2012


ALLEA Working Group on Science Education issues recommendations on the renewal of science education in Europe

20-12-2012The ALLEA Working Group on Science Education has issued an executive summary of its recently published report A renewal of science education in Europe. Views and Actions of National Academies.

The summary emphasizes the necessity to amplify the scope of inquiry-based science education at primary and lower secondary school as well as the quality of science teacher training. It includes recommendations for better interaction between the educational, scientific and corporate communities at the national level in order to raise the awareness of the political stakeholders with regards to the issue of Science Education.

The report itself is based on a survey conducted among the ALLEA Member Academies in 2010 and 2011 identifying the impact of pilot projects in inquiry-based science education (IBSE) across Europe.

It details the views and actions taken by European Academies to advance the renewal of science education and maintain the passion for science and technology among the young, typically drawing on the support of leading scientists from the science academies. It was written in response to a request of the European Commission seeking to establish the national impacts across Europe of the Framework Programme pilot projects in the pursuit of better science education.
The ALLEA Working Group on Science Education with delegates from some 25 national academies is chaired by Professor Odile Macchi (Académie des Sciences) and functions as the European Regional Council of the science education programme of IAP (InterAcademy Panel).

European Academy organisations issue joint note of support to Open Letter of Nobel Prize and Field Medal winners and express their strong concern regarding cuts in the EU-budget on research

13-11-2012In a joint note of support directed to the Heads of State or Governments of EU Member States and to the Presidents of the EU institutions the three Academy organisations ALLEA, Academia Europaea and EASAC (European Academies Science Advisory Council) express their support for the Nobel Prize and Field Medal winners’ Open Letter which highlights the decisive role of science and research in creating and enhancing innovation in Europe. For more information about the three organisations please read the overview The Academies of Europe.

ALLEA supports initiatives from science community against possible cuts of the EU research budget in the Multiannual Financial Framework 2014-2020


09-11-2012
In the upcoming summit of the heads of States or Government of the EU Countries on 22 and 23 November, far-reaching decisions will be taken on the future budget allocation for the EU, including that for research and innovation. Against the background of growing reluctance and unwillingness namely of the net contributor countries of the EU to approve the budget proposed by the European Commission and Parliament, also the envisaged budget for the Horizon 2020 Programme is in danger to be markedly reduced.

In order to avoid severe cuts in the budget for research, ALLEA expresses its full and explicit support to the Open Letter from Nobel Laureates and Fields Medallists stating their grave concern regarding this situation.

In a response and completion to the letter, a petition has been launched where support to the letter can be expressed and concerns can be raised regarding the imminent cuts in budget for research. With 100.000 signatories in the first week, the petition – coordinated by the Initiative for Science in Europe (ISE) – is witnessing an impressive resonance throughout the scientific community. ALLEA encourages its members and partners to also support this initiative. Please click here to visit the petition website.

The Horizon 2020 programme for research and innovation would be a decisive and essential step in order to successfully build the European Research Area. The envisaged sum of eighty billion Euros is the minimum budget necessary for the ambitious objectives that have been attributed to the role of research and innovation in the Europe 2020 Strategy.

Taking into consideration the overall benefits resulting from the preceding multi-annual Framework Programmes, it becomes clear that investment into research and innovation is the right way to generate sustainable growth inter alia in the areas of industry, exports, in the labour market and not least in the GDP. The economic impact of European investments in research thus proves the success of the “added value” – approach of EU funding mechanisms.

ALLEA Presidency expresses its concern regarding the constraint of independence of the Turkish Academy of Sciences (TÜBA), 31 October 2012


06-11-2012

In a letter of concern to the Turkish President Abdullah Gül and the Turkish Prime Minster Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the ALLEA Presidency declares that by means of the recent legislative changes regarding the nomination and appointment procedure of new TÜBA members and the TÜBA President, the Turkish Academy of Sciences would be deprived of functioning on the basis of the criteria of independence and excellence. These, however, would represent basic conditions for science academies worldwide and only by guaranteeing its application an academy would be in the position to exercise its function as the conscience of science in society.

The changes in the nomination and appointment procedure, a consequence to the statutory decree published on 27 August 2011, would furthermore put in danger the Academy’s credibility “not only in the national debates on the future role of science and technology, but also in global scientific exchanges. The reputation of the Republic of Turkey among the scientific community is threatened to be undermined.”

After the decree had become public, numerous individual academies, federations of academies and leading individuals of the international science community expressed their discontent and dismay regarding the loss of autonomy of TÜBA, including the former Presidency of ALLEA. However, all these efforts apparently seem to have failed.

The follow up letter dated 31 October 2012 is a reaction of the newly elected ALLEA Presidency to the end of the tenure of former TÜBA President Yücel Kanpolat. It reiterates ALLEA’s strong concerns and urges the Turkish leadership to restore the Academy’s autonomy by granting and protecting the basic criteria of independence and excellence.

Please click here to read the letter of concern to the Turkish President.

Further information can be found, among others, in on line articles of nature and science.

ALLEA President discusses ERA framework with high-level delegation of European Commission Directorate-General for Research and Innovation, 4 October 2012


11-10-2012
On 4 October 2012, ALLEA President Günter Stock was invited by high-level representatives of the European Commission Directorate-General for Research and Innovation, led by Director General Robert-Jan Smits, to present comments on the EC Communication “A Reinforced European Research Area Partnership for Excellence and Growth”. The communication was issued on 17 July 2012 in order to contribute to the progress of finalising the framework conditions for the European Research Area.

For the implementation, the Commission opted for partnerships with stakeholder organisations and signed Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) with the European University Association (EUA), the European Association of Research and Technology Organisations (EARTO), the League of European Research Universities (LERU) and NordForsk. Together with Science Europe, these organisations also signed a Joint Statement.

Under the lead of the Swiss Academies an ad hoc drafting group prepared some core comments on the ERA on behalf of ALLEA that focus on specific issues on which the academies are able to offer advice and assistance without exceeding their remits. Please click here to read the ALLEA Comments on the EC Communication.

The Commission received the comments with great appreciation and the DG RTD suggested signing a Joint Statement on ERA in line with the one signed with the above-mentioned stakeholder organisations. Furthermore, ALLEA was invited to participate in follow-up events in the context of the European Commission’s partnership strategy.

 

Demographic change, social cohesion, cultural diversity and migration are but a few of the societal challenges that European societies are facing. The Europe 2020 Strategy was designed in order to help jointly tackling these challenges.

By invitation of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research and under the patronage of Dr Christian Ehlers, Member of the European Parliament, several high level representatives from the European Commission, the European Parliament, national ministries and stakeholder organisations discussed how Europe’s research funding can provide added value for the implementation of the Europe 2020 objectives. The event which took place in the University Foundation Club in Brussels on 18 September 2012 laid a special focus on the transformation processes in society (click here for the programme of the event).

ALLEA President Professor Günter Stock was invited as panelist in the section “Added value for science and research”. In his keynote, he made a strong plea for the role of the Social Sciences and Humanities in the future research funding of the Framework Programme Horizon 2020 as well as for the disciplines’ role for the European Research Area in general. Since upcoming challenges were multi-causal phenomena, we would need to understand that they will only be successfully tackled by truly multidisciplinary approaches. In this context, a new culture of risk opportunity assessment “which takes place in parallel and not sequentially to technological problem solving efforts” would be required.

Another key demand was a programme at the European level supporting, coordinating and financing the manifold existing regional and national research efforts on “European roots topics”, such as language, arts, scientific culture, political culture and the evolution of our social systems. Such a programme would strengthen the “understanding of our European roots, our European identity. The academies within ALLEA already work along those lines”.

