ALLEA recently released its third and final newsletter for the year 2014, focussing on matters surrounding the topic “Science Policy after the European Elections”. The newsletter features a comprehensive look at key science policy makers on the EU level, recent changes and trends, and an interview with MEP and Chair of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy, Professor Jerzy Buzek.
In the last six months, the arena of science policy on the European level has experienced numerous changes and welcomed many new faces. In July, the Italian Presidency took the helm of the Council of the European Union, while the European Parliament committees ITRE and CULT received new chairs and new members. On 1 November, the new Commission under President Jean-Claude Juncker began its five-year term – without, as was recently confirmed, the expert voice of a chief scientific adviser. President Juncker’s removal of not only the CSA but also the Bureau of European Policy Advisers under which the CSA post was subsumed has been met with growing anxiety as to the future of evidence-based independent science policy advice on the European level.
Thus, with this newsletter’s focus topic, ALLEA offers an overview of the current developments and trends in the arena of European science policy. The ALLEA interview with Professor Jerzy Buzek, Chair of the Industry, Research and Energy Committee at the European Parliament offers a glimpse into the current science policy climate in Brussels and Strasbourg. Moreover, beyond a presentation of the debate regarding the CSA and BEPA, the issue breaks down the most important changes and tendencies driving the Commission’s approach to science policy.
While this issue’s focus is meant to offer insight into the complex political structures that make science policy decisions in Europe, it also dovetails with the theme of the next ALLEA General Assembly, which will take place in April 2015 in Lisbon. 15 years after the “Lisbon Strategy” set out the goals for two decades of European science and research, ALLEA will return to the original Lisbon agenda and examine the strategy’s aims, what has actually been accomplished since 2000, and what still needs to be done. In this context, ALLEA is introducing a new section of this newsletter in which the rich and multifaceted profiles of our member academies are featured. In this issue, the spotlight shines on the Academy of Sciences of Lisbon before they generously open their beautiful halls to the next ALLEA General Assembly.
Last but far from least, the newsletter reports on the continued active engagement of the ALLEA Working Groups. The Working Group Science Education has released the complete “Academia-Industry Alliance: Joint Efforts in Science Education” report and will soon publish the AEMASE Conference Report, which details the proceedings of the May 2014 conference in Rome and will be produced as a printed booklet. Meanwhile, the Working Groups Science and Ethics and Intellectual Property Rights met to discuss possible future cooperation on cross-cutting issues of relevance for both expert groups.
To read the latest ALLEA newsletter, please click here.