Some of the participants engaged in the digital meeting. Click to enlarge.
Die Junge Akademie in Germany hosted the annual meeting for European young academies this year when meetings went digital. During two days young scholars from across Europe shared knowledge and discussed future collaborations and participation in the science advice platform SAPEA.
–The ENYA 2020 meeting was an impressive testimony to the fact that young academics now contribute to the development of academia and research policy more than ever before, says Aryo Makko, Young Academy of Sweden member and Professor of History at Stockholm University.
The young academy movement started in Germany 20 years ago with Die Junge Akademie and as part of their anniversary celebrations they hosted the European National Young Academy (ENYA) meeting this weekend. Participants from established young academies were invited as well as representatives from initiatives for setting up academies.
The main focus of the meeting this year was on policy advice and how young scholars may have impact, both as individuals and as organizations. We had the pleasure of listening to Reinhard Bütikofer, Member of the European Parliament since ten years, who shared his advice on how researchers can successfully work with politicians. Make yourself useful, was his key take-home message. This includes being proactive and seeking out politicians to share knowledge on topics they are working with right now, and also provide insight on what will probably be on the agenda in the coming months. Also, realize that the time frames for research and politics are completely different.
There is a keen interest from the Science Advice Platform for European Academies (SAPEA)* to engage more with young academies and during the meeting we were visited by Rudolf Hielscher (coordinator of SAPEA). To join SAPEA we would need to form an umbrella organization for the national young academies and after an in-depth discussion it was decided that we should continue to develop this further.
There were also a number of informal group discussions on e.g. sustainability, work life balance, gender equality and diversity and how to start a young academy.
The Science Advice Platform for European Academies (SAPEA) is an EU-project which aims to provide evidence based advice to the European commissions. It is based on a consortium of organisations that collect academies within engineering, science, medicine, humanities and social science. The mode of operation is by producing reports, workshops, seminars and direct interaction with the commission, SAPEA is funded within the EU framework program for research and innovations.