A Year in Review: ALLEA Annual Report released

We are proud to publish ALLEA’s Annual Report 2018/2019.

This document compiles an overview of our activities from May 2018 to April 2019 and takes a look back even further to commemorate our 25th anniversary. We reflect on this quarter century of our federation in the context of the transformations that occurred in the science policy society interface in Europe. ALLEA’s past Presidents and European partners share with us their thoughts on these 25 years of scientific cooperation.

Enjoy the read!

ALLEA’s reaction to the Parliament’s bill concerning the Hungarian Academy of Sciences

On 2 July 2019 the Hungarian Parliament has passed a bill which will strip the Hungarian Academy of Sciences of its research institutes and thereby will transfer the academy’s research capacities to the Eötvös Loránd Research Network (ELKH) under the supervision of the Hungarian Ministry of Innovation and Technology. The decision was made despite stark resistance from within the Hungarian science system as well as from European science organisations, including ALLEA, and is widely considered to be another decision by the Hungarian government to infringe on the freedom of science and research.

ALLEA President Antonio Loprieno said:

“We are worried by the Hungarian government’s attack on academic freedom, which threatens the autonomy of science and thus puts innovation at risk. The Hungarian Academy of Sciences has engaged in good faith and constructively with the government, which instead has chosen to disregard months of dialogue and efforts. As the federation of European academies, ALLEA will back our member academy and all Hungarian scientists and work with them and other international partners to defend science from populist pressures.”

The bill, which still awaits ratification by the country’s President, stipulates that not only the research institutes are handed over to ELKH, but also that the academy makes available their premises and equipment without compensation.

The Hungarian Academy of Sciences has made it clear that this bill is in opposition to basic European funding principles and poses a serious danger to the academic freedom of the institution as well as to the researchers working within this new network.

ALLEA and the academies within the federation deeply oppose such infringements and reject the claim of the Hungarian government that the ELKH will produce more innovative science.

 

Read previous ALLEA statements on this matter here:

ALLEA, EUA and Science Europe joint statement on academic freedom and institutional autonomy (April 2019)

ALLEA reinforces its calls to protect the institutional autonomy and academic freedom of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (February 2019)

ALLEA open letter in support of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (June 2018)

 

International Symposium on the Future of Learned Academies

On 12-14 June 2019, the American Philosophical Society (APS) held the Public Keynote ‘International Symposium on the Future of Learned Academies’ as the closing event of its 275th anniversary celebration. ALLEA President Antonio Loprieno joined other renowned scholars from nearly 30 academies from around the world to discuss the major challenges and opportunities facing scientific institutions in the current political, economic, and social context.

The symposium consisted of an International Keynote Panel held at the APS’ Franklin Hall on June 13 to highlight major challenges to the scholarly and scientific enterprise. The Panel was chaired by CEO of The New York Times Company, Mark Thompson, and the panellists included ALLEA President Antonio Loprieno, Ali Alpar from Bilim Akademisi  (Turkey), James Liao from Academia Sinica (Taiwan), Marcia McNutt from the National Academy of Sciences (United States), and Moneef Zou’bi from the Islamic World Academy of Sciences (Jordan).

Five different sessions about distinct aspects and components of Learned Academies today were led by the panellists on June 14, with Professor Loprieno leading session one on the issue of Academies’ Membership. You may see the full programme of the symposium here.

A livestream of the public keynote event on the evening of June 13 can be seen in full here.

ALLEA participates in forum about the impact of Brexit on UK research at the RSE

ALLEA’s President Antonio Loprieno participated in the summit organised by the Scottish Funding Council ‘Rising to the Challenges of a Post-Brexit World’ hosted by the Royal Society of Edinburgh on 30 May.

The event brought together Scotland’s college and university sectors to discuss how to address the challenges raised by the potential UK’s exit from the European Union. Participants included the Minister for Further Education, Higher Education and Science, Richard Lochhead, and Matt Lancashire, Director of Public and Policy Affairs at the Scottish Council for Development and Industry.

The debate revolved around two main questions: how to secure Scotland’s relationship with its European partners, and how to meet Scotland’s need for a skilled workforce in a post-Brexit environment.

“Political uncertainty can unintentionally lead to undermining long-standing research collaborations between international partners. European scientists must work together to protect and reinforce existing relationships among partners at all levels and ensure that close collaboration continues without disruptions,” said Loprieno.

