ALLEA Permanent Working Group on Science & Ethics Meets in Brussels to Discuss Emerging Topics in Research Ethics

On 2 and 3 April 2024, the ALLEA Permanent Working Group on Science & Ethics (PWGSE) met in Brussels to reflect on the experiences and impact of recent activities, discuss emerging topics in research ethics and research integrity, and scope future activities. 

The meeting was generously hosted by the Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Science and the Arts (KVAB) at the neoclassical Academy Palace in Brussels. It brought together research ethics and integrity experts from ALLEA Member Academies under the chairwomanship of Dr Maura Hiney (Royal Irish Academy). 

The European Code of Conduct for Research Integrity: growing impact  

A central and recurring theme in the meeting was the revised edition of the European Code of Conduct for Research Integrity, which was developed following extensive consultation with European research stakeholders. Since its publication in June 2023, the revised Code has been steadily finding its way into the research system, with already 12 translations released on the ALLEA website, and many more to come in the coming weeks and months.  

In addition, the Code prompts the development and update of national and institutional codes of conduct and is increasingly referenced in discipline-specific guidelines and (European and national) policy documents. For example, the Code inspired detailed general and field-specific guidelines for responsible Open Science, developed by the Horizon-funded ROSiE (Responsible Open Science in Europe) project, as well as the recently published guidelines on responsible use of AI in research by the European Research Area Forum. 

The future of research ethics and integrity within EU-funded projects 

The working group welcomed Isidoros (Dorian) Karatzas, Head of Sector for Ethics and Research Integrity at the European Commission Directorate Research & Innovation (DG-RTD), to the meeting for an extended discussion on the impact of the Code and the future of research ethics and integrity as part of EU-funded projects. Joint reflections identified additional outreach strategies, both with Academies and the wider research community, to further improve awareness and knowledge on good research practices. They also pinpointed a number of clauses from the Code where the PWGSE may be able to support researchers and their organisations by providing further context, help with interpretation, and additional resources. 

Agenda highlights: insights and initiatives discussed  

Further items on the agenda included reflections on and lessons learnt from the group’s recent publication on Predatory Publishing, as well as a joint statement with the ALLEA Working Group on Science Education on Scientific Literacy for Young Learners. In addition, the group discussed possible tensions that can arise when academic researchers collaborate with or are funded by the private sector, a request for feedback by the European Commission on support for projects with dual-use potential, and progress of ALLEA’s various activities as part of the Coalition for Advancing Research Assessment (CoARA).  

Embracing Digital Innovation — Perspectives on Advancing Humanities Scholarship

Amidst rapid technological advancements and a growing emphasis on Open Science and digital outputs, the humanities discipline has undergone a profound evolution in scholarly practices. Integrating digital methodologies into humanities scholarship is imperative for maintaining relevance and advancing research methodologies in the swiftly evolving academic realm. This integration not only sparks a transformative shift in academic discourse but also paves the way for innovative research and scholarly outputs. ALLEA’s report ‘Recognising Digital Scholarly Outputs in the Humanities‘ illuminates the very landscape of digital humanities scholarship, addressing, evaluating, and acknowledging these transformative changes.

Maciej Maryl is an interdisciplinary researcher in digital humanities and sociology of culture.

In this interview with Dr. Maciej Maryl, Founding Director of the Digital Humanities Centre and  Chair of the ALLEA Working Group E-Humanities, we delve into the significance of incorporating digital practices into humanities scholarship, acknowledging innovative research methods, and exploring strategies to navigate the challenges within this dynamic field.

Q: What first got you interested in working with Digital Humanities? 

Maciej Maryl: My background is in sociology and literary studies, which I combine in my research in the sociology of literature. I have always been interested in how technology reshapes the way we read and perceive culture, which was the topic of my doctoral dissertation. While working on it, I had a chance to learn digital methods from the late Prof. David S. Miall at the University of Alberta and Max Louwerse, then a professor at the Institute of Intelligent Systems at the University of Memphis. Right after obtaining my PhD, I was tasked with establishing the Digital Humanities Centre at the Institute of Literary Research of the Polish Academy of Sciences, which federated and coordinated scattered digital initiatives of the Institute and provided a fruitful ground for the new ones.

