“Science-based policy advice must be oriented towards the questions and needs of the society it serves.” So stated Jörg Hacker, the outgoing President of the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina in 2014. On the occasion of his successor’s inauguration on 20 February 2020, the need for science advice – and for meaningful action informed by this advice – is more timely than ever.

As Gerald Haug, the new President of the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, is inaugurated, the Fridays for Future movement will use the occasion to demonstrate in Halle (Saale). Their message is to listen to the science.

The Global Young Academy (GYA) agrees wholeheartedly with Friday for Future’s message of taking science-based evidence seriously in decision-making. Indeed, the GYA stands for science that is global and includes multiple perspectives. This certainly applies to climate change, and according to scientifically established evidence, governments on many levels are not moving fast enough to address this critical issue. However, we are confident that incoming Leopoldina President Gerald Haug, a renowned climatologist, will use his office to advocate for greater action.

GYA membership, Executive Committee, and Office staff warmly welcome new President Gerald Haug. We look forward to working with President Haug to support the role of science academies – including national young academies around the world – in providing science policy advice to governments and civil society stakeholders, and particularly in addressing pressing topics such as the climate crisis.

More information on President Haug is available at the Leopoldina website here: https://www.leopoldina.org/en/press-1/press-releases/press-release/press/2688/