November/December 2020 Newsletter
Dear Friends,

Though 2020 has been challenging for all of us as we've navigated through the COVID-19 pandemic, the enthusiastic nature of our members and alumni has kept our spirits buoyed as we've exchanged in-person meetings for online collaborations and capacity-building activities. Being active participants in our thriving community has been a touchstone for many of us in 2020, and for that we applaud and appreciate you all.

Some very good news was delivered to us this December: the Global Young Academy was granted open-ended funding by the German Federal Government. This means that the GYA will continue its mission of giving a voice to young scientists for many years to come, which is a tribute to the fantastic work of hundreds of members and alumni over the 10 years of the GYA's existence. We raise a glass of cheer to all of those involved in making this dream become a reality.

In addition to a rundown of the accomplishments of our members and alumni and the customary reporting of GYA activities over the last two months, we present to you a holiday video greeting from GYA Executive Committee members.
 The video was produced on the occasion of becoming a permanent resident at the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina and co-hosting their staff Christmas party. We hope you enjoy it. 

As we near the end of the 2020 calendar year, we hope that the peace of the season may be yours, and may you and your family stay safe and healthy in 2021.

Anindita Bhadra (Indian Institute of Science Education and Research Kolkata, India) and
Michael Saliba (University of Stuttgart, Germany)

On behalf of the GYA Executive Committee
Beate Wagner (Managing Director)
On behalf of the GYA Office


GYA News

The GYA Office is here to stay! (... though closed for the holidays)

In December 2020, the Global Young Academy was granted open-ended funding by the German Federal Government, as well as the State Government of Saxony-Anhalt, where the GYA Office is hosted by the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina. In connection with this, GYA Office staff positions were both expanded and made permanent. Taken together, this means that the GYA will continue its mission of giving a voice to young scientists for many years to come.
As the seasonal holidays commence, however, the GYA Office will be closed from 19 December 2020 until 4 January 2021. We will open again on 4 January 2021, but due to COVID-19 restrictions and school closings in Germany, from 4-10 January 2021 we will be operating with minimal staff. We ask for your understanding and patience.

"Voices of Young Scientists" podcast makes (sound)waves

Have you heard? The GYA has a new podcast! The first two episodes of “Voices of Young Scientists” feature our Anti-discrimination statement and focus area. You can listen to, download, and find links to subscribe to our podcast here
Listen here

Capacity-building remains a cornerstone of the GYA

In the last quarter of 2020, the GYA and its members have organised workshops varying from presentation skills and proposal writing to media communication.

Read more here.

GYA-ISC Dialogue "Rethinking Human Development"

Early-career researchers from around the world met to discuss the role of scientific knowledge in understanding human development. Read and watch here.

GYA online

Videos of the GYA

With so many videos being rolled out in 2020, we have introduced a Feature Tab on our homepage to allow them to be quickly accessed.

You can check out the video gallery here.

Items of interest

Postdocs under pressure: Can I even do this anymore?

Long hours and a lack of job security are forcing many to consider leaving science.

Read the article here.

Leave your thoughts on GYA News here

News from Our Members and Alumni

Former GYA Advisory Board member Howard Alper (University of Ottawa, Canada) was recently promoted to Companion of the Order of Canada.

GYA Co-Chair Anindita Bhadra (Indian Institute of Science Education and Research Kolkata) was recently featured in a Nature article in which she discussed ways she adapted her research under COVID-19 restrictions (available here). 

GYA member Suraj Bhattarai (Global Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies, Nepal) has been named a member of the InterAcademy Partnership Young Physician Leaders Alumni Steering Committee (more here).

GYA member Paulina Carmona-Mora (University of California Davis, United States) and alumna Dilfuza Egamberdieva (National University of Uzbekistan) are working together on the the project "Creating new opportunities for genomics in Uzbekistan". The project aims to create a sustainable model for international cooperation on different levels, including student exchange, joint research projects and capacity-building activities in Uzbekistan.

GYA member Binyam Sisay Mendisu (UNESCO International Institute for Capacity Building in Africa, Ethiopia) is a member of the International Science Council’s Steering Group of Conversations on Rethinking Human Development, and moderated the recent GYA-ISC Dialogue on Rethinking Human Development.

GYA member Clarissa Rios Rojas (University of Cambridge, United Kingdom) was recently recognised by the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean as part of “Women as Forces for Change” in disarmament, non-proliferation and arms control in Latin America and the Caribbean. Clarissa was also featured in a recent Science Advice for Policy by European Academies (SAPEA) Science for Policy podcast (listen here).

GYA Co-Chair Michael Saliba (University of Stuttgart, Forschungszentrum Jülich, Germany) was recently awarded the Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prize, which is considered the most important award for early-career scientists in Germany
 (read here).

GYA member Cristina Blanco Sío-López (University of Pittsburgh, United States) was recently elected Chair of the North America Chapter of the Marie Curie Alumni Association, which represents Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellows in the United States and Canada. Cristina was also recently selected as a new member of the Spanish Young Academy, and was one of 20 Marie Sklodowska-Curie Fellows selected to present their research at the EU German Presidency Conference 2020 as part of the Falling Walls Lab.

GYA member Bernardo Urbani (Venezuelan Institute for Scientific Research, Venezuela) edited a recently published book titled “Neotropical Ethnoprimatology: Indigenous Peoples Perceptions of and Interactions with Nonhuman Primates.”
GYA alumnus Boon Han Lim (Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman, Malaysia) presented the interim results of the GYA Scientific Excellence working group on “A Global View of Institutional Promotion Criteria for Professorship” at the Young Korean Academy of Science and Technology in early December 2020.

GYA alumna S. Karly Kehoe (Saint Mary’s University, Canada) recently became President of the Royal Society of Canada’s College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists. The role carries a two-year term and means Karly is also a member of the RSC Board of Directors.

De Gruyter publishing will soon release a paperback version of Responsibility for Refugee and Migrant Integration, edited by now-alumni S. Karly Kehoe, Eva Alisic (University of Melbourne, Australia), and Jan-Christoph Heilinger (RWTH Aachen University, Germany).

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

Tackling the digital education divide - The International Human Rights Network of Academies and Scholarly Societies 

Breaking barriers with Anindita Bhadra from The Global Young Academy - S4D4C

GYA Activities

Working Group and Strategic Project highlights

Workshop on Open Science

In June of 2020, members of the GYA and the Global Group on Open Science met to gather input on UNESCO’s Recommendation on Open Science. In early December 2020, a follow-up meeting was held to provide feedback on the draft statement released by UNESCO in late September. The meeting was chaired by the GYA Open Science working group co-lead Natasha Gownaris (Gettysburg College, United States), and a number of GYA members and members from various National Young Academies took part. During this meeting, 12 engaged participants prepared feedback on specific sections of the UNESCO statement based on their interests (open data, open publishing and open education resources, hurdles to open science, or open science and the public). The insight provided by the meeting’s participants will be summarised in a response to UNESCO by 31 December. Given the value of the diverse perspectives of GYA members and representatives from various National Young Academies, the next step will be writing a paper about the implications of and challenges to open science for young researchers, with a target of submitting to the CODATA Data Science Journal.

Online training on Strategic Foresight for Early-Career Researchers

In November, the GYA Science Advice working group teamed up with Policy Horizon Canada in order to provide an online training workshop on Strategic Foresight addressed to GYA members and alumni, as well as to National Young Academy members. For details see here.

World Forum for Women in Science

GYA alumna Amal Amin (National Research Center, Egypt), who is also a member of the Women in Science working group, is organising the World Forum for Women in Science in Duhok, Kurdestan, Iraq from 8-10 March 2021. Deadline for abstract submission is 15 January 2021. You can visit the conference website here.
National Young Academies

D.R. Congo Young Academy of Sciences established

In November 2020, the D.R. Congo Young Academy of Sciences (DRC-YAS) was officially launched. See here for details.

2021 Letten Prize: call for applications

The call for applications for the 2021 Letten Prize is now open. The Prize is a collaboration between the Letten Foundation and The Young Academy of Norway. The deadline for applications is 2 February 2021; more information can be found here. GYA members Binyam Sisay Mendisu (UNESCO Institute, Ethiopia) and Syed Ishtiaque Ahmed (University of Toronto, Canada) have been selected for the Letten Prize Committee, together with members from four other Young Academies.

The Swiss Young Academy tackles today’s social challenges

After a challenging first year of existence, the Swiss Young Academy have recently decided on the first four joint projects members will work on. These include lessons learned from fake news about COVID-19, the role of science in the legislative process, precarious work situations in academic institutions, and human rights for the future. See here for further details.

Japan YA elect new leadership

The Young Academy of Japan have recently elected their new leadership. GYA member Wataru Iwasaki (University of Tokyo, Japan) was elected Chair, and GYA member and Co-Lead of the GYA working group on Science + Art = Peace and Justice Nina Yasuda (University of Miyazaki, Japan) was elected Vice-Chair.

