Policy Initiatives“ is being prepared, but it will not reflect the contributions of, for example, Academies to the ERA that occur outside the ERA schemes.

ALLEA is active observer in “European Alliance on Research Career Development”, 9-10 February 2011, Brussels

09-02-2011

Following discussions among ALLEA members about the role of Academies in capacity building and the development of research careers (for example: Young Academies; fellowships; doctoral schools at the institutes of research performing academies etc.), ALLEA participated in the 1st meeting of the “European Alliance on Research Career Development”, convened by ESF in Brussels.The Alliance is the outcome of earlier work by ESF (MOF Forum research careers) and university networks (LERU, EUA). Three main topics that were identified for further work at the meeting were:- Development of a taxonomy of research careers;- Mobility and the role of the scientific visa;- Towards a European researcher development framework. ALLEA was invited in particular to encourage its Member Academies to contribute to the testing of the validity of a UK-based researcher development framework, and, notably because of the global networks of its members, to play a role in the elaboration of recommendations on improving the use of scientific visa.
Links1. Report “Research Careers in Europe”2. EC Background Paper “Towards a European Framework for Research Careers” 3. LERU Reports “Harvesting Talent” and “Doctoral degree beyond 2010” 4. European Universities Association: Council for Doctoral Education 5. Researcher Development Framework (UK-based exercise)