Right from the onset, the Centre aimed at establishing international collaborations to learn from other colleagues. It was very early that we got involved in cooperation with relevant European networks, such as NeDiMAH (Network for Digital Methods in Arts & Humanities), and research infrastructures like DARIAH and CLARIN. This not only helped us avoid reinventing the wheel, but we also became actual contributors. OPERAS, a research infrastructure for open scholarly communication in SSH, is a great example, as my institution is one of the early champions of this research infrastructure.

Q: Why is it important for you to participate in initiatives such as OPERAS and the ALLEA E-Humanities Working group?

MM: Work for the ALLEA Working Group is special because of the unique place of academies in the humanities, where they are usually tasked with long-term, monumental projects like scholarly editions, lexicons, biographies, or bibliographies. The E-Humanities Working Group aims to guide academies concerning new methods and opportunities while taking into consideration their specificity. We want to ensure that humanities research remains aligned with FAIR principles, i.e. research data is findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable.

“We want to ensure that humanities research remains aligned with FAIR principles, i.e. research data is findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable.”

Q: How are advancements in data science methodologies such as Machine Learning systems enhancing Humanities research? On the other hand, what are the key obstacles to incorporating new technologies into humanities research?

MM: Digital humanities have long employed Machine Learning techniques in textual analysis or data mining. Studies of authorship attribution or recognising entities in texts are all based on such methods. To describe the use of such methods, we employ the term “distant reading”, which – as opposed to close reading of individual texts – expands a singular perspective and allows for the analysis of vast textual resources. However, these methods require interdisciplinary knowledge and data, namely corpora of texts, which are not readily available due to copyright restrictions. This underscores the importance of researchers making their data available, so others can compile and use them in new projects.

Q: What was the primary aim of the new ALLEA report, ‘Recognising Digital Scholarly Outputs in the Humanities’?

MM: The report corresponds with our mission, as mentioned earlier, of making digital humanities more accessible to the academies. In this case, it is a natural follow-up or sequel to our previous report, Sustainable and FAIR Data Sharing in the Humanities, which discusses in detail the handling of humanities research data. However, we cannot expect scholars to engage with data sharing and digital practices when they receive credit only for traditional publications like journals and monographs. So, in the present report, we pave the way for recognition of such work.

Q: What would you say are the three main takeaways from the report (talk to me like a lay member of the public)?

MM: Well, first off, we posit that the digital is the new norm: the report highlights how digital tools and methods are changing the humanities, and digital technology is becoming essential for modern research in fields like history, languages, or arts. Secondly, scholarly work assumes new forms and formats which are better suited for digital data we are working with. The report highlights that digital projects, databases, platforms, and even software can be treated as valuable scholarly work, not just books and articles. Finally, the report argues that all forms of scholarly work, especially digital ones, need proper recognition and credit, just like any other important contribution to knowledge and culture.

Q: The report highlights the “ambiguous status of digital technologies in academia.” What are the primary barriers hindering their recognition within academic circles?

MM: Just as you need a manual or a guide to start using a new electronic device, scholars need proper interdisciplinary support and training to integrate digital tools into their workflows. I think scholars are suspicious of the new types of scholarly outputs because we don’t have standard ways of assessing what constitutes good work in academia. Our report aims to bridge this gap by positioning new genres within the long humanities tradition.

“Scholars are suspicious of the new types of scholarly outputs because we don’t have standard ways of assessing what constitutes good work in academia. Our report aims to bridge this gap by positioning new genres within the long humanities tradition.”

Q: The report highlights shortcomings in current authorship attribution schemes, where diverse contributions are often overlooked as invisible labour, especially evident in Open-Ended inputs aimed at enhancing published work. How do you propose addressing these challenges to foster a more equitable and collaborative research environment?

