GYA Press Brief

The GYA Press Brief highlights selected news from the Global Young Academy, its members, and its strategic partners.

Click here for the May 2019 Newsletter.

Questions may be directed to the GYA Press Officer at .



GYA International Conference and Anniversary Annual General Meeting

The Anniversary Annual General Meeting and International Conference of Young Scientists of the Global Young Academy – ‘Re-Enlightenment: Truth, reason and science in a global world’ – took place from 29 April – 3 May in Halle (Saale), Germany, at the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina. The meeting celebrated 10 years of the GYA. Altogether 113 GYA members and 24 GYA alumni attended, as well as over 100 international and local speakers and guests, including policy makers and senior representatives of the international science management and policy community.

While a full report is forthcoming, a more detailed news item is available here.

A special thank you to those GYA members who helped design and organise the meeting, as well as to the numerous cooperating partners and funders who made this event possible: German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, InterAcademy Partnership, Volkswagen Stiftung, Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach Stiftung, Fritz Thyssen Stiftung, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, German Academic Exchange Services (DAAD), German Research Foundation, International Network for Government Science Advice (INGSA), Stiftung Kulturelle Erneuerung, Kunstmuseum Moritzburg und Kulturstiftung Sachsen-Anhalt, Halle Institute for Economic Research, Die Junge Akademie, Interdisciplinary Centre for European Enlightenment Studies, Francke Foundations, City of Halle (Saale), Region Saxony-Anhalt, Martin-Luther University Halle-Wittenberg.

The Global Young Academy also gratefully acknowledges core funding from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research.


New Co-Chairs and Executive Committee members elected at AGM

To represent and lead them through the upcoming year, GYA members elected leaders hailing from 5 continents – a majority of whom are women – to the Executive Committee. As Co-Chairs for the upcoming year, members chose Connie Nshemereirwe (Uganda) and Koen Vermeir (France).
Connie and Koen were both re-elected – Connie was a Co-Chair last year, while Koen was a member of the Executive Committee last year. Both Anina Rich (Australia) and Yoko Shimpuku (Japan) were re-elected to the Executive Committee.
More information is available here.

GYA’s new members announced!

Under the leadership of Maral Dadvar (Germany), the 46 members of the GYA Selection Committee have selected 43 new members to join the GYA in late April 2019 for a tenure of five years (full list available here). The applications were evaluated by at least four selection committee members in two rounds of reviews and thus scored based on GYA excellency criteria.
The entire GYA community extends a very warm welcome to our new members – we look forward to meeting you all at the AGM in April! More information is available here.

GYA joins World Science Forum Steering Committee
In February, the GYA was formally invited to join the Steering Committee of the World Science Forum (WSF). To ensure continuity, it was decided that one of the GYA’s Co-Chairs would be the representative each year, with this year’s honour going to Co-Chair Connie Nshemereirwe (Uganda).
As members of the WSF Steering Committee, the GYA is tasked with organising the young scientist pre-conference workshop in partnership with other young scientist organisations, and with contributing to facilitating intergenerational intercultural dialogue at the WSF.

GYA becomes full member of InterAcademy Partnership
In recognition of its growing influence in the global science community, the GYA has been named a full member of the InterAcademy Partnership (IAP), the global network of 138 academies of science, engineering and medicine. The official announcement took place at the IAP Conference and General Assembly in Songdo, Korea, on Thursday 11 April 2019 during the joint InterAcademy Partnership meeting. Read more here.

A bonanza of GYA publications
The GYA Media Office rolled out four new publications this month:
2019 Quarterly Bulletin I, featuring news about the GYA being made a full member of the InterAcademy Partnership, as well as a member of the World Science Forum Academy’s Steering Committee.

GYA connections 2019. This year’s edition features sections on ‘Inclusiveness’, GYA in Memories, and a section presenting our 2019 New Members.

2018 Yearly Report. This year’s report highlights GYA capacity-building activities, mentoring and outreach activities, and our 10-year self-assessment.

The GYA pamphlet has been updated and features a new look.