Since the vote to leave the UK on 23 June 2016, ALLEA has worked closely with its member academies to raise awareness of the critical role of EU-UK scientific collaboration. In various statements and letters, the federation has called for greater clarity on the future relationship between EU and UK science policy and warned of the detrimental effects on the quality of scientific research and European citizens’ well-being on both sides of the English Channel.

Academies call for a sustainable European data governance approach

The ALLEA/Royal Society Discussion Paper ‘Flourishing in a data-enabled society’ examines how a European approach to data governance can unlock the full potential of data-based technologies, while at the same time safeguarding European values.

SAPEA Report: The challenges of ageing must be faced by the young

 

A new SAPEA report looks into the future of ageing. It reviews the best evidence available and assesses how different public policy options might help EU countries to achieve inclusive, fair and sustainable health and social care in the future.

Society must tackle the challenges presented by ageing in every generation – not leave them until old age. This is the key conclusion of a major new Evidence Review Report entitled Transforming the Future of Ageing, published today by SAPEA.

The report is destined for the desks of the new European Commissioners expected to take office later in 2019. It reviews the best evidence on what public policies might help EU countries to achieve inclusive, fair and sustainable health and social care in the future.

The authors, leading scientists nominated by academies across Europe, conclude that the ageing process needs to be transformed – and that the best way to improve life outcomes in old age is to anticipate and tackle them in youth and middle age.

Among the report’s other headline conclusions are:
• Ageing in the future will take place in a very different context from the past and will be profoundly affected by phenomena such as climate change, air pollution and antibiotic resistance, as well as ongoing social changes. Policies will only be successful if they are able to accommodate these changes.
• Age-friendly communities enable older people to feel secure and to go about their daily life comfortably. Architects, urban planners, experts in mobility and ergonomics, social care experts and geriatricians must cooperate to make age-friendly communities the norm.
• Technology, including wearable and assistive devices and the advent of AI, is already changing the experience of ageing, and could transform it if barriers of acceptance and practicality can be overcome.

Further information and the report itself are available on SAPEA’s website.

Revised Plan S principles and implementation guidelines published

 

Plan S, the initiative to transition the scientific publishing system towards open access, was updated and postponed for a year. Its initiators, the cOAlition S, an international consortium of research funding organisations, have published a revision of its principles and implementation guidelines, taking onboard the feedback received by ALLEA and other stakeholder organisations. The update extends the envisaged starting date by one year until 2021. Affected researchers and scientific organisations will now have more time to adapt to the new open access policy requirements.

ALLEA supports open access as a major step towards realising the universality of science. In response to the first proposal of Plan S in 2018, the federation published an initial statement assessing key aspects that need to be taken into consideration in order to prevent unintended consequences in the scientific publishing sector and the research evaluation system. The revised version of the plan explicitly praises the work of ALLEA in this regard and calls for continued dialogue with the academic community.

According to cOAlition S, the revised Plan S maintains the fundamental principles:

  • No scholarly publication should be locked behind a paywall;
  • Open access should be available immediately i.e. without embargoes;
  • Full open access is implemented by the default use of a Creative Commons Attribution CC BY license as per the Berlin Declaration;
  • Funders commit to cover open access publication fees at a reasonable level;
  • Funders will not support publication in hybrid (or mirror/sister) journals unless they are part of a transformative arrangement with a clearly defined endpoint.

But a number of important changes are proposed in the implementation guidance:

  • In order to provide more time for researchers and publishers to adapt to the changes under Plan S, the timeline has been extended by one year to take effect in 2021;
  • Transformative agreements will be supported until 2024;
  • More options for transitional arrangements (transformative agreements, transformative model agreements, ‘transformative journals’) are supported;
  • Greater clarity is provided about the various compliance routes: Plan S is NOT just about a publication fee model of open access publishing. cOAlition S supports a diversity of sustainability models for open access journals and platforms;
  • More emphasis is put on changing the research reward and incentive system: cOAlition S funders explicitly commit to adapt the criteria by which they value researchers and scholarly output;
  • The importance of transparency in open access publication fees is emphasised in order to inform the market and funders’ potential standardisation and capping of payments of such fees;
  • The technical requirements for open access repositories have been revised.

The summary was extracted from the cOAlition S rationale for the revisions.

 

Opening up the dialogue

In the beginning of this year, ALLEA also submitted recommendations to the consultation on the implementation guidelines. ALLEA President Antonio Loprieno met in Brussels with Robert-Jan Smits, Open Access Envoy of the European Commission, and Marc Schiltz, President of Science Europe, to discuss the next steps of Plan S.