MM: In the humanities, we still tend to think about authorship in singular terms, and the range of credited contributions boils down to a handful: author, editor, maybe translator. People doing other work, which becomes increasingly more important, like coding, data collection, cleaning, or annotation, are merely mentioned in acknowledgements or footnotes. In the best-case scenarios, they could be artificially added as co-authors, which does not reflect the specificity of their actual contribution. We need to use existing taxonomies to appropriately describe the individual’s contribution to the paper so they can receive proper recognition featured in their track record. Such descriptions may sometimes resemble movie credits, but this is the level of detail that is fair to everyone involved.

“We need to use existing taxonomies to appropriately describe the individual’s contribution to the paper, so they can receive proper recognition featured in their track record…”

Q: As a follow-up, how can we adapt evaluation systems to effectively recognize and accommodate the complexities of collective authorship in digital scholarly outputs?

MM: We should align evaluation systems with the wide range of academic contributions, not only focusing on authorship of publications (which are, of course, very important) but also considering the various ways individuals contribute to the scholarly community. The practical aspect of such evaluation is currently under discussion within the Coalition for Advancing Research Assessment (COARA), with a very active contribution from ALLEA.

Q: According to the report, practices in the humanities, particularly around research assessment, “should evolve to keep pace with digitization.” Which emerging trends could have a transformative impact on the way scholars in the humanities conduct research and disseminate their findings in the future?

MM: I believe we need to support innovative work wherever it fully leverages digital technology to enhance scholarly arguments. In the report, we discuss the Journal of Digital History as a case study. It serves as a great example of how to incorporate different layers of scholarly argument into one output, including scholarly narrative, methodology, and data. Evaluation practices should evolve not only to recognise such work as scholarly output but also to acknowledge the range of contributions from various collaborators. It appears that such work not only improves scholarly communication by aligning it better with the topic and method of research but also facilitates reader engagement with specific methods and data, enabling their reuse or replication of the study.

Q: What would you say are three actions academia can implement in a fairly short time that would have a big ROI in moving the Humanities into the digital age, i.e., what are some low-hanging fruits we can address right now?

MM: To recognise the potential of digital tools and methods for the humanities, academia could focus on three general actions. Firstly, we need to ensure that data for digital research is readily available in standardised formats. Hence, we not only need to prioritise the digital collection and preservation of texts, images, recordings, and other types of data but also ensure they are accessible according to the FAIR principles. Our previous report focused on this aspect.

Secondly, we need to establish digital humanities centres within academies to foster interdisciplinary hubs that combine digital technology with humanities scholarship, enabling innovation and collaboration. The Austrian Centre for Digital Humanities and Cultural Heritage (ACDH-CH) at the Austrian Academy of Sciences is a perfect example of employing digital methods in pursuing traditional goals of academies.

Finally, we should integrate digital tools and methods of social sciences into humanities curricula not only to broaden the scope of future research but also to provide students with tools allowing for critical scrutiny of other digital humanities outputs. Access to materials, tools, and competencies will form a good basis for DH to flourish.

“We need to establish digital humanities centers within academies to foster interdisciplinary hubs that combine digital technology with humanities scholarship. Finally, we should integrate digital tools and methods of social sciences into humanities curricula.

Q: During the consultation process, were there suggestions that surprised you or made you rethink a previously held view of digital outputs in the humanities?

MM: Actually, we were surprised by the significant response from the community. Over the course of two summer months, 28 readers left 78 comments and suggested over 200 changes in the document, which, in our opinion, was indicative of the considerable interest in the topic. The feedback was not general or fundamental but rather focused on some of the concepts we used, exemplary case studies of innovative genres, and useful resources we did not mention in the report. This was very beneficial as we aimed to provide links to all relevant resources.

Q: Were there any significant challenges not addressed in the ALLEA report regarding the recognition of digital scholarly outputs that you believe are crucial for future consideration? If so, what are they, and what strategies do you propose for addressing them?

MM: I believe that a significant challenge and opportunity for the academies currently lies in the development of the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC). Through the digital activities we described in our report, the academies may be able to feature their scholarly resources and output in EOSC services. We will deliberate on this issue in the future work of the Working Group.