Responding to the call of home

Why do some scientists choose to forgo promising careers abroad to return to their countries of birth? GYA members Sandra López Vergès (Panama), Bilge Demirköz (Turkey), and alumni Noble Banadda (Uganda) are featured in a recent Nature article on sought-after scientists who return to their native countries. Read the article here.
(Editor’s note: The GYA Office has reached out to the author of this article to remedy an error of attribution pertaining to the GloSYS Africa study, which has not yet been published.)


Tearing down visa barriers

In a well-argued opinion piece in Nature titled ‘Tear down visa barriers that block scholarship’, Co-Chair Connie Nshemereirwe (Uganda) discusses common obstacles to travel for scientists from the Global South, as well as potential solutions. One such solution is the Global Passport for Scholars (GPS), a project being developed by GYA members Cristina Blanco Sio-Lopez (UK) and Robert Lepenies (Germany).



Closing the gap in science leadership

Helping refugees continue their scientific work in Europe

Early-career researchers respond to Plan S: Interview with Sabina Leonelli of the Global Young Academy

3 ½ Questions for Connie Nshemereirwe (once you’ve opened the link, scroll down)

African science needs more leaders. Here’s how to develop them

New Voices in Science
GYA alumni Eva Alisic (Australia) and Hans Hilgenkamp (Netherlands) have written an editorial that appeared in Science about New Voices, the new young academy-like organisation in the United States.
Read more here

Scientists are cool!
GYA member Clarissa Rios Rojas (Peru) has started an Instagram account with the aim of showing that scientists can also be cool, thereby encouraging more young people to follow scientists and get inspired to follow STEM careers. You can follow her here:



GYA alumni in his element during International Year of the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements

© Wikipedia Commons

This year marks the 150th anniversary of Dmitry Mendeleev discovering the Periodic System, and has thus been proclaimed the “International Year of the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements” (IYPT2019).

GYA alumni Javier Garcia-Martinez (Spain), a member of the Executive Board of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry, is heavily involved in the planning, coordination and implementation of the activities of IYPT2019.

The initiative behind IYPT2019 has resulted in three main activities: the Periodic Table of Younger Chemists, the Global Woman’s Breakfast, and the Periodic Table Challenge.
All three activities are detailed in a news item on our webpage.

Joy Wolfram (United States, pictured below) and her work on nanotechnologies were recently featured on a television broadcast called ‘Digging Deeper’. The segment is available here.

Felix Moronta (Italy) recently published a blog on his experience at this year’s AGM and Conference in Halle (Saale).

Alexander Birbrair (Brazil) is among the first grantee researchers to receive renewed support of up to 1 million Brazilian Real each from Serrapilheira, a private non-profit institution that promotes science in Brazil. More information is available here.

Shima Taheri (Australia) has been invited to be the Guest Editor of a special issue in the Journal of Antibiotics. More information is available here.

Meghnath Dhimal (India) co-authored a paper titled ‘Rising rural body-mass index is the main driver of the global obesity epidemic in adults’ that was published in Nature. A shareable link for the paper is here, and visualisations of the paper’s results are available here.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan recently commissioned GYA alumnus Mitsunobu Kano (Japan) as a Science and Technology Co-Advisor to the Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs. Since September 2015, Dr. Teruo Kishi, Professor Emeritus of the University of Tokyo, had served as the sole Science and Technology Advisor. Mitsunobu adds that, “I personally wish to contribute to the global society by creating new values through bridging differences between norms and disciplines.” More information is available here.

Maral Dadvar (Germany) established and coordinates the 500 Women in Science Frankfurt Pod. You can join the Frankfurt Pod here. For more information on 500 Women Scientists in general, or to learn about the benefits of establishing a Pod in your own city, visit the 500 Women in Science website.

A paper on medicinal plant extracts by GYA member Alexander Kagansky (Russia) and alumna Vidushi Neergheen-Bhujun (Mauritius) has just been published in ActaNaturae (Vol. 11/1). More information is available here.

GYA alumnus and former EC member Yusuf Baran (Turkey), has been named the President/Rector of Izmir Institute of Technology, Izmir, Turkey.

According to the website University Affairs, GYA alumnus Andrew Pelling (pictured below) ‘challenges conventions in both science and academia, and his daring research has attracted worldwide attention.’ The article is available here.