We are delighted to share June’s news. This year is of critical strategic importance for us and we are looking not only to sharpen our internal processes, but also streamline our contributions to the wider science and policy landscape. We are starting new initiatives to give our members and other young scientists more opportunities to shine and we are improving the quality controls of our output. We are also focussing even more on our relationship with other young scientist organisations, and in particular National Young Academies, making more of our recent membership of the InterAcademy Partnership, and looking for opportunities to build on the efforts of our partners to give young scientists worldwide the voice that they deserve.
That said, the GYA members and alumni have been making their mark on the science and policy world through their engagements in international fora, media appearances, and exciting scientific outputs.
The wider young scientist community also welcomed two new National Young Academies this month – the National Young Academy of Bangladesh and the Hong Kong Young Academy of Sciences – and at the end of May, the Young Academy of Spain was also launched: our warm congratulations on starting this exciting journey! We look forward to a close collaboration, and appreciate the GYA members and alumni that have been behind their establishment!
While we are on the subject of NYAs, in just over a month the Worldwide Meeting of National Young Academies will kick off in Vietnam on 29 July, and preparations are in high gear. Invited are representatives of at least NYAs or similar bodies from every corner of the globe. A key output of this meeting is to gather consensus around the principles behind the existence and operation of a National Young Academy, so as to inform the growing young academy movement as well as ensure that we are all pulling in the same direction.
This month's edition also contains news about our working groups (some with requests – please help them out!), as well as about upcoming events in the science and policy arena in the coming months. Do leave your thoughts using the feedback option.
GYA members attend science media festival at Leopoldina
The second science media film festival – ‘SILBERSALZ’ – took place in Halle (Saale), coordinated by Documentary Campus and supported by the Robert Bosch Foundation, from 20 – 23 June. A two-day conference from 22-23 June brought together scientists and scholars and media professionals, and was hosted by the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina.
The GYA’s 2020 Annual General Meeting and International Conference of Young Scientists on the topic ‘Heal the Earth’ will take place from 8-12 June 2020 in India. The meeting’s proposed location is Mysore, India.
A bonanza of GYA publications
The GYA Media Office rolled out four new publications recently:
2019 Quarterly Bulletin II, featuring news on the election of our new leadership, workshops held in cooperation with partners worldwide, outcomes from our annual conference, and developments in the global national young academy movement.
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. Can you guess what the cover image is?
Readings of interest
'I'll work on it over the weekend.'
'Stress and long working hours are regrettably common among early-career researchers, reveals a survey by the Young Academy of Europe.'
Fridah Kanana Erastus (Kenya) and alumni Abidemi James Akindele (Nigeria) and Shaheen Motala-Timol (Mauritius) are participating in the Africa Science Policy Fellowship, initiated by the InterAcademy Partnership and the GYA’s Africa Science Leadership Programme. The programme is providing short-term fellowships at policymaking or policy-advising organisations for emerging African leaders in the sciences. More information is available here.
Suraj Bhattarai (Nepal) spoke at a Regional Research Grants Workshop titled ‘Building Skills for Scientific Research’. The three-day workshop in June was organised by The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS), in Kathmandu, Nepal. Over 40 TWAS Research Grant awardees from Asia and Latin America attended the workshop. More information is available here.
Alumna Sabina Leonelli (UK) has been selected as a Plan S ambassador by the cOAlition S Leaders Group. Plan S Ambassadors act as local points of contact for discussions and advice about Plan S and its implementation. Ambassadors will also listen to the concerns of the research community and relay these back to cOAlition S. More information is available here.
Clarissa Rios Rojos (Peru) has been selected as a Fellow in the Eisenhower Fellowships 2019 Latin America and Caribbean Program. Eisenhower Fellows hail from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Jamaica, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru and Venezuela, and represent a broad range of public, private and nonprofit fields. More information is available here.
Mohamed El-Hadidy (Egypt) presented during a joint workshop on science diplomacy co-organised by the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, The World Academy of Sciences for the Advancement of Science in Developing Countries Arab Regional Partnership, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. During his presentation, Mohamed highlighted the contributions of GYA members in different challenges relevant to the society, including policy advice at the global level and in different science education and outreach activities. More information is available here.
Ignacio Palomo (Spain) was featured in a question-and-response article in El Mundo. More information is available here.
Abel Polese (Estonia) edited the recently released book titled ‘Governance Beyond the Law: The Immoral, The Illegal, The Criminal’.
The GYA working group on DIY Biology has attracted external funding from the Volkswagen Foundation to develop a report on the global DIY Biology research landscape. As part of this project, they have developed two surveys: one on the global DIY Biology landscape, and another on the perception of bio-risks.
1. Global DIY Biology survey This survey is conducted by the GYA in collaboration with Sunway University and funded by the Volkswagen Foundation. The aim is to explore the global landscape of DIY biology and understand the challenges and opportunities in the field. We plan to use this information to inform policies that can help support the maximising of benefits and minimising of the associated risks related to the DIY biology field. This survey will take about 10-20 minutes of your time. Please follow this link to access the survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/diybio
2. Perception of Bio-Risks survey This survey is conducted by the GYA in collaboration with Sunway University and funded by the Volkswagen Foundation. The aim is to understand the perception of bio-risks associated with Do-it-yourself (DIY) Biology. We plan to use this information to inform policies that can help support the maximising of benefits and minimising of the associated risks related to the DIY biology field. This survey will take about 10-20 minutes of your time. Please follow this link to access the survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/biorisk
The working group members kindly ask you to participate in these surveys before 1 July 2019. Please also disseminate to your contacts and relevant stakeholders outside the GYA.