Furthermore, for the future of research in all disciplines, the chances and challenges of digital research infrastructures would need to be addressed with joint and dedicated efforts on the European level. Apart from bundling the existing initiatives with the aim of achieving better interoperability through common data standards, the issue of long term storage and availability of data would become even more important in the future.
Please click here to read the keynote address.

ALLEA Statement on Patentability of Inventions Involving Human Embryonic Pluripotent Stem Cells in Europe of May 2011 and the Judgment of the Court of European Communities (Grand Chamber) of 18 October 2011 in Case C-34/10

11-09-2012

The ALLEA Standing Committee on Intellectual Property Rights (chaired by: Professor Joseph Straus, Munich) has issued a new statement entitled “ALLEA Statement on Patentability of Inventions Involving Human Embryonic Pluripotent Stem Cells in Europe of May 2011 and the Judgment of the Court of European Communities (Grand Chamber) of 18 October 2011 in Case C-34/10” (download).

With this statement, the Committee reacts to the Judgment of the Court of European Communities (Grand Chamber) of 18 October 2011 in Case C-34/10 and follows up on the ALLEA Statement on Patenting of Inventions Involving Human Embryonic Pluripotent Stem Cells in Europe that was published in May 2011.

It provides a summary of ALLEA´s last year’s statement, outlines the key facts of the related Court of the European Communities’ judgement and sets out the Committee’s view on the judgement against this background.

Background Documents:

q ALLEA Statement on Patenting of Inventions Involving Human Embryonic Pluripotent Stem Cells,
May 2011

q Judgment of the Court of European Communities (Grand Chamber) of 18 October 2011 in Case
C-34/10

Dialogue on the benefits of Open Science and Open Access between the Vice-President of the European Commission, Neelie Kroes, and ALLEA-President Guenter Stock, Brussels, 10 May 2012

17-07-2012Following up on the declaration “Open Science for the 21st Century” that was jointly issued by the EC Vice President and Commissioner for the Digital Agenda, Ms. Neelie Kroes, and the ALLEA Member Academies on the occasion of the General Assembly in Rome (11 – 12 April 2012), ALLEA President Günter Stock was invited to further the dialogue with the Commissioner on the benefits of open science and open access.

The discussions have been filmed and made public by the European Commission in a video clip. Please click here to watch the clip.

In order to strengthen the involvement of relevant stakeholders and to capture their views on key issues regarding the Digital Agenda for Europe, further contributions were made by Robbert Dijkgraaf, immediate past President of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, and Nobel prize winner Harold Varmus, co-chair of the United States President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.

Please click here for the European Commission’s summary clip of the three contributions.

For further information, please find Neelie Kroes’ speech on “Opening Science Through e Infrastructures” and the responses of three Presidents of ALLEA Member Academies issued on the occasion of the General Assembly in April 2012 on the ALLEA website on access to scientific information.

ALLEA secretariat moves to Union of the German Academies / BBAW, Berlin

01-07-2012After the election of G. Stock as ALLEA President, the ALLEA secretariat has moved to the seat of the president’s Academy in Germany.

Text (main): At the General Assembly 2012, G. Stock was elected President of ALLEA and offered to host the secretariat in Berlin. Previously, and for close to 10 years, the secretariat had been hosted by KNAW in Amsterdam, thanks to a grant by the Ministry for Education, Culture and Research, and to generous support of KNAW’s Learned Society. KNAW remains a member of the ALLEA Board, alongside (currently) the Academies of Germany (Union), Ireland, Israel, Italy, Norway, Slovakia, and Switzerland.

The new contact details of the Berlin based secretariat are:

ALLEA
c/o Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities
Jaegerstr. 22/23
10117 Berlin
Germany

tel +49 (0)30-3259873-72
fax +49 (0)30-3259873-73
secretariat@allea.org

ALLEA and other stakeholders discuss emerging issues; Science and society in Horizon 2020, 25 June 2012

ALLEA and other stakeholders discuss emerging issues; Science and society in Horizon 2020

25-06-2012

As Austria launches its preparations for the last FP7 Call, R. Klein is invited to give an independent perspective on continuities and discontinuities between FP7 and Horizon 2020.
After participating in and co-organising a session at last year’s Vienna conference “Challenge Social Innovation”, which addressed some of the novel dimensions and challenges for SSH research under the future EC Framework Programme, ALLEA executive director R. Klein – in conjunction with other stakeholders and interest groups – had contributed to the discussions about and, ultimately, to the revision of initial plans for the new Framework Programme Horizon 2020 (2014-2020) – notably by bringing together, in the European Alliance for the Social Sciences and the Humanities, a key European lobby group for SSH interests made up of research funders, subject associations, learned societies and other stakeholders and users of SSH research. This meeting, with support of a number of Austrian ministries, funding agencies and research centres, reviewed the opportunities under the last Call of FP7 and attempted a forward look into the European funding landscape in the period under Horizon 2020. The meeting proves a timely event, since the recent conclusions and reports of the Council and of the European Parliament are now being debated. While there is a degree of satisfaction in the community at the existence, in these new drafts and proposals, of an independent challenge that can focus on themes, where SSH-research would have the lead (education, migration, identity, governance structures etcetc), and at the level of support received in member states, there is serious concern about the structures needed for the appropriate treatment of SSH expertise in the planning and implementation of other “challenges”, and about the as yet insufficient budget: Academies and others had requested 5% of the total budget for the so-called 6th challenge.

ALLEA executive director on opportunities for research infrastructures for the Humanities, Leipzig, 27 June 2012

ALLEA executive director on opportunities for research infrastructures for the Humanities, Leipzig, 27 June 2012

24-06-2012

As SSH projects of the ESFRI road map advance in their pilot phases, the changing research environment that new research infrastructures offer begins to restructure the scientific communities and their forms of cooperation.
ALLEA had participated in the high-level working groups of research organisations aimed at aligning strategies and activities for better coordinated national and transnational approaches to supporting the funding, promotion and use of European-level research infrastructures. Also in the Social Sciences and Humanities the availability of new data storage, harvesting, processing and analysing tools has begun to dramatically change research practices and has spawned new forms of collaborative research. The “CLARIN-D M12 Workshop” was convened at the Media Campus of University of Leipzig and organised mainly by the local Humanities-informatics community, the workshop showcased the CLARIN-D efforts aimed at building a web and centres-based research infrastructure providing linguistic data, tools and services in an integrated, interoperable and scalable infrastructure for the social sciences and humanities. Attendees were scholars in a variety of humanities and social sciences fields, researchers and students involved in e-Humanities projects, and computer scientists with an interest in building infrastructures for SSH research.The workshop compared the expectations of e-Humanities projects on infrastructures with and the current state of the CLARIN-D project and infrastructure. The CLARIN-D discipline-specific working groups (especially: curation projects) were presented. R. Klein was invited to give an external perspective on the changing landscape of communities and collaborations.
For more information about the workshop, see: http://clarin.informatik.uni-leipzig.de/For more information about CLARIN, see: http://www.clarin.eu/external/index.php

Royal Society report argues for “science as an open enterprise”, London, 21 June 2012

Royal Society report argues for “science as an open enterprise”, London, 21 June 2012

