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On 8-10 May, the 25th anniversary of the European Federation of Academies of Sciences was marked and the science symposium "Science and Society in Present-day Europe" was held in Bern, Switzerland.
The Federation of European Academies of Sciences, abbreviated as ALLEA (All European Academies), was founded in 1994. It brings together 60 national and branch academies from 40 European countries. It is funded by the annual membership fee of all member-states and is independent of political, commercial, and ideological interests. The Federation was founded in a changing European political situation, as an attempt to unite Western and Eastern European academies. Like the neighbouring academies of Central and Eastern Europe, the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences is a member of ALLEA.
There were over 200 participants at the ALLEA General Assembly and Symposium, including Prof. Jūras Banys, President of the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences, and its Vice-President Prof. Zenonas Dabkevičius. The General Assembly reviewed activities of ALLEA during 25 years, approved the 2018 activity report, and activity and financial plan for 2019. Since the administrative staff of the federation is very small, only 4-5 people, temporary and permanent working groups of specialists delegated by participating academies are formed. These groups work on such topical issues of European science policy as intellectual property law, science and ethics, research-based training, science policy, the European horizon - towards a new EU science and innovation programme, truth and confidence in science, and others. In between the annual assemblies, specialized conferences and seminars of ALLEA and member-academies are organised.
The General Assembly discussed the need for the academies to be independent of the authorities, cooperation in developing strategic documents and implementing innovations, providing the public with understandable and convincing scientific information on the potential impact of Brexit on European science, the prospects of gene editing and application of modern medical technologies.
Much attention was paid to active worldwide establishment of Young Academies whose motto is ‘Let us hear the voice of young scientists from all over the world’. Currently, the Global Young Academy connects 200 scientists and 238 alumni from 83 countries and collaborates with over 40 national young academies, 15 young scientist associations, and similar organizations.
The scientific symposium included presentations and discussions on the following topics: science and society in present-day Europe, perspectives for the renewal of the scientific community, trust in scientists and science, the importance of interdisciplinary research, the role of scientists in protecting the environment from pollution (especially plastic), the future of space research, and others.
See ALLEA Twitter account for the gallery of the event:
Information of the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences