March 2020 Newsletter

Dear Friends,

We send you greetings during an unprecedented moment, when the world seems to be taking each single breath as one. We hope you and your families continue to be well, and we salute each and every one of our members working on the front lines to better understand the coronavirus, assist in the testing efforts, develop potential vaccines, and provide a myriad of services that we all need to continue to live in a reasonably acceptable manner. We are also aware that some of us are facing tougher times, with loved ones being ill or even passing – we keep you in our thoughts at this time.
The month of March nevertheless brought with it plenty to celebrate, the top of which was welcoming 40 amazing new members who hail from 30 countries and represent all GYA disciplines – we really look forward to working with all of you to make the world a better place!

Important news, this month, is that the GYA's in-person Annual General Meeting and Conference has been transformed into an e-meeting. We see this as a fantastic opportunity to develop a world-class approach to holding such virtual meetings, and expect that it will open up more ways for us to engage and interact.

In an admirable effort by members of the GYA, we have also released the GYA Statement "Beyond Boundaries: A global message from young scientists on COVID-19", and have been proud of the engagement that followed. The Statement was initiated and led by Felix Moronta (International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology ICGEB, Italy), who also produced an infographic that has not only been widely shared, it has also been translated into 17 languages by various GYA members.

One last thing we would like to draw your attention to is a recent announcement that the GYA has been named as a member of a consortium that will build and promote an Open Access publishing platform for the European Commission – this is a fantastic opportunity to contribute to the important work being done to promote Open Access worldwide.

The next two months will be a beehive of activity as we prepare for our e-AGM and Conference, and we look forward to making it a success. In the meantime, please do take care of yourselves and your families during these tough times, and let us all hope we see the end of it soon.

PS: Please note that due to upcoming public holidays, the GYA Office will be scarcely staffed from 8 until 14 April.

Stay Safe!

Connie Nshemereirwe (Actualise Africa, Uganda) and Koen Vermeir (CNRS, France)
On behalf of the GYA Executive Committee
Beate Wagner (Managing Director)
On behalf of the GYA Office

GYA News

In-person AGM and Conference to be held virtually

The rapid spread of COVID-19 has resulted in almost all countries worldwide implementing measures to slow the transmission of the virus, including travel restrictions, school and business closures and even closed borders. Given that the evolution of the virus is still uncertain, and the situation may improve in some places while it gets worse in others, planning ahead is especially challenging for a global organization like the GYA.

Taking all of this into consideration, it has become clear that it would be unwise to continue with plans to hold an in-person AGM and Conference this year.

While we truly regret not being able to come together in person, we also believe that the “GYA Spirit” cannot be defeated by such obstacles, and that it will not only stay alive and well, but even thrive! Indeed, this situation provides an opportunity for the GYA to be daring and innovative in creating new formats and to re-define what it means to work together.

We therefore ask for your help with identifying and/or developing genuinely new and interactive digital ways of working together. Please email Jennifer Plaul ( if you already have experience with successful digital meetings, if you know about interesting tools, or if you are keen to help us with developing a totally new format for our meeting!

Find all further developments, news and information on the 2020 e-AGM and Conference posted on the AGM Microsite.

GYA welcomes new members from 30 countries!

Get to know the new cohort here.

GYA to help establish Open Access publishing platform

Access more here

Beyond Boundaries: A global message from young scientists on COVID-19

The GYA Statement
(also in Spanish) and an infographic in 18 languages is available here.

COVID-19 primer from GYA Executive Committee member Sandra Lopez-Verges

Read more here.

GYA online

Lighting Talks highlight members' work

During every GYA Annual General Meeting and Conference, members hold "Lightning Talks” to explain their research to the public in 3.5 minutes. Here is GYA Alumnus Benjamin Hennig (University of Iceland) speaking about various methods of mapping our world.

PS: While you’re there, please subscribe to our YouTube channel!

Co-Chair Koen Vermeir speaks about educational development

The Global Institute for Lifelong Empowerment (GILE) hosted an official event at the World Science Forum 2019, titled "Responsible Education - A 'Call for Action'". In their video of the event, Co-Chair Koen Vermeir (CNRS, France) discusses educational development.

Items of interest

The Swiss Academy of Sciences has edited an e-booklet on how young scientists can shape today's research culture.

Download it here.


People follow people – show you’re staying home!

#Quaranteam is dedicated to fostering human connection in a time of social distancing. The campaign allows you to change your profile photo frames to show various texts, for example the one chosen by GYA alumnus and past Co-Chair Moritz Riede (University of Oxford, United Kingdom) at left.

Read more about the campaign, or download a photo frame here.


Life with Corona

Life with Corona is a citizen science project (led by GYA alumni and founding member Tilman Brück, Germany) that aims to study the social and economic implications of the Coronavirus pandemic. The study will continue throughout 2020.
Take the survey here.

Leave your thoughts on GYA News here

News from Our Members and Alumni

New member Josep Maria Armengol (Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha, Spain) published an article titled "The Virus of Ageism: The Coronavirus and Discrimination of Older People." The original (Spanish version) is available here. The English translation is available here.

Executive Committee member Robert Lepenies (Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research, Germany) was recently interviewed by German news outlets on the role of psychology informing the political response to the corona crisis (read that interview here), as well as science communication in general during the 21st century (available here).

Aminata Garba (Rwanda) was selected to the World Data System Scientific Committee. More information is available here.

Michael Saliba (University of Darmstadt, Germany) received the Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prize, the most important award for early-career researchers in Germany. Read more here.

Maha Nasr (Ain Shams University, Egypt) was awarded the "African Union Kwame Nkrumah scientific excellence regional award for women scientists in Life Sciences". More information is available here.

Eqbal Dauqan (University of Agder, Norway) was recently interviewed on Al-Jazeera TV (in Arabic). The interview, titled "Yemeni researcher successfully makes her academic career in Norway", is available here.

Co-Chair Connie Nshemereirwe (
Actualise Africa, Uganda) published an opinion piece in the Scientific African Magazine questioning current modes of early English-language teaching in contexts like Uganda. Read the article here.
Please use this form to send us your stories and accomplishments - we'll include them in social media and in the newsletter!

GYA in the media

Strong turnout for the ninth World Science Forum in Hungary. (Leopoldina news)

ALLEA and Global Young Academy Launch Strategic Partnership (Turkish Academy of Sciences Newsletter)
GYA Activities

Working Group and Strategic Project highlights


New GYA Incubator on Critical Experiments established

More information here.

Launch of new "Open Science Global Working Group"

More information here.

GYA Co-Chair Koen Vermeir promotes Open Science in first UNESCO Virtual Ministerial Dialogue on COVID-19

More information here.
National Young Academies


GYA Co-Chair at Belgian Young Academy Open Science event

More information here.

Cameroon Academy of Young Scientists honors Women's Day

On the occasion of International Women’s Day 2020, the Cameroon Academy of Young Scientists (CAYS) organised a panel discussion on “Women and Science: What Future for Cameroon?” Details are available here.

Young Academy of Spain at COP25

GYA alumnus Javier García-Martinez (University of Alicante, Spain) in his role as the President of the Young Academy of Spain took part in the 25th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP25), as part of the round table entitled “From the Academy to the Society". More information here.

News from the Indian National Young Academy of Science

INYAS has published their annual Newsletter, and also translated the World Health Organisation’s Myth Busters on Corona Virus into various regional languages of India for a wider outreach. Find the translations here.
NYAs and COVID-19

GYA developing COVID-19 repository

The GYA has established a page on our website ( to act as a repository for young academies to link their work on COVID-19. This includes any statements or information dissemination activities, initiatives to support scientists to coordinate and facilitate institutions or governments. Please contact or tweet with the hashtag #covid19ya if you want to share what your academy is doing, or want to contact other young academies for joint activities, or an exchange of experience and best practices.

Dutch Young Academy issue statement on rewarding solidarity

The Dutch Young Academy has issued a statement titled “Reward and appreciate solidarity in times of crisis”, where they argue that support given to colleagues during the current COVID-19 pandemic, or the implementation of new online modes of teaching, and further displays of solidarity in academia should be rewarded.

Covid-19 Statement by Nigerian Young Academy

The Nigerian Young Academy has published a statement titled “Covid-19 pandemic: Way forward for Nigeria”. The document is available here.

SAYAS seeks translators for their COVID-19 statement

The South African Young Academy of Science is making an effort to disseminate information about COVID-19 by translating to a number of languages spoken on the African continent.
The infographic (IsiZulu version at right) has already been translated into English, Tshivenda, isiXhosa, Afrikaans, Swahili, Portuguese, Sepedi, IsiZulu, Shona, French, Sesotho, Lingala, isiSwati, Northern Sotho, and Xitsonga.
If you are interested in translating to other languages, please use this Word template and send the translations to


NYA Updates - Spread the news!

If you have any news or updates regarding your NYA, please email Anna-Maria Gramatté.

The InterAcademy Partnership Communique on COVID-19

The InterAcademy Partnership (IAP) Communique titled "Call for Global Solidarity on COVID-19 Pandemic" calls for collective action on the global scale to improve and accelerate the use of research and its outputs for the global public good. The Communique is available here.
Upcoming Events

INGSA2020 postponed

In light of current events, the INGSA2020 Organizing Committee has delayed the INGSA Conference until 18-21 April 2021. INGSA will also host on 15-16 September 2020 (to be confirmed) a global virtual conference (INGSA2020-COVID), to be focused specifically on the interface of science and policy and on science diplomacy during the current Covid-19 pandemic. INGSA has established on its website a section ( to serve as a hub of information and resources about the science and policy interface of the epidemic. Everyone is encouraged to see the site and to consider how they might contribute to the effort.
3-4 June 2020 ALLEA General Assembly - CANCELLED
8-12 June 2020 Global Young Academy e-AGM
16 June 2020 ALLEA GYA Workshop on research assessment, Brussels, Belgium - POSTPONED
4-5 July 2020 2020 European Young Academies Meeting, Berlin, Germany
21-25 August 2020 Africa Science Leadership Programme, Pretoria, South Africa
10-12 September 2020 2nd GYA Research Leadership Workshop, Oxford, United Kingdom
15-16 September 2020 4th International Conference on Science Advice to Government, Montreal, Canada - IN-PERSON CONFERENCE POSTPONED
21-23 September 2020 CILAC - The Open Science Forum for Latin American and the Caribbean, Buenos Aires, Argentina

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