The Scientific Excellence Working Group is reviewing and discussing a better way to measure/assess science excellency of a scientist. We know that the existing methods that count on the number of publications, citations, impact factors, external grants received are not inclusive. But we cannot stay on criticizing the existing methods. We need to propose a better method.
Under this working group, we have a few sub-projects. One of them is to analyse the Global View of Scientific Excellence by institutions. Therefore, we are collecting documents detailing promotion or appreciation criteria, and in particular, documents that spell out the criteria for ascension to full professorship. We need these documents for a GYA project that studies different definitions or expectations of scientific excellence over the globe, and we will attempt to measure the impact of these different perceptions on the career progression of young scholars. We currently have about 100 documents. We need quite a substantial number of documents to make the study more generalised. Our target is 150 documents.
Hence, do you or anyone in your network have documents with promotion criteria (or performance assessment criteria) of your universityor even other universities of your region? If you can share such documents, the working group would be much looking forward to receiving it. Please send any relevant material that you can find to BoonHan, Lim at <email@example.com>. If you require an official letter regarding this matter, please contact him as well. Also, if possible, please kindly assist in obtaining these document from other universities or institutions in your region. If it is not in English, please let us know if you can help to translate it. If you are not available, we will find another way to translate. Please note that the document could be specific for a particular discipline or track (teaching, research, management, etc.) Please let us know the discipline or track if it is not mentioned in the document. Thank you very much for your help!
National Young Academies updates
National Young Academy of Bangladesh launched!
The National Young Academy of Bangladesh (NYAB) began its journey on 16 June 2019, with its public launch during its first Annual General Meeting (AGM), held at the Centre for Advanced Research in Sciences (CARS), University of Dhaka.
GYA Co-Chairs Connie Nshemereirwe (Uganda) and Koen Vermeir (France), Bangladesh Academy of Sciences President Quazi Abdul Fattah, and President Emeritus of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences Bruce Alberts sent their video greetings. Read more here.
Spanish Young Academy to be headed by GYA alumni
On May 29, 2019, the Young Academy of Spain was established at the headquarters of the Ministry for Science, Innovation and Universities. This new national young academy will represent and give visibility to young Spanish scientists. All founding members are either members or alumni of the Global Young Academy. After the constitution, Javier Garcia Martinez was elected president of the Executive Committee, Juan Antonio Gabaldon Estevan as Vice President, and Javier Martinez Moguerza as secretary. The remaining elected board members of the Executive Committee were Maite Martinez Aldaya, Jesus Martinez de la Fuente, Ignacio Palomo Ruiz and the treasurer Pedro Martinez Santos. Researchers who become members of the Young Academy of Spain will belong to the institution for five years. The profile of the members of this Young Academy will be coincident with the average of 40 years of age and of 12 years from the attainment of their PhD degree. Among other missions, the Academy will act as a link with young scientists who carry out their work outside of Spain, since part of the future academicians will be young scientists who work abroad. Read more here.
At its General Assembly on 8th May 2019, the ALLEA E-Humanities Working Group launched an open consultation on draft recommendations for humanities researchers working with data. Their goal is to gather broad feedback from active humanities researchers and tailor the recommendations to community needs (open until 15 July). More information is available here.
The GYA successfully nominated 3 participants to the 69th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting - Physics, Lindau, Germany, 30 June to 5 July 2019.
The African Union Conference will be held from 4 to 8 July 2019. A side conference, ‘Innovation for Development’, will take place from 9-10 July. In this context, GYA alumni Anna Coussens and Abdeslam Badre, and GYA Co-Chair Connie Nshemereirwe will present the major findings from the Global State of Young Scientists (GloSYS) Africa project at a breakfast workshop on 10 July.
Through its cooperation with the United Nations Major Group for Children and Youth, and with assistance from the International Science Council, the GYA will provide input at the United Nations High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, New York, USA from July 9-18 2019.
The 4th Worldwide Meeting of Young Academies (WWMYA) will take place from 31 July – 2 August 2019 in Da Nang, Vietnam, hosted by the Vietnam Young Academy (VYA) and co-organised by the GYA.
The GYA‘s host academy, the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, is holding its Annual Meeting in Halle, Germany, 20-21 September 2019.
The GYA is co-organising the Connecting Minds Africa Conference from 25-27 September in Nairobi, Kenya.
GYA members will participate in the World Health Summit, Berlin, Germany, 27-29 October 2019.
The GYA, along with the InterAcademy Partnership, is co-organising a Science Leadership Workshop for early-career researchers during the World Science Forum in Budapest, Hungary, which runs from 20-23 November 2019. As a member of the Steering Committee of this conference, the GYA is involved in the selection of early-career researchers as presenters in every main session.