21-06-2012

There is an urgent need to manage the deluge of data created by modern technologies in order to ensure that openness of data can contributed to a possible “second open science revolution”.
The ALLEA General Assembly 2012 had agreed on a joint declaration on Open Science for the 21st Century: http://www.allea.org/Pages/ALL/31/361.bGFuZz1FTkc.html ). The new RSL report argues that “exploring massive amounts of data using modern digital technologies has enormous potential for science and its application in public policy and business”.The report also highlights behavioural and procedural changes required by scientists, research institutions and funders that are necessary for this potential to be realised: “(1) Scientists need to be more open among themselves and with the public and media; (2) Greater recognition needs to be given to the value of data gathering, analysis and communication; (3) Common standards for sharing information are required to make it widely usable; (4) Publishing data in a reusable form to support findings must be mandatory; (5) More experts in managing and supporting the use of digital data are required; (6) New software tools need to be developed to analyse the growing amount of data being gathered.”Neelie Kroes, Vice-President of the European Commission and responsible for the Digital Agenda, who had been keynote speaker at the ALLEA General Assembly 2012, welcomed the report and expressed her hope that in addition to Commission research funding also national funding would soon be subjected to an explicit Open Access policy. For a link to the project website: http://royalsociety.org/policy/projects/science-public-enterprise/report/

Macedonian Academy of Sciences and Arts and IRCICA, Istanbul: Conference “Science and Culture in the Balkans: New Perspectives”, Ohrid, 20-22 June 201

Macedonian Academy of Sciences and Arts and IRCICA, Istanbul: Conference “Science and Culture in the Balkans: New Perspectives”, Ohrid, 20-22 June 201

20-06-2012

The conference organised by MANU and the Research Centre for Islamic History, Art and Culture (IRCICA), will bring together the national academies of sciences of the Balkan countries and international and regional cultural and scholarly institutions at the branch of MANU in Ohrid.
The conference addressed a number of pertinent themes: the session Trends and features of science and culture focused on the present state and ongoing developments in the Balkan countries with a view to developing new perspectives, and covered basic and applied science and technology as well as social sciences. Presentations of regional and national experiences and comparative studies helped to highlight perceptions, mentalities and practical conditions that mark the socio-economic environment in which culture and science operate. Another session appraised public policies of science and culture in the Balkan countries, while the session Cooperation towards meeting the challenges of the 21st century reviewed visions for the development of enduring cooperation among the academies, cultural and scholarly institutions of the Balkan countries. Participants included delegates of academies of sciences from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Kosovo, Macedonia, Moldavia, Montenegro, Romania, Slovenia, Serbia and Turkey.

Scientific Policy Advice: ethical and societal responsibilities, Berlin, 19 June 2012

 

19-06-2012

BBAW hosts event series critically reviewing practices in scientific policy advice
Thomas Leif, a well-known author on lobbyism and the role of non-governmental interest groups at the interface of society and politics presented a lecture on “Myth policy advice”. As part of the BBAW lectures series on policy advice, Leif will explore the shadowy border area between lobbyism and advice work. In the course of 2011/12, some of the advice work led by the German National Academy Leopoldina and others had come under close scrutiny, when some suspected an amalgamation of scientific and political interests. Leif argues that serious scientific policy advice must – in terms of actors and alliances – create a very visible dividing line to all forms of lobbyism and political activism.The ALLEA Standing Committee on Science and Ethics is working on a set of guidelines for the ethics of scientific policy advice, and also the EU science academies and their network EASAC have drawn up some best practice guidelines on successful strengthening of scientific policy advice.Future contributions in this series will included speakers from the US science-policy making circles, from critical climate scientists and from prominent actors in the area of genetic engineering.

 

ALLEA at stakeholders meeting on MSCA-action CO-FUND, Brussels, 15 June 2012

 

15-06-2012

While the “Co-funding of regional, national and international programmes” (COFUND) extended under FP7 “experienced researchers” only (not usually doctoral students), the aim is to co-fund a broader range of activities under Horizon 2020, including the initial training of researchers and staff exchanges.
These and others were among the proposals, the directorate submitted to the discussion by the main stakeholder organisations. Since 2008, more than 100 fellowship programmes have been selected for co-funding, receiving an EU contribution of some € 300 Mio which in turn supported about 6000 individual fellowships. With a comparatively high success rate (between 34% and 74%), the programme offers very reasonable chances of success to good-quality proposals. An interim evaluation carried out in 2011 explored its workings, how it compares with the longer established Individual Fellowships and possible differences (
http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/education_culture/evalreports/mariecurie/report_en.pdf).
Under Horizon 2020 COFUND might be extended to the support of early stage researchers and staff exchanges: it would be important to understand better whether there are any existing regional, national
or international programmes for the training of early stage researchers or for staff exchanges sharing similar objectives as MSCAs, and what could be the added value for those programmes to receive EU co-funding.
There is also pressure to improve intersectoral mobility, and there is some concern about the wide margin of interpretation that under FP7 could be given to the notion of mobility. In terms of improved working conditions it is to be noted that under FP7, funded researchers were employed under full employment contracts in about 70% of all co-funded fellow-years, but stipends still appear to be a popular option, particularly for outgoing fellows, for various reasons.

ALLEA executive director speaks at ERA-Net related meeting on the future of SSH in Europe, Stockholm, 14 June 2012

14-06-2012

The Swedish research council organizes a workshop on the boundaries of Humanities and Social Sciences with members of the Boards of the two main SSH ERA-Nets, HERA and NORFACE.
The aim of the workshop is for members of HERA and NORFACE to discuss the boundaries of the Humanities and Social Sciences research on a general level, including boundaries between the Humanities and the Social Sciences, between these two and other sciences, as well as the relation between on one hand the Humanities and Social Sciences and the development in the society at large on the other hand. ERA-Net participants are national funding agencies (programme owners) who all have found their own ways of dealing with the differences and commonalities of SSH disciplines in their respective countries. In the light of long-term scientific, medium-term socio-economic and more recent science policy developments the workshop explores whether there is a need to redefine the relationship divisions between different sciences (incl. SSH, jointly or separately) and the opportunities and obstacles for research in the Humanities and Social Sciences at a European level. The point of departure for discussions are three short key-notes by Arne Jarrick, Ylva Hasselberg and R. Klein, who address, respectively “The Blessings and Drawbacks of Scientific divisions”, “The mission of the social sciences in society and its connection to craftsmanship in the academy”, and “Perspectives for Humanities and Social Science Research: Horizon 2050”.

Science Academies issue statement on the global challenges of population and consumption, Rio de Janeiro, 14 June 2012

14-06-2012

The world’s science academies have come together to highlight two connected challenges to humankind – population growth and consumption trends – and call for urgent international action.
The new IAP statement emphasises the relevance of population and consumption to the future of all human societies and urges policy makers who prepare for the Rio+20 meeting and declarations of the need to seize the initiative on addressing these issues. Building partly on a Royal Society of London report with a related focus, People and the Planet, it seeks to connect the dual issues of population and consumption. Despite the political and ethical sensitivities these topics may touch, the issues themselves affect all humanity: Academies can offer sound, evidence-based advice to policy-makers on these and related topics. The IAP statement emphasises the relevance of population and consumption to the future of both developed and developing countries:
Population and consumption determine the rates at which natural resources are exploited and the ability of the Earth to meet our food, water, energy and other needs now and in the future;
Current patterns of consumption in some parts of the world are no longer sustainable.
Rapid population growth can be an obstacle to improving living standards in poor countries, to eliminating poverty and to reducing gender inequality;
Changes in population age structure resulting from declining birth and death rates can have important environmental, social and economic ramifications , for example as a result of increased demands on healthcare and pensions systems;
Population growth contributes to migration and urbanisation, which if unexpected and unplanned can be economically and politically disruptive and have serious environmental impacts, thereby preventing potential opportunities for economic and social development from being realised;
The combination of unsustainable consumption and the number of people on the planet can directly affect our capacity to support natural biodiversity. The statement also highlights some key actions that need to be taken, including:
Consideration of population and consumption in all policies, including those related to poverty reduction and economic development, global governance, education, health, gender equality, biodiversity and the environment;
Reduction of levels of damaging types of consumption and the development of more sustainable alternatives, with action critically needed in higher –income countries
Encouragement of development strategies that help reduce population growth, in particular those that promote education to women and girls;
Provision of access to comprehensive reproductive health and family planning programmes for all. This issue requires substantial additional resources and policy attention from governments and international donors;
A global shift to a new, green economy through the reduction of levels of damaging types of consumption and the development of more sustainable alternatives;
Development of policies that improve the quality of life of older people and create new opportunities for their continued contribution to society;
Development of urban planning policies that take into account future consumption and demographic trends (see: RSL website).LINK: http://www.interacademies.net/File.aspx?id=19193