Nigerian Young Academy Quarterly Newsletter

The Nigerian Young Academy have published their latest quarterly newsletter. You can download it here.
NYAs and COVID-19

GYA's COVID-19 page highlights work of Young Academies

The GYA has a page on its website ( 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.

NYA Updates - spread the news!

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

Open Research Europe is now open for submissions

The European Commission’s new open access publishing platform is now accepting submissions from Horizon 2020 grantees in all disciplines.
Read the Frequently Asked Questions page to find out more, and learn how to prepare your paper according to article guidelines.
As a member of the team helping guide the development of the Open Research Europe publishing platform, the GYA has tasked itself with bringing the perspectives and concerns of young scientists to the table.
If you have any questions or concerns about Open Research Europe, please contact Open Science working group member and Immediate Past Co-Chair Koen Vermier (Centre national de la recherche scientifique, CNRS).

IAP landmark survey on predatory academic journals and conferences: deadline extended to 31 Dec 2020

As a vital part of its study on Combatting Academic Predatory Journals and Conferences, the InterAcademy Partnership (IAP) is inviting all researchers, in any discipline, in any country, at any stage of their career, to participate in a landmark survey designed to gauge the extent and impact of academic journal predatory practices and help the IAP recommend effective ways to combat them and protect researchers everywhere.
The study is co-chaired by GYA alumnus Abdullah Shams Bin Tariq (University of Rajshahi, Bangladesh) with GYA member Victorien Dougnon (University of Abomey-Calavi, Benin). Members and alumni of the GYA and National Young Academies are especially encouraged to participate.
The survey is now available in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.

Please complete the questionnaire here by 31 December 2020; please also share it through your professional networks and with your research community.

Academia Europaea launch hub in Hungary

The virtual opening event of the latest Academia Europaea (AE) Knowledge Hub in Budapest, Hungary, took place on 9 December 2020. The Budapest Hub is hosted by the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and will focus on four thematic missions: Widening European participation, The Danube region, Methodology of science education, and Urban sustainability. Each mission is co-chaired by a member of Academia Europaea as well as a member of the Hungarian Young Academy (HYA). GYA member Gergely Toldi (Birmingham Women's Hospital, United Kingdom), who is also a founding member of the HYA, presented on the thematic mission on widening European participation, discussing the existing gap in research performance and effects of brain drain on the region. He also discussed ideas for widening collaboration, for example by implementing steps to improve the governance of national R&I systems, or increasing the number of researchers from under-represented countries in research consortia.
AE President Sierd Cloetingh stressed that the new hub is looking forward to collaborating with young academies and ECRs on all four missions, with a particular focus on increasing competitiveness of ECRs across Europe through mentoring.

ALLEA book on Women in Academies

In early December, ALLEA released the book “Women in European Academies — From Patronae Scientiarum to Path-Breakers”. Published by De Gruyter, the volume examines the lives and achievements of women who played determining roles in the history of European academies and in the development of modern science in Europe.

EU Joint Research Centre launch publication on Technology and Democracy

The European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) recently published Technology and Democracy: Understanding the influence of online technologies on political behaviour and decision-making as the latest report from their multi-annual research programme. The report takes a behavioural science approach to investigate the impact of online platforms on political behaviour, and analyses the cognitive challenges posed by the four major pressure points identified; attention economy, platform choice architectures, algorithmic content curation and mis/disinformation.

Mainstreaming science policy in the Global South

The AAAS-TWAS science diplomacy programme has graduated more than 300 alumni who are ready to change the world, and a recent Alumni Review Meeting explored how they might make an impact. Read more here.

Conversations on Rethinking Human Development

The International Science Council published “Conversations on Rethinking Human Development: A global dialogue on human development in today’s world” accompanied by a multimedia website with information about the project, interviews and blog contributions, as well as about the ongoing conversation in 2021: Conversations on Human Development — Virtual launch (
Relatedly, the United Nations Development Programme recently published the 30th Human Development Report, to which the ISC Conversations project greatly contributed.
5-6 May 2021 ALLEA General Assembly, Helsinki, Finland
7-8 May 2021 2021 Meeting of the European Young Academies, hosted and organised by the Young Academy of Scotland, online
1-4 June 2021 2021 International Conference of Young Scientists and GYA Annual General Meeting, online
27 June - 2 July 2021 70th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting - Interdisciplinary, Lindau, Germany
29 August - 2 September 2021 INGSA 2021 - Evidence in context: expanding the dialogue, Montreal, Canada and hybrid
9-11 September 2021 2nd GYA Research Leadership Workshop, Oxford, United Kingdom

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