Young researchers from over 40 countries have gathered in Aviemore, Scotland, UK for the Global Young Academy’s (GYA) annual general meeting and a conference on the theme of “Social Justice in a Rapidly Changing World”. To represent this international academy of young scientists and lead them through the coming year, GYA members elected Dr Tolu Oni (South Africa) and Dr Moritz Riede (UK) as their new Co-Chairs.

Tolu Oni is an Associate Professor and Public Health Physician Specialist at the School of Public Health and Family Medicine, University of Cape Town, South Africa. She leads the Research Initiative for Cities Health and Equity, and her research focuses on understanding health transition, and the epidemiology of the interaction between common chronic conditions and the unplanned urban environment. She aims to promote science and research as key drivers of development in Africa through a coordinated approach between science, policy and society role players, to identify creative strategies to address complex population health and broader societal challenges.

Moritz Riede is an Associate Professor for Soft Functional Nanomaterials in the Department of Physics at the University of Oxford, UK. His research focus is on organic solar cells, an emerging solar cell technology that has the potential to become a highly cost-competitive technology for converting sunlight into electricity. With his work on renewable energies, he aims to contribute to solving the challenges for transforming our energy system into a sustainable one and his underlying goal is to promote the special responsibility of scientists towards society.

Elections were also held for the GYA Executive Committee (EC), the academy’s leadership team. Dr Karly S. Kehoe (Canada) and Dr Samuel Sojinu (Nigeria), both members of the previous GYA EC in 2016, were re-elected. Newly elected members of the EC are: Dr Patricio Antici (Canada), Dr Almas Taj Awan (Brazil), Dr Anna Kathleen Coussens (South Africa), Dr Laura Fierce (USA), Dr Alexander (Sasha) Kagansky (UK), Dr Karen Lorimer (UK) and Dr Connie Nshemereirwe (Uganda).