Montenegrin Academy welcomes global conference on contemporary science and society, Podgorica, 7-9 June 2012

07-06-2012

The Montenegrin Academy of Sciences and Arts invites academies to discuss cultural, societal and scientific issues of the contemporary world.
Despite the title Humanities and contemporary world, the conference addresses key questions world for Europe in a broader sense, notably the treatment of different sciences. Organised by the Montenegrin Academy under the patronage of ALLEA, IAP, WAAS and EASA, the conference is driven by the conviction that “an advanced civilization must not limit its efforts to science and technology alone, but must give full value and support to theother great branches of scholarly and cultural activity in order to achieve a better understanding of the past, a better analysis of the present, and a better view of thefuture”. For this, Humanities scholars need to demonstrate their value to policymakers; their responsibility touches the heart of policy-making, such as when ethical, legal, and social issues are in question. Also for the internal moral order of science and its relationship with society, contributions from the Humanities are needed, vide the rise of biomedical ethics, research ethics, environmental ethics, and computer ethics. On the other hand, history shows that Humanities scholarship can be manipulated by politics, especially because humanities are often seen as some kind of sum of the fields of history, literature, and other areas often related to nationalistic discourses. The conference will also address the question: might the Humanities be treated as representing some kind of trans-nationalistic universal understanding of a set of principles and values, such as openness, universalism, disinterestedness, and organized scepticism?
PDF: Draft Conference Programme

 

Science Academies debate role of plant genetic resources for Europe’s food and agriculture, Brussels, 6 June 2012

06-06-2012

The meeting co-organised with “The Centre” serves to promote the recent EASAC report on “Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture”
“Agriculture in Europe faces major challenges, associated with the need to deliver food security worldwide at a time of increasing pressures from population growth, climate change and economic instability and the continuing imperative to avoid further losses in biodiversity. Plant genetics is crucial to all these challenges. It provides food, feed for animals, fibers, clothing, shelter, medicine and energy. EASAC advises that the conservation and use of plant genetic diversity should be an important concern in Europe. The European Commission and national governments have made significant efforts to tackle the challenges by establishing programmes of conservation, characterization and documentation. Nonetheless, further action is urgently needed, particularly with respect to neglected and underused crops and crop wild relatives.” The findings of the report will be presented by Professor Wayne Powell from the University of Aberystwyth, and discussed by prominent invited stakeholders (Shakeel Bhatti, Executive Secretary of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic resources for Food and Agriculture; Guy van den Eede, Advisor for Bio-Economy, JRC; Timothy Hall, Head of Unit – Agriculture, Forests, Fisheries and Aquaculture, DG Research). CSA Anne Glover had been invited to offer a concluding statement. On the basis of the EASAC report’s findings, the event focuses on research priorities and the implications for policy makers.
LINK: http://www.easac.eu/fileadmin/PDF_s/reports_statements/Easac_12_PGR_complete_Web.pdf

ALLEA Board elects Prof. Daniela Jezova (Slovak Academy of Sciences) as 2nd Vice-President, Berlin, 4 June 2012

04-06-2012

At the recent meeting held at Berlin-Brandenburg Academy the ALLEA Board elected a second vice-president.
Daniela Jezova is currently Vice-President of the Slovak Academy of Sciences and Senior Researcher of the Institute of Experimental Endocrinology, being a full professor of pharmacology at the Medical School of Comenius University Bratislava (Slovakia). She is internationally recognized for her work in stress research including investigation of risk factors, particularly in relation to stress hormones and psychiatric disorders both in clinical studies and animal models, with more than 200 papers to her name in peer reviewed, international journals (more than 2500 SCI/WOS, Hirsch index 30). Her research has been performed mainly at the Institute of Experimental Endocrinology of SAS, where she supervised 13 PhD theses in pharmacology or physiology. Recent results of her group demonstrate depressogenic and anxiogenic effects of stress hormone aldosterone and positive effects of oxytocin on the heart and adipose tissue. She coordinated a successful FP5 EU Centre of Excellence project, is serving as an expert for FP6 and FP7 projects, and represents her academy in EASAC. She serves as editor and referee of numerous well-known journals, and has been president of the Slovak Physiological Society, Scientific Secretary of the Czech Neuropsycho-pharmacological Society, member of the Central Eastern European Committee of the Collegium Internationale of Neuropsychopharmacology. She is a member of the Academia Europaea, and was awarded the prestigious national prize Crystal Wing for Medicine and Science, Medal of the Association of the Slovak Physicians, Gold Medal of the Slovak Medical Society and Gold Jessenius Medal for advances in medical sciences.

European Science Academies concerned about EU draft energy efficiency directive, Dublin, 31 May 2012

31-05-2012

European Parliamentarians urged by Academies to base their decisions on scientific advice.
After the relevant committee of the European Parliament (ITRE) recently adopted a report that suggested that EU member states set binding targets for reducing primary energy use, the science academies in EASAC expressed their concern in a letter to parliamentarians, that any such directive should have a firm foundation in scientific evidence. In particular they argued accounting methods should not set disincentives for use of low-carbon technologies such as renewable and nuclear energy and should appropriately differentiate between the different grades or values per unit of different types of primary energy (e.g.: electricity vs. fossil/biofuel). The letter, which is to be sent to parliamentarians of the various member states, also addresses the apparent lack of transparency and consultation in the setting of individual national ceilings for primary energy consumption, and more generally is concerned with possible adverse effects on growth agendas articulated elsewhere among the EC policy aims, if such overarching aims are not properly coordinated. The Academies offer their insight and services for any further scientific underpinning of subsequent reiterations and drafts.
LINK: http://www.easac.eu/

ALLEA co-organises with IAP a global conference on science education, Helsinki, 30 May-1 June 2012

30-05-2012

Text in Italics: Delegates from over 50 countries converge to discuss reforming science education and involving the corporate sector in educational reform.This international Conference jointly organized at the Faculty of Science of Helsinki University in Finland by the inter-academy panel global science education programme, ALLEA and the Finnish Academy of Science and Letters combined, as indicated by the title (“Developing IBSE: New Issues – The roles of assessment and the relationship with industry”) discussions on two key concerns. The conference was chaired by the global coordinator of the programme, Pierre Lena.With the overall objective of improving science education at pre-university levels the IAP and ALLEA efforts have opted for the promotion of the inquiry-based science education (IBSE): the recent report by ALLEA on pilot European efforts in this domain are instructive (LINK TO THE REPORT) . Discussions during the first part of the conference, coordinated by the programme committee under Pro Wynne Harlen, focused first on existing and desirable assessment practices: it was argued that the effects of many of the innovative elements in the IBSE pedagogy are not being captured by existing assessment methods the world over. The conference produced some best practice examples, and will produce, next to a conference volume, also a set of recommendations for this domain. In a second part of the conference, prepared and chaired by Maija Aksela (LUMA Centre) and R. Klein (ALLEA) it was observed that there is a convergence between many of the long-term objectives of IBSE-inspired educational reforms, industry needs for a highly-skilled workforce, and society’s need for a more S&T literate citizenry. New forms and platforms for exchange and cooperation between the corporate sector, educationalists and policy makers were presented and discussed. The conference was followed by the meeting of the regional councils, including the ALLEA Working Group on Science Education. In the Working Group, chaired by Odile Machi (Academie des Sciences), discussions focused on the necessary interactions with educational authorities with regard to reform in assessment practices. A survey will be launched to establish IBSE-like content in existing school curricula, with a view to assessing whether the effects of these innovative teaching and learning elements can currently be adequately captured by assessment practices. A cooperation project in under way with educational experts around the Southern Mediterranean and across Africa. Royal Irish Aacdemy (Peter Mitchell) will take the lead in a new project on exploring new ways for interaction between industry and science education reformers.
LINK: to Working Group Science Education website
PDF: Conference Programme
PDF: Programme of the Working Group meeting

ALLEA executive director discusses research integrity with American and Brazilian experts, UFRJ-COPPE, 28 May 2012

28-05-2012

R. Klein spoke at the 2nd Brazilian conference on research integrity on European institutional and educational s set to ensure scientific integrity
The ALLEA Standing Committee on Science and Ethics is preparing its contribution to the 4th World Congress on Scientific Integrity, to be convened in 2013 in Montreal. finalizing its recommendations on ethics education as part of research training and on the implementation of the European Code of Conduct on Research Integrity. Meanwhile coordination efforts are underway also to ensure that in global research collaborations a degree of convergence of rules and regulations can be achieved.
The II Brazilian Meeting on Research Integrity, Science and Publication Ethics (II BRISPE), co-organised by the Science Education Program of the Medical Biochemistry Institute at Federal University of Rio de Janeiro had invited European and American experts to speak about the state of implementation in their regions and provide recommendations for the Brazilian science system. The feedback received from a cycle of encounters with scientists, policy makers and science managers was been extremely positive (ALLEA could participate only at the first meeting, but more meetings were held in São Paulo and Porto Alegre). The Brazilian Forum of University Vice-Provosts made a commitment to work towards including guidelines discussed into the agenda of upcoming decision-making meeting. Also the main national funding agency agreed, during a strategy meeting, to follow suit. ALLEA reported about the importance, highlighted by its Standing Committee on Science and Ethics, of including educational aspects alongside monitoring and compliance seeking structures – a key recommendations endorsed notably by the representatives of the scientific community.
PDF: Programme

ALLEA executive director gives keynote on opportunities for Swiss research in Horizon 2020, Berne, 24 May 2012

24-05-2012

R. Klein addressed a conference co-convened by ALLEA with the Swiss Academy for the Social Sciences and Humanities to discuss opportunities for Swiss SSH research in the upcoming EU framework programme «Horizon 2020» (2014 – 2020). A large part of the envisaged budget of € 80 billion will be devoted to research into «Societal Challenges» and refers explicitly to SSH research.
Key note speakers informed the Swiss SSH community about the structure and context of Horizon 2020, focusing on Swiss and EU interests and expectations. Experiences gained in earlier FP participations formed the background to five workshops that examined the main topics for SSH, along the lines of what had been proposed as the so-called “Challenge 6”: «Inclusive Societies», «Intelligent Growth», «EU as a Global Actor», «Diversity, Beliefs and Values» and «Sustainable Growth». The conference discussed the strengths and the potential of Swiss SSH research from a national and an international point of view, to identify mutual interests of the EU and Swiss SSH researchers and to define possible research questions. The conference aims to contribute to the integration and formulation of SSH concerns in «Horizon 2020» and to the integration of SSH research in Switzerland with a view to future proposal submissions. The crucial issues raised in the discussion may have an impact on the composition of the work programmes. Speakers included Robert Burmanjer (Head of Unit – DG Research; replaced), Walter Leimgruber (President of the Swiss National Science Foundation SNSF Division I: SSH), Patrick Furrer (Vice-Director Euresearch).

 

Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters awards Abel Prize 2012 to Endre Szemerédi (Budapest/Rutgers), Oslo, 22-23 May 2012

22-05-2012

The Hungarian-American mathematician Endre Szemerédi received the 2012 Abel Prize from King Harald at the ceremony in Oslo on 22 May 2012. The Minister of Education and Research, Kristin Halvorsen, the President of the Academy Nils Chr. Stenseth and Chair of the Abel Committee Ragni Piene gave speeches at the ceremony.Endre Szemerédi is based at the Alfréd Rényi Institute of Mathematics of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest and Department of Computer Science, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, USA. The announcement earlier this year had sparked great interest in Hungary. He is awarded the Prize “for his fundamental contributions to discrete mathematics and theoretical computer science, and in recognition of the profound and lasting impact of these contributions on additive number theory and ergodic theory”, to quote the Abel Committee. “Discrete mathematics is the study of structures such as graphs, sequences, permutations, and geometric configurations. The mathematics of such structures forms the foundation of theoretical computer science and information theory. Szemerédi was one of the first to realize the importance of theoretical computer science. He has also made deep, important, and influential contributions to many other branches of mathematics and has published over 200 scientific articles.”The Abel Prize that carries a cash award of NOK 6 Mio. (close to € 800k, US$ 1 Mio.) is awarded by the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters. Acting on a commitment made a century earlier, Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg had announced in 2001 announced that the Government would establish an Abel Fund worth NOK 200 Mio, in a decision based on a broad political consensus and envisaging that the annual Prize would strengthen and inspire teaching as well as scientific efforts.

G8+7 academies issue statements: science and technology help solve global challenges, Washington, 18-19 May 2012