Seeking to build a constructive dialogue within the research community on the future of Open Access, ALLEA has worked with its Member Academies to spur the debate on the topic. For instance, the Royal Irish Academy and the Royal Academy of Arts and Sciences of Barcelona have organised public events to promote a better understanding of the implications of Plan S for individual researchers, scientific organisations and publishers.

 

Call for Applications: ALLEA is currently seeking a Student Assistant

ALLEA is the European Federation of Academies of Sciences and Humanities. ALLEA speaks out on behalf of its more than 50 members from over 40 countries in Europe and seeks to promote science as a global public good.

The ALLEA Secretariat, based in the building of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities (BBAW) in Berlin-Mitte, is in charge of providing administrative and organisational assistance to the Presidency and Board in their daily work; it implements the communications and media strategies of the federation and assists in executing ALLEA’s activities towards providing evidence-based policy advice to the European Commission. Furthermore, the Secretariat supports ALLEA’s Working Groups in addressing relevant science and science-policy issues.

ALLEA is currently seeking a

Student Assistant

to join its team in Berlin as of 1 August 2019 on a weekly average workload of 19.5 hours, preferably for 3 days per week, with an hourly total remuneration of 12.50€ before tax, in accordance with the Tarifvertrag für studentische Beschäftigte (TV Stud III – KAV), Berlin.

Main tasks and responsibilities:

 

  • Help to create and edit newsletters, publications, leaflets, etc.
  • Assist in the creation and management of contents for the organisation’s websites and social media channels
  • Work with the communications team in drafting press releases, establishing media contacts and preparing media alerts via Mailchimp
  • Contribute to the conceptualisation and drafting of contents for a blog, including features about European science and interviews with top-level researchers
  • Support the preparation of public events as well as working group and governance meetings, including travel arrangements and hotel bookings
  • Aid with project administration, support general office tasks and provide assistance to ALLEA’s Executive Director

Requirements:

 

  • Graduate student enrolled in a university programme, preferably in a related field (e.g. International Relations, European Studies, Political Science, Journalism, Communications and Media Studies, etc.)
  • Interest in the areas of expertise of ALLEA (international scientific collaboration, science communications, research policy, scientific advice to policymaking, etc.)
  • Excellent command of English in speaking and writing; advanced German and/or other language skills are an asset
  • Very good organisational skills, hands-on approach and a keen eye for detail
  • Advanced computer skills, particularly MS Office (Word, Excel, Power Point)
  • Ideally experience with WordPress, Adobe InDesign, Adobe Premiere and/or Adobe Photoshop
  • Previous experience in an office setting, ability to work independently and in a team

 

If you are interested, please submit your digital application comprised of a cover letter, CV, and relevant corresponding certificates as one single PDF document (3 MB max.) to secretariat@allea.org by 1 July 2019. Shortlisted candidates will be contacted for interviews due to take place between 4 and 10 July 2019.

ALLEA is an equal opportunity employer. For more information about us, please visit www.allea.org and/or follow us on Twitter @ALLEA_academies

Download Call for Applications

Connecting Science and Society – 25th Anniversary of ALLEA

 

What role do European academies play in building bridges between the production of knowledge and its diffusion to society? How can they contribute to anchoring the values of the Enlightenment upon which scientific progress is based? ALLEA celebrated its 25th anniversary addressing those key questions through a two-day commemorative and scientific programme hosted by the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences in Bern on 8-9 May.

Representatives of ALLEA Member Academies after the business meeting of the 2019 ALLEA General Assembly hosted by the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences. You can check out more pictures of the event here. Credit: Eric Schmid

The event was part of the ALLEA General Assembly, the annual meeting of European Academies that brings together representatives of more than 50 academies from over 40 countries in Europe. This year, the programme was opened at the University of Bern with a session commemorating a quarter of a century of ALLEA on 8 May.

In his speech, ALLEA President Antonio Loprieno recalled the beginnings of ALLEA by the end of the Cold War when academies across Europe joined forces to build a new platform for interaction on the European level.

“ALLEA emerged 25 years ago in the wake of profound political changes. Changes that were taking place in Europe after 1989 and after the era of partition between the East and the West. Science became more globally interconnected and international collaboration of European academies more visible and indeed necessary,” Loprieno recalled.

As part of the anniversary session, the European Commission’s Director-General for Research and Innovation Jean-Eric Paquet delivered a congratulatory speech which reflected on the past and future of European science and the role of European academies in shaping the conditions for science and in providing science advice for the European Commission via SAPEA.

