Young Academies from all over Europe met in Helsinki, Finland, on 17-18 May 2019. The meeting, organised by the Young Academy Finland, brought together more than 25 participants representing 16 young academies and academy initiatives. The GYA was represented by its Co-Chair Connie Nshemereirwe (Uganda), members Gergely Toldi (for the Hungarian Young Academy) and Udi Sommer (for the Israel Young Academy), as well as GYA Project Officer Anna-Maria Gramatté.

Participants continued discussions from last year’s meeting in Amsterdam, looked into young academies’ best practices, and discussed current developments around Plan S.

The latest additions to the young academies network – the Hungarian Young Academy and the Young Academy of the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences – were also represented at the meeting. Representatives from the young academy initiatives from Switzerland and the UK also attended to learn about existing young academy models and structures, areas of young academy engagement and possible cooperation.

Päivi Tikka, Secretary General of the Council of Finnish Academies, gave a short introduction to the science advice activities of the Finnish Academies, as part of a panel on “Young Academies as knowledge brokers on the EU science-policy interface”.

This was followed by a panel discussion on open and responsible science and what kind of role they play in young researchers’ careers. How can early-career researchers organise themselves as scientists in a new paradigm landscape? David Budtz Pedersen from the Humanomics Research Centre at Aalborg University, Denmark, provided some insights from his research into the science of science-for-policy advice, and emphasised that rewards and incentives needed to be in place for scientists to engage in open science and science advice activities.

A World Café session saw a lively exchange of best practices in the fields of capacity-building & training for young academy members; equality; science education & outreach activities; at-risk scholars initiatives by young academies; arts & interdisciplinarity; and science policy.

A discussion of future collaboration and joint projects was also part of the meeting:

  • the Young Academy Finland will run a project on young researchers as knowledge brokers to build the capacity of early-career researchers to engage in science advice, but also to establish more effective and open channels between science and society, as well as to increase the collaboration between Young Academies in Europe.
  • the German Young Academy is developing a science outreach project for academy members to go to unexpected places and talk about science to the public. They will invite young academies globally to join them.
  • the GYA is currently coordinating the drafting of a joint young academy statement on the core principles and roles of young academies, which will be published later in 2019.

The European Young Academies will meet again in Berlin, Germany, in 2020.