18-05-2012

The “G-Science” statements call on world leaders at the G8 Camp David Summit (18-19 May 2012) to engage the international research community in developing systematic, innovative solutions to some of the planet’s most pressing challenges.
Governments were asked to pay attention to three global dilemmas: how to simultaneously meet water and energy needs; how to build resilience to natural and technological disasters; and how to more accurately gauge countries’ greenhouse gas emissions to verify progress toward national goals or international commitments. Even though water and energy are key for global food security – given the large demand agriculture places on both – failing to consider them together, shortages of both will increase. Forward looking policies should integrate the two, and emphasize conservation and efficiency, also through regional and global cooperation.The costs of disasters have been increasing in recent years, in part because more people live in vulnerable areas with poor infrastructure and an inadequate institutional capacity to warn of or respond to disasters. Furthermore, the earthquake in Japan last year was a reminder that even developed nations are susceptible to the cascading effects of disasters. Although recent disasters offer useful lessons, a second G-Science statement emphasizes that systematically assessing future risks and reducing exposure to them is a more effective guide to developing disaster resilience regardless of the cause. In addition to regular risk surveillance, the statement recommends strengthening resilience to catastrophic events by improving public health systems and building standards, integrating resilience capacity into development assistance programs, and employing information technologies for quicker warning and response.More accurate and standardized methods for estimating human and natural sources and “sinks” of greenhouse gases are needed as a prerequisite for an international climate treaty and to determine the effectiveness of national emission-reduction programs, according to the third G-Science statement. It recommends steps that can be taken to fill key gaps in knowledge within a few years. Annual reports by all countries of their greenhouse gas emissions and sinks, international cooperation to share new technologies and data, wider deployment of measurement instruments, and standardized assessment methods will be needed to accurately monitor emissions at the national level. International research programs should also be established to study the potential for large-scale or rapid releases of greenhouse gas emissions, the statement adds.The G-Science statements were signed by the leaders of the national science academies of Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Morocco, Russia, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and the United States, which is hosting this year’s G8 Summit. For the past seven years, science academies representing countries attending the summit have issued statements in advance to inform delegates to the summit of important science and technology matters. This year, for the first time, the academies used the term G-Science to describe their statements because they are intended to inform not only leaders attending the G8 summit but also those who will attend the G20 summit, the Rio+20 environmental summit, and other important events. “G-Science” also reflects that the statements are signed by the leaders of national science academies from countries beyond the so-called G8+5. Many other national science academies have expertise in the areas addressed in the statements, and academies around the world also collaborate and inform policymaking via their participation in groups such as the Global Network of Science Academies, the InterAcademy Council, the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World, and the International Council for Science.
Links to the 2012 G-science statements:“Building Resilience to Disasters of Natural and Technological Origin” “Energy and Water Linkage: Challenge to a Sustainable Future” “Improving Knowledge of Emissions and Sinks of Greenhouse Gases”

ALLEA publishes new report on inquiry-based science education, Paris 14 May 2012

14-05-2012

The ALLEA Working Group Science Education, led by the French Académie des Sciences (chair: Odile Macchi) and affiliated to the IAP global science education programme (coordinator: Pierre Léna) published a new report that examines the impact and potential of European and national pilot projects in inquiry-based science education.
The ALLEA Working Group on Science Education with delegates from some 25 national academies functions as the European Regional Council of the science education programme of IAP (InterAcademy Panel). The ALLEA secretariat had conducted its behalf a survey presented in this report and describing some interventions of European National Academies to advance reform in science education, typically involving leading scientists in support of this transformation, and focusing on IBSE. The survey seeks to identify the impact of pilot projects in inquiry-based science education (IBSE) across Europe; examples are given for interactions between activities of National Academies and IBSE-related projects supported by the European Commission Framework Programme and by national and private funders. The report also comprises a number of conclusions and recommendations which aim at a better interaction between the leaders of the scientific community – represented by the national academies – politics, society and business, both in the various national educational systems in Europe and as part of the external action of Europe through the neighbourhood and development policies.Among the key recommendations is the need to make rapid progress in offering high-quality opportunities for the continuous professional development for teachers of science, so that they can become acquainted with the pedagogical advances in IBSE, to ensure wider circulation of these approaches by offering translations of key texts and resources (also in languages of the European neighbourhood), and – with a view to European external policies – to include the issue of science education at an early age (and notably through IBSE) in the negotiations of the EU-AU summits.

ALLEA President G. Stock meets EC Vice-president Mme N. Kroes, Brussels, 10 May 2012

10-05-2012

Following up on a successful joint event in Rome in April 2012, when the ALLEA general Assembly adopted a joint declaration in support of Open Science, Neelie Kroes, Günter Stock and representatives of other Member Academies emphasized the value of Open Access and e-infrastructures for future scientific progress and innovation.
The ALLEA General Assembly had issued a Joint Declaration on Open Science, which advocated the use of new ICT technologies for broadening and widening access to scientific knowledge, facilitating knowledge exchange between sectors (academia – industry) and disciplines, but also between academics and society at large, and between scientific and user communities in the global North and global South.Neelie Kroes had spoken at the General Assembly convened in Rome and had requested follow up on a number of issues. Gunter Stock, on the other hand, had articulated during his speech at the science policy meeting with Mme Kroes, that special emphasis musty be placed on properly integrating e-Humanities research infrastructures in the development of the research-oriented ICT base under the Digital Agenda work-programme. This meeting in Brussels had such initiatives as one of the key topics.Similar meetings were convened with representatives of some of the other key academies operating in this field, such as Royal Society and KNAW.
Joint Declaration: http://www.allea.org/Pages/ALL/33/144.bGFuZz1FTkc.html ALLEA work on access to scientific information: http://www.allea.org/Pages/ALL/31/361.bGFuZz1FTkc.html

ALLEA Invited to comment on reform of Marie-Curie Scheme, Brussels, 7-8 May 2012

 

07-05-2012

With the intention to “stimulate innovation by means of cross-fertilisation of knowledge” and “fostering new skills by means of excellent initial training of researchers” respectively , the European Commission is revising its MCA sub-programmes on “Research and Innovation Staff Exchange” (RISE) and “Innovative Training Networks” (ITN)
The meeting discussed some of the issues identified in earlier exchanges, notably lessons learnt from the FP7 action IAPP (Industry-Academia Partnerships and Pathways) which financed the secondment of research staff between institutions of the private sector and institutions of the public sector and the shorter term and global version IRSES (International Research Staff Exchange Scheme). Under Horizon 2020, RISE could support the exchange of staff both between sectors and between Europe and non-European countries, but limiting the size of such schemes in terms of participants. More emphasis would be placed on collaborations between typical academic institutions and non-academic institutions, irrespective of their public or private status. Building on the FP7 IAPP approach, projects would focus on a common research project.Under FP7, ITN actions supported institutions involved in research activities (universities, businesses, research centres, etc.) in offering grants and secondment opportunities to – mainly – early career researchers in a variety of constellations. This emphasis on younger researchers should remain also under Horizon 2020 – but perhaps in the context of smaller projects (in order to enhance the success rate. Also the Erasmus Mundus Joint Doctorates currently fund doctoral training; it might be desirable to have all doctoral programmes transferred under ITN in Horizon 2020, though here the participation of organisations from the non-academic sector might not be compulsory.While many of these suggestions – emanating from earlier rounds of consultations and reflections inside the EC met with approval, no overall consensus could be achieved.Further rounds of stakeholder consultations will cover MCA Individual Fellowships and CO-FUND actions.

ALLEA Standing Committee on IPR alerts to need to reform IPR rules for science in Europe, Munich, 3 May 2012

 

03-05-2012

Following discussions with the European Commission during the ALLEA General Assembly in Rome in April 2012, the Chair of the ALLEA Standing Committee on IPR, Professor Joseph Straus, had accepted the invitation of EC Vice-President Mme Neelie Kroes, to present evidence on the need for reforms in the European IPR system.
In view of a meeting on legal ramifications concerning the Open e-Infrastructures Initiative, the Chair had been asked to provide additional background for a discussion on means to secure early and cost efficient access to and dissemination of data, including research results generated by public funding in Europe. Concern had been expressed by the SC-IPR that early access to and dissemination of data will not automatically result in complete loss of any proprietary rights in such data to the detriment of Europe. Key elements referred to were the need for a “general grace period”, which does not exist under the European Patent Convention (EPC) and under national patent laws of the EU Member States, and the need for harmonized rules concerning “research exemption.” Both instruments can be understood as necessary attributes of a modern patent ,system, which at the same time offers incentives for early dissemination of research results to serve as basis for further developments, improvements, opening of new technology avenues, etc., and counteracting the otherwise understandable tendency for secrecy.It was argued that also DG Internal Market and Competition should be part of this exercise, since ALLEA believes that the two key issues of grace period and research exemption are of crucial importance not only for the academic community of Europe, but for European competitiveness in the global market environment in general. They could play the necessary complementary role for the digital agenda initiatives of openness and sharing of data. The Committee had argued on earlier occasions that once implemented into the national patents laws for example following a EC Directive they would provide for a better balanced patent system, serving the needs of the R&D community and of innovators and businesses in the Union in general.
Joint Declaration: http://www.allea.org/Pages/ALL/33/144.bGFuZz1FTkc.html ALLEA Standing Committee on IPR: http://www.allea.org/Pages/ALL/29/698.bGFuZz1FTkc.html ALLEA work on access to scientific information: http://www.allea.org/Pages/ALL/31/361.bGFuZz1FTkc.html