“25 amazing and exciting years when Europe and science changed tremendously, but also when science and Europe were challenged deeply and ALLEA was both witness and key actor of this remarkable period”, he remarked in his speech.


Honouring Mariana Mazzucato, 2019 Madame de Staël Prize laureate

The celebration was dedicated to memory and remembering ALLEA’s 25 years, but also to honouring forward-looking and innovative science. After the anniversary session, the 2019 All European Academies Madame de Staël Prize was handed over by Swiss Federal Councillor Guy Parmelin to Mariana Mazzucato, Professor in Economics of Innovation and Public Value at the University College London (UCL), and Founder and Director of the UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose (IIPP).

The award ceremony was introduced by the President of Compagnia di San Paolo Francesco Profumo and included a laudatory speech by Jean-Pierre Bourguignon, President of the European Research Council.

Bourguignon praised Mazzucato’s work on the relation between innovation and economic growth, as well as her focus on challenging common misconceptions on the functioning of markets and the role of the state in innovation. He also remarked that Mazzucato is considered as one of the “scariest economists” of today, as many have labelled her.

In her acceptance speech, Mazzucato expressed her gratitude and honour to be awarded a prize named after Madame de Staël, who “contested the status quo” of her time and challenged those who called themselves revolutionaries such as Napoleon.

In a similar spirit, she challenged in her speech those in the innovation, science and technology community who are defining sometimes uncritically what innovation means for the economy and society at large.

“What are markets? What are values? What is public value? We need to redefine how public and private come together and really question who is at the table”, she remarked.

“Is the market the same as the private sector? The market itself is an outcome of how public and private, and third sector, or civil society organisations, come together, but also how they are individually governed”, Mazzucato pointed out.

Science and Society in Present-day Europe

The discussions continued on 9 May in the scientific symposium ‘Science and Society in Present-day Europe’ dedicated to exploring the interaction between science and society from different angles and actors. Speakers remarked on the “enhanced role” of scientific actors in today’s digital society as Bourguignon highlighted in his keynote speech.

Madeleine Herren-Oesch, Director of the Institute for European Global Studies at the University of Basel, focused on the need to promote interdisciplinary knowledge and the role of social sciences and humanities in the building of new visions and narratives for the future of society.

The Global Young Academy analysed the potential for a (Re-)Enlightenment to bridge the gaps between society and science, and to address new challenges such as mistrust in science or digitalisation.

In the next session, Science et Cité introduced an interactive session on how big scientific breakthroughs such as the moon landing shape the public perception of science.

SAPEA, the consortium of European academy networks providing scientific advice to policy as part of the European Commission’s Scientific Advice Mechanism, concluded the debates with a panel session on the role of science advice in tackling microplastics pollution.

 

Picture Gallery

Video Library

Call for contributions: Open Consultation on FAIR data in the Humanities

 

Working with data in the humanities? Consider contributing to the ALLEA e-Humanities draft recommendations.

 

At the General Assembly on 8th May 2019, the ALLEA E-Humanities Working Group launched on open consultation on draft recommendations for humanities researchers working with data. The goal is to gather broad feedback from active humanities researchers and tailor the recommendations to community needs.

A link to the draft recommendations and instructions for contributing are available on the E-Humanities Working Group homepage, or can be accessed directly here: http://bit.ly/ALLEADH

Draft Recommendations

Open consultation

The consultation is open to all researchers and practitioners working in disciplines within the humanities, policymakers and representatives of all public and private organisations working in the field. We are particularly keen to hear from humanities researchers in ALLEA academies.

The consultation is open until 15th July 2019.

 

On FAIR data

The drive to promote and support Open Science is a global phenomenon propelled by the belief that the scientific process, and the range of outputs from that process, usually supported by public funds, should be open and transparent. Open Access to publications is one aspect of this agenda. Another is that access should be made available to the data and other research outputs that emerge from research, as outlined by the FAIR principles and the research practices they enable. The context for FAIR data and research data management is rapidly evolving, and currently coalescing around FAIR data.

About the ALLEA e-Humanities Working Group

The E-Humanities working group, composed of experts from across European academies, is committed to identifying and raising awareness for priorities and concerns of the humanities, with particular attention to current and emerging developments in digital practice. Currently, the Open Science agenda figures highly in research policy and research funder requirements, and is driving changes in research practice. To address this agenda, and facilitate the adoption of Open Science across the humanities, the working group has turned its attention to supporting humanities researchers in their research data management practices.

Download the flyer on the Open Consultation