ALLEA Board meets at the Leopoldina and the Union of the German Academies

The ALLEA Board held its first meeting of 2017 in Berlin on 16-17 March on the kind invitation of the Leopoldina and the Union of the German Academies of Sciences and Humanities. Board members discussed the year ahead for ALLEA, including the release and further implementation of The European Code of Conduct for Research Integrity, recent progress of the SAPEA project and the preparations for the ALLEA General Assembly in Budapest at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences on 4-6 September 2017.

The discussions of the meeting focused on the upcoming release of the Code of Conduct and the successful revision process led by the ALLEA Permanent Working Group on Science and Ethics. ALLEA Board Member, Krista Varantola, who is part of the Drafting Group responsible for the revision process, reported the final steps of the editing procedure of the Code, which will be available online on ALLEA’s website and ready for print in the coming months. The document will serve as a reference document for the Horizon 2020 Model Grant Agreement and will inform national and regional policy-makers, as well as science-related organisations on research integrity across Europe. The ALLEA Board members agreed on the importance to disseminate the document widely within the scientific community and across all sectors, both at the European and national levels, and highlighted the indispensable role of Member Academies in this regard.

The progress of ALLEA’s science for policy activities within the SAPEA project were further assessed, in particular the rapid setup of the working structures and the scientific activities supporting the High Level Group within the Scientific Advice Mechanism (SAM). Member Academies actively support these efforts through the nomination of experts for the provision of science advice in a number of topics that SAM addresses such as Cybersecurity, New techniques in agricultural biotechnology, and Food from the Ocean.

Furthermore, the preparation and programme of the 2017 General Assembly and the follow-up international conference on “Sustainability and Resilience” were presented and discussed. Participants welcomed the high quality of the scientific endeavour, which will bring together renowned scientists and scholars, and high level officials from all relevant sectors in the European research area.

In the course of the meeting, ALLEA Board member Carlo d’Adda informed on the outcomes and future priorities of the ALLEA Permanent Working Group Intellectual Property Rights. The Group works towards producing statements on the patentability of Human Embryonic Stem Cells (HESC), the patenting of products of essentially biological processes, the inventorship of multinational inventions, and the European Commission’s proposal for a directive on copyright in the Digital Single Market. Furthermore, the experts will continue monitoring the latest developments on “Open Access”, taking into account the complex negotiations between the publisher Elsevier and several German scientific institutions, as well as the case law of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) concerning the linking and making available of contents on the Internet.

About Leopoldina and the Union of German Academies

Founded in 1652, the Leopoldina is one of the oldest academies of science in the world. It is dedicated to the advancement of science for the benefit of humankind and to the goal of shaping a better future. With some 1,500 members, the Leopoldina brings together outstanding scientists from Germany, Austria, Switzerland and many other countries.

The Union of the German Academies of Sciences and Humanities is the umbrella organisation of eight German academies of sciences and humanities. The member academies comprise a total of over 1,900 scholars of diverse subjects, all of whom are outstanding representatives of their research fields, both nationally and internationally. Together they are committed to promoting scientific exchange, excellence in research, and supporting young early-stage researchers in the sciences and humanities.