This Working Group studies the history of the GYA. It is both a project in history and sociology of science and a project useful for the GYA.
From the perspective of the history and sociology of research institutions, the GYA is a particularly interesting case study. We will document the founding and development of the GYA, including challenges and opportunities it confronted so far, and compare this with the history and development of other academies. It would be an interesting test case for current historical and sociological models of scientific institutionalization and networking, as well as the multiple relations between scientific and policy bodies.
Academies have always written their own histories. A key reason for this is the usefulness of history towards identifying potential obstacles, understanding why some initiatives fail and others thrive, and comparing success and failure stories with other historical cases – all of which will help the GYA in the years ahead. Historical research can also help academies to gain visibility and think about their identity, mission and goals. This exercise will be a vehicle to raise and debate crucial questions for the GYA and its future development, which GYA members will be invited to explore as the project develops. Examples of such questions are: What are academies for, and how have the goals of the GYA evolved since its initial founding? What makes the GYA special within the current international research and policy landscape? What is the role of GYA members and leadership, and how is this evolving to tackle financial and policy requirements and accountabilities? And what impact has the GYA had within and beyond research?
For GYA members and alumni only: connect to the group, collaborate and discuss with other members on the GYA-internal Agora platform here.
– We are preparing a data analysis of GYA membership based on archival information.
– We are conducting a historical study of the GYA and compare its founding with founding stories of different academies.
– We are capturing the memories and experiences of recent alumni in a video archive.
– We are working on playful ways to activate and engage with the history of the GYA.
In May 2023, the group published its White Paper on “A digital archive of GYA history“, which details the latest phase of the academy’s efforts to create a digital archive of material related to the founding of this young academy during the years 2008-2010.
In connection with the GYA Annual General Meeting and International Conference of Young Scientists in May 2019, the group organized a science history walk through the city of Halle, Germany, as part of the March for Science day.
Also at the meeting, the group contributed to a panel on the “History and Future of Academies and Learned Societies“. The panel included a keynote by Ismail Serageldin (Founder, Bibliotheca Alexandrina), followed by a panel discussion particularly focusing on the history of academies in Europe. The history of the GYA was discussed in the context of the growing movement of national young academies. Part two of the panel, on the future of national and global academies, was an active panel discussion with Jacqueline Olang (Network of African Science Academies), Volker ter Meulen (InterAcademy Partnership), Philipp Kanske (die Junge Akademie), Antonio Loprieno (All European Academies), Orakanoke Phanraksa (National Science and Technology Development Agency, Thailand), Christiane Diehl (European Academies’ Science Advisory Council), moderated by GYA Co-Chair Tolu Oni.
Working together with the GYA Office, we started the development of an archiving policy and the basis for a professional archive.