This interview is part of the ALLEA Digital Salon Series, featuring Dr. Maciej Maryl, chair of the ALLEA Working Group E-Humanities. The published report ‘Recognising Digital Scholarly Outputs in the Humanitiesprovides extensive insights on improving transparency in linking resources, re-evaluating authorship norms, and enhancing digital competencies for scholarly outputs.


About Maciej Maryl

Dr. Maciej Maryl is an assistant professor and the founding Director of the Digital Humanities Centre at the Institute of Literary Research of the Polish Academy of Sciences (CHC IBL PAN). In addition to chairing the ALLEA E-humanities Working Group, he serves as an Executive Assembly member of OPERAS, and co-chairs the DARIAH Digital Methods and Practices Observatory. His research focuses on advancing digital research infrastructure for the social sciences and humanities, emphasizing data science applications, innovative scholarly communication, and meta-research on digital practices.

Read more by Maciej Maryl

Paving the Way to a Scientifically Literate Society Must Begin in Primary School

On 14 March 2024, ALLEA released a new statement advocating for strengthening the scope and role of science education curricula, at the primary and post-primary level, to equip young learners with the requisite knowledge, skills, and values to become informed, critical, responsible, and ethically conscious participants in a scientifically literate society.  

In our modern world, where science and technology are deeply ingrained in every facet of our lives, it is becoming increasingly clear that society’s welfare, progress, and perhaps survival, hinges on building a citizenry that’s well versed in the ‘Nature of Science’ (NOS). While we go about most of our days engaging with science and technology without paying much attention to their marvels, there are times of crisis, such as during the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic, that the importance of ‘science literacy’ becomes unmistakable. Furthermore, the rise of new technologies and scientific progress brings with it ethical questions – and it will become ever more critical for upcoming generations to learn how to recognise and answer them. This ALLEA Statement argues that in order for them to be equipped with the skill-sets and values to successfully navigate such potential ethical dilemmas related to science and research, and more broadly to become active and informed citizens, current science education curricula, at the primary and post-primary level, needs to be broadened to include the NOS as well as research ethics.  

Entitled, ‘Early Learning Opportunities for Shaping a Scientifically Literate Society’, the statement provides illustrations of the benefits of learning about the NOS and research ethics, which include, among others:  

  • Upholding trust in science, scientists, and scientific institutions Teaching young learners that uncertainty and different interpretations, as well as the evolution of scientific knowledge based on new data and insights, are imperative to science could prevent the erosion of trust in science, scientists, and scientific institutions that often stems from a poor understanding of the scientific process.  
  • Defending against science mis- and disinformation  A better understanding of the NOS, for instance recognising who is considered an expert, why scientists may disagree, and their motivations, would help the next generation spot reliable information and credible sources, and thereby make them less susceptible to science mis- and disinformation.  
  • Developing ethical, informed, and compassionate citizens – Learning to reflect on values and ethics at an early age contributes to moral character development and helps guide children in their behaviour throughout their lives. Similarly, stronger incorporation of research ethics as part of science education curricula could support young people in developing the knowledge, skills, and values required to competently analyse and critically question the moral and ethical dimensions of scientific discoveries, new technologies, and experiments, which will be critical to societal well-being in an increasingly technology-dependent world. 

The statement goes on to outline recommended actions to shape a scientifically literate society from the ground up, which include, among others: 

  • Incorporating learning objectives on the NOS and research ethics into primary and post-primary curricula, through the targeted integration of the pedagogies into existing science education programmes 
  • Increasing the enrolment of schools into participatory research and citizen-science projects to not only increase basic understanding of science, but also to encourage young people to pursue STEM careers 
  • Supporting the development and implementation of NOS and research ethics pedagogical courses in initial teacher education (ITE) and continuous professional learning (CPL) programmes for teachers 

This ALLEA statement was formulated by the ALLEA Working Group Science Education, with Dr Cliona Murphy (WG chair), Mathijs Vleugel and Maria Ronald (ALLEA Secretariat) as principal authors. Additional insights were obtained from the ALLEA Permanent Working Group on Science and Ethics and external expert Dr Eve Poole. 