ALLEA General Assembly elects new President, Board and Chair of Standing Committee, Rome, 11-12 April 2012

12-04-2012

The ALLEA General Assembly debated the plans of the new Presidency for the tenure period 2013-2015: priorities will need to be set in times of austerity and budgetary constraints.At the ALLEA General Assembly 2012, hosted by the Italian Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei in Palazzo Corsini in Rome on 11-12 April 2012 – chaired by acting President Stefan Luby – the ALLEA membership (52 member academies from 40 countries) elected a new Presidency and Board. Chaired by the acting President, Stefan Luby (Slovak Academy of Sciences), the Assembly heard on day one the tenure report 2006-2011 from the immediate past presidency, Jüri Engelbrecht (Estonia) and Nicholas Mann (UK), the activities report 2011 from Executive Director R. Klein, the financial report from acting vice-president Marie-Therese Flanagan (Royal Irish Academy), and a joint report on the past performance and future role of ALLEA advisory bodies by J. Straus, chair of SC-IPR. On day two of the Assembly, members elected the new President, Günter Stock, President of the Union of the German Academies. The subsequent short Board meeting, convened by the new President after the closure of the GA proper, also elected from its midst as vice-president Ed Noort, professor emeritus from Groningen University and formerly foreign secretary of KNAW. At least one more vice-president will be elected at the next Board meeting. Member Academies debated the draft work-plan for 2013-2015, which argued for budgetary restraint and for a sustained fund-raising effort in times of crisis. A number of membership applications had been received, which shows, however, the undiminished interest of Academies to act together at European level. A number of members – notably from Montenegro and Turkey – drew attention to the political pressures their institutions are under as they strive to maintain the Academies as independent voice and conscience of science.The recommendation by the outgoing Board to nominate the delegate of the Royal Swedish Academy of Letters, History and Antiquities, Göran Hermerén, as new Chair of Standing Committee for Science and Ethics was accepted by the members.q ALLEA General Assembly Programme: Link q CV Günter Stock: pdf

EU Chief Scientific Advisor to speak at Academies’ science education conference, Brussels, 10 April 2012

11-04-2012

Promoting inquiry-based science education has been at the forefront of an ALLEA Working Group, lead by Académie des Sciences ever since 2009; a good working relationship has been established also with a number of Commission services.Following exchanges earlier this year with the bureau of President Barroso’s policy advisors, Prof Anne Glover from Edinburgh, the president’s newly appointed Chief Scientific Advisor, expressed the wish to address the global science education conference co-organised by ALLEA, IAP, FASL and LUMA, and supported by a number of charitable and corporate sponsors.The conference will take place in Helsinki on 30 May – 1 June 2012, and will comprise, next to the main thematic sessions on “assessment” methodologies coordinated by the conference organisers also a special ½ day session on the relationship between science education and industry. In addition, there will be working meetings of regional networks, including the ALLEA Working Group on Science Education. ALLEA’s work will focus, in 2012/13, on further exploring the relationship between science education and industry, as well as deepening the collaboration between Europe and the Muslim World in the field of science education. ALLEA Executive Director R. Klein had pursued the exchanges with the Islamic World Academy of Sciences at a conference in Doha in autumn 2011, and will, during the upcoming ALLEA General Assembly in Rome, also seek to involve the Euro-Mediterranean network of Science Academies (EMAN), which is currently presided over by Accademia dei Lincei.q For the conference announcement and the programme, see: Link q For the presentation at the Doha conference of IWAS, see: pdf q For more information about EMAN, see: Link

ALLEA joins discussion on vision 2030 for global e-infrastructures,Rome, 11-12 April 2012

11-04-2012

The H2020 consultation workshop, organised by the DG-INFSO in parallel to the ALLEA GA 2012 in Rome, focused on the development of e-Infrastructures for e-science as part of the Digital Agenda flagship initiative.
Envisioned as means to connect researchers, instruments, data and computation resources throughout Europe, the policy initiative aims at creating a seamless and open knowledge territory (“Digital European Research Area”). For this, it will be essential to take a global approach to promote interoperability, discoverability and mutual access of scientific information resources.The European Commission, in a coordinated effort with EU Member states, is investing in different domains of e-Infrastructures to connect researchers, scholars, educators and students through high speed research networks, to provide access to cooperative computing platforms, to develop world-class supercomputing capacity and help the emergence of a robust platform for access and preservation of scientific information. Financial support for this policy is expected to come from the next framework programme for research and innovation Horizon 2020 (2014 to 2020). The Horizon 2020 consultation event with several workshops, focused on e-Infrastructures and e-Science and sought to lay the foundations for an EC strategy and roadmap for e-infrastructures for Open Science.
q EU Digital Agenda: Link q ALLEA on access to scientific information: Link

Joint declaration as European Commission VP Neelie Kroes and ALLEA agree on Open Science, Rome, 11-12 April 2012

 

11-04-2012

The joint declaration issues by ALLEA is a call to scientific communities and their institutions to make decisive steps towards open science and innovation as a means to accelerate the discovery of solutions for the Grand Societal Challenges.
At the ALLEA General Assembly – chaired by acting President Stefan Luby, and introduced by Lincei President Maffei and ministers Profumo (Education and Research) and Moavero Milanesi (European Affairs) – Neelie Kroes, Vice-President of the European Commission and responsible for the Digital Agenda addressed a special policy session on “The Digital Agenda and Access to Scientific Information”. Under a heading “Open e-Infrastructures for Open Science” she announced that following the consultations of the communities in 2011, the EC is finalising a proposal to open up access to the results and raw data of research funded under Horizon 2020.Three Academy presidents responded to the speech, addressing respectively issues such as “Science as a Public Enterprise” (Royal Society of London), institutional alliances to support Open Access (KNAW) and Digital Humanities (Union of the German Academies).Mme Kroes said she counted on the engagement of the Academies in this field, and welcomed the joint declaration handed over by acting President Stefan Luby, entitled “Open Science for the 21st century”
The meeting coincided with the announcement by other major actors in global research funding that they would also pull their weight in supporting Open Access: the World Bank decided it will make findings of research it funds freely available, and the UK-based Wellcome Trust, a world leader in biomedical research funding, will soon launch a free online publication to compete with subscription-based journals. Follow-up meetings with and between the Academies were agreed upon and policy initiatives in a number of countries were mentioned.ALLEA Executive Director R. Klein participated on 12 April 2012 at a joint meeting of research infrastructures in the broad and interdisciplinary field of biodiversity and sustainability research, convened also in Rome, and bringing together a number of key actors from the ESFRI process.
q Neelie Kroes speech: Linkq Responses by ALLEA Member Academies: Linkq ALLEA Joint Declaration: Link q UNESCO Website: Link

ALLEA and other science organisations discuss promoting good scientific practices in Europe, Brussels, 2 April 2012

02-04-2012

Convened at the Brussels-based secretariat of the new umbrella organisation for national research funding and performing agencies, Science Europe, the meeting of key European science organisations debated the formats for joint policy action in the light of Horizon 2020.Chaired by Science Europe, the meeting heard that the initiative for such a conference (or similar event) had grown out of the concern, expressed by Academies in the course of 2010 and 2011, that with the disappearance of ESF the sole permanent platform for science organisations to debate issues of common concern has vanished. This, it was argued, risked exposing all partners to additional pressure from outside, without an obvious structure able to offer a platform for joint action.ALLEA, which was represented at this meeting by executive director R. Klein, had argued that since a number of large-scale and heavy-weight, procedure oriented, and commission-guided activities were dealing with the immediate institutional needs of the European Research Area (ERA-pacts), the planned event should focus on the underlying long-range dynamics. Elaborating on a proposal made earlier, Science Europe suggested to focus on good scientific practice. The exact plans for the event will need to be further finalised in discussions of the Science Europe Board.ALLEA meanwhile, following the recommendations of the Standing Committee Science and Ethics, will launch a survey on the implementation of the European Code of Conduct on Research Integrity (among ESF/Science Europe and ALLEA members – involving also, as appropriate, the European University Association and EARTO) and a young researchers’ platform. ALLEA will prepare a European presentation for the 3rd World Conference on Scientific Integrity in Montreal in May 2013.q European Code of Conduct on Research Integrity: Link

LERU Deans (League of European Research Universities) hear address by ALLEA Director, Leiden, 29-30 March 2012

30-03-2012

Following up on an earlier series of meetings in the context of the European Alliance of Social Sciences and Humanities, the ALLEA director addressed the meeting of LERU Humanities Deans during a 2-day meeting in Leiden.The meeting focused on “Horizon 2020” and is part of the preparations of LERU to draft a position paper on SSH in the new framework programme. Speeches were also given by P.F. van der Heijden, rector-magnificus, Wim Blockmans, rector emeritus of NIAS, Shearer West from Oxford University and a delegate from the European Commission. Discussion papers were presented on quality assessment and on new forms of transnational research funding (HERA).Break-out sessions worked on inclusive societies and multilingualism, an ethics framework for research and innovation, migration and inclusiveness, cultures and values and humanities and security research.

ALLEA speaks at plenary meeting of European Alliance of Social Sciences and Humanities, Brussels, 27-28 March 2012

28-03-2012

ALLEA Standing Committee Science and Ethics discusses publication ethics, Warsaw, 20-22 March 2012

ALLEA Standing Committee Science and Ethics discusses publication ethics, Warsaw, 20-22 March 2012

22-03-2012

European SSH research beyond Horizon 2020: ALLEA director speaks at ECHIC conference, Utrecht, 29 February 2012

European SSH research beyond Horizon 2020: ALLEA director speaks at ECHIC conference, Utrecht, 29 February 2012

29-02-2012

ALLEA invited to provide expert assessment to Council of Europe DH-BIO, Strasbourg, 27 February 2012

ALLEA invited to provide expert assessment to Council of Europe DH-BIO, Strasbourg, 27 February 2012

27-02-2012

Science Council Japan visits ALLEA Office, Amsterdam, 24 February 2012

Science Council Japan visits ALLEA Office, Amsterdam, 24 February 2012

24-02-2012

ALLEA WG on Science Education supports continuous professional development for teachers, Paris, 22 February 2012

ALLEA WG on Science Education supports continuous professional development for teachers, Paris, 22 February 2012

22-02-2012

ALLEA Director and delegates from agencies examine societal dimensions of security research, Berlin, 20-21 February 2012

ALLEA Director and delegates from agencies examine societal dimensions of security research, Berlin, 20-21 February 2012

21-02-2012

ALLEA reviews foresight activities of European Academies, Paris, 17 February 2012

ALLEA reviews foresight activities of European Academies, Paris, 17 February 2012

17-02-2012

Academies invited by EU to discuss implementing the European Research Area, Brussels, 17 February 2012

Academies invited by EU to discuss implementing the European Research Area, Brussels, 17 February 2012

17-02-2012

ALLEA, Royal Society and DG INFSO discuss European strategies for Open Science, Brussels, 15 February 2012

ALLEA, Royal Society and DG INFSO discuss European strategies for Open Science, Brussels, 15 February 2012

15-02-2012

Chairs of ALLEA Advisory Boards agree on measures to improve work of their Committees, Munich, 14 February 2012

Chairs of ALLEA Advisory Boards agree on measures to improve work of their Committees, Munich, 14 February 2012

14-02-2012

ALLEA Standing Committee works on statement on IPR framework for science in Europe, Munich 13 February 2012

ALLEA Standing Committee works on statement on IPR framework for science in Europe, Munich 13 February 2012

13-02-2012

ALLEA invited to the ERA Conference 2012 – Fostering Efficiency, Excellence and Growth, Brussels, 30 January 2012

ALLEA invited to the ERA Conference 2012 – Fostering Efficiency, Excellence and Growth, Brussels, 30 January 2012

30-01-2012

ALLEA debate conditions for progress in science with Chief Scientific Advisor to J.M. Barroso, Brussels, 23 January 2012

ALLEA debate conditions for progress in science with Chief Scientific Advisor to J.M. Barroso, Brussels, 23 January 2012

23-01-2012

Research Performing Academies invited to present job opportunities for young researchers, 6 January 2012, London

Research Performing Academies invited to present job opportunities for young researchers, 6 January 2012, London

06-01-2012

The NatureJobs Career Expo (NJCE) offered itself as a forum for research performing academies to showcase their opportunities for internationally mobile young researchers.
The NJCE provides a forum to connect employers who offer global career opportunities to candidates from (mainly) UK institutions of higher education. The event should allow employers and candidates to match interests and employment objectives. The career fair is the largest of its kind in the UK and has a proven track record of providing domestic, foreign, and multinational R&D companies and institutions access to high calibre applicants. Company participants are diverse, ranging from renowned multinationals to the public sector, operating in a wide variety of scientific sectors. The event itself will take place in London on 20 Sept 2012; the 2011 event is featured on: http://www.nature.com/natureconferences/njce2011/index.html?WT.ec_id=NATUREJOBS&WT.mc_id=CE1106TE010 ALLEA had invited its research performing academies earlier to join a project aimed at collaborating in the development of a European researchers’ career development framework based on a pilot elaborated in the UK. The “European Alliance on Research Career Development” (originally a Member Organisation Forum of the European Science Foundation) was set up in 2010 and, next to 20 ESF Member Organisations, comprises as actively participating observers ALLEA, the European Commission, the European Research Council (ERC), the European Universities Association (EUA), and the League of European Research Universities (LERU).

ALLEA examines the role of National Academies in science foresight, 3 January 2012, Amsterdam

ALLEA examines the role of National Academies in science foresight, 3 January 2012, Amsterdam

03-01-2012

Internationally, numerous intergovernmental organisations, governmental departments, research funders, and foresight experts debate the usefulness of scientific foresight, whereas the Academies often fulfill this role at national level.
Having drawn up a catalogue of recent science policy interventions of Academies ALLEA is now examining the role of Academies in national and regional foresight exercises, reviewing experiences and best practice in particular in science foresight across Europe and beyond. Academies contribute foresight and science planning exercises your Academy often as leader, coordinator or key contributor, in the case of research performing academies that constitute a major part of the science effort in their country, also by internally revising priorities and research foci. Similar advisory activities are conducted at national or supranational level, often leading to concrete results in the restructuring of the science landscape of the target area nationally or transnationally.