Science and medical academies from the G-7 countries and seven additional academies, including the Global Young Academy (GYA), have issued three joint statements to advise the G-7 process, and to inform ongoing policy-making and public discussion.

The three joint statements are titled “Digital Health and the Learning Health System”, “Basic Research”, and “Global Insect Declines and the Potential Erosion of Vital Ecosystem Services”. These statements follow a G-Science statement made in April that called for international cooperation in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

GYA Co-Chair Koen Vermeir (CNRS, France) notes that “The four statements cover very different subjects, but they all address problems and opportunities that require urgent attention by policymakers. Such joint statements, signed by several of the most respected science academies in the world, sends a strong signal to governments that international cooperation and decisive policy action is needed.”

The G-Science Academies have met annually to develop policy recommendations to be delivered to the leaders of each country. This year, the GYA was invited for the first time, reinforcing the global perspective and the presence of young researchers, who are important for finding solutions for global challenges.

Executive Committee member Yoko Shimpuku (Hiroshima University, Japan) and Koen Vemeir were invited as GYA representatives. They contributed to all the reports and organised the GYA input to the G-Science statements. The GYA Executive Committee provided further suggestions and validated the statement on behalf of the GYA.

Digital Health and the Learning Health System
With the enormous progress in digital technologies, it is possible to envision high functioning and continuously learning health systems that can improve resource allocation and lower costs while advancing research, healthcare, and patient experience and outcomes. Priorities requiring global cooperation include: 1) cybersecurity, safety, and privacy; 2) interoperability; 3) availability of reliable data and information; 4) secure virtual data repositories; 5) integrative analytics and predictive modelling; 6) mathematics of learning; 7) knowledge representation and management; and 8) IT literacy, public understanding, and ethics.

Specific input for this statement came from the GYA Global Health Working Group, especially members Anna Harris (Maastricht University, Netherlands), Daniel Limonta (University of Alberta, Canada), Paulina Carmona-Mora (University of California-Davis, USA), and Stefan Kohler (Heidelberg University, Germany). Wataru Iwasaki also contributed as a representative of Young Academy of Japan.

The full statement is available here.

Basic Research
Expanding fundamental knowledge has made enormous contributions to solving global challenges and sustaining healthy and prosperous societies. Investment by the public in basic research creates essential human and intellectual capital and enriches society in unexpected ways, including new treatments and technologies that spawn new industries, elevating the global standard of
living. Yet, there are many current cases of inadequate or decreasing investment in basic research. Our central recommendation is to restore and sustain long-term public funding of basic research, pursuing new frontiers of knowledge, providing the basic fuel for successfully meeting current and future challenges.

This statement received input by the Importance of Fundamental Research working group, with contributions from Oded Hod (Tel Aviv University, Israel), André Xuereb (University of Malta), Anina Rich (Macquarie University, Australia), Martin Dominik (University of St Andrews, United Kingdom), Sidappa Byrareddy, and Borys Wrobel (Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan, Poland). Masaki Nakamura, alumnus of the GYA and the Young Academy of Japan, also contributed as a representative of the Science Council of Japan.

The full statement is available here.

Global Insect Declines and the Potential Erosion of Vital Ecosystem Services
A great majority of insects provide unique and irreplaceable ecosystem services, including pollination, recycling, and nutrient provisioning. Striking declines in diversity and abundance, in some cases upwards of 75% in less than 30 years, have been documented in insect communities. Because loss and degradation of habitats and other contributing factors usually cross political boundaries, international cooperation is essential to mitigate or reverse such declines.

This statement received input from the Bio2bio Working Group, with contributions from Ross Piper and Yuliya Linhares (Miami Cancer Institute, United States).

The full statement is available here.