Read the full statement here 

ALLEA Working Group on the ERA Meets to Discuss International Research Collaboration

Semi-annual meeting of ALLEA Working Group on the ERA

 

The ALLEA Working Group on the European Research Area (ERA) met online on 12 March 2024 to address key developments and strategies for the advancement of European research collaboration and funding.

The meeting, attended by representatives from 17 ALLEA Member Academies, featured discussions on critical issues, such as the upcoming EU Framework Programme for Research & Innovation (FP10), the challenges for international research collaboration, and research (in)security in the context of rising geopolitical tensions.

ERA Forum for Transition

Following a warm welcome by the working group chair, Professor Arben Merkoçi from the Academy of Sciences of Albania, the meeting began with a comprehensive update on recent developments within the ERA Forum for Transition, an expert group in which ALLEA represents the European Academies of Sciences and Humanities. Deliberations included progress updates on the ERA Policy Agenda 2025-27 and guidelines for the responsible use of generative Artificial Intelligence (AI) in research. Additionally, the introduction of the new ERA Policy Platform sparked interest among participants and was welcomed as an important instrument for enhancing collaboration and coordination within the European research community.

Framework Programme 10 (FP10)

Discussions surrounding FP10 highlighted the impact of the recently published ‘ALLEA Statement on the Guiding Principles for FP10′. The lack of sufficient funding for basic and excellent research and the ongoing controversy surrounding ‘widening’ participation in the EU sparked a spirited dialogue among the working group members on how to encourage more inclusive research practices and equitable participation across European regions.

Research collaboration versus research security?

In the context of rising geopolitical tensions around the world, the working group discussed how European research is being adversely affected by malicious interference, and how open research collaboration is being misused in ways that impact Europe’s security, as well as its ethical principles and social norms, such as research integrity, academic freedom, and institutional autonomy. A recent Proposal by the European Commission for a Council Recommendation on Research Security and consultations on a White Paper aimed at enhancing support for research and development involving technologies with dual-use potential were also discussed.

The ALLEA General Assembly 2024, celebrating 30 years of ALLEA, will feature an open forum for ALLEA Member Academies, as well as a Public Symposium, titled, ‘European Research Collaboration in a Shifting Geopolitical Landscape’, to further discuss these topics, which are integral to the future of European research and innovation. Register now!

Intellectual Property and New Genomic Techniques: Webinar Highlights

Exploring the intricate domain of Intellectual Property (IP) regulations and their impact on crop breeding in Europe, the webinar ‘Impact of the IP System on New Genomic Techniques’ ignited engaging discussions among participants on 6 March 2024. 

At the heart of the webinar was the presentation of the recent ALLEA statement ‘Measures to Ease the Impact of the IP System on New Genomic Techniques for Crop Development‘. This publication outlines potential measures aimed at alleviating the challenges imposed by the prevailing IP system on NGTs. Following this presentation, two stimulating impulses further enriched the discussion, paving the way for an engaging exchange of ideas subsequently. The recording of the statement’s introduction, as well as the two impulses, is available below. 

The webinar served as a forum for an inclusive exchange of perspectives, with stakeholders from diverse sectors —including breeders, farmers, researchers, and policymakers— actively engaging in the dialogue.  

The participants explored the practicalities and possible consequences of implementing the diverse measures outlined in the ALLEA Statement, aiming to strike a balance between fostering innovation and ensuring equitable access to these technologies and their products. Various voluntary and legislative solutions were evaluated within the broader context of patent systems in place in other parts of the world and compared to the experiences gained in other fields of technology. 

Highlighting the importance of a nuanced approach, participants underscored the necessity of first conducting more thorough analyses regarding the possible positive and negative impacts of potential measures, especially also in the light of ongoing European endeavours to develop a new regulatory framework for NGTs.

ALLEA Holds Workshop to Depolarise the Debate on Sustainable Agriculture

On 31 January, ALLEA and Re-Imagine Europa (RIE), its partner in the Task Force on Sustainable Food Systems and Innovation, jointly organised an invite-only workshop to discuss the increasingly polarised nature of the current debates on need for, and transition to, sustainable food systems in Europe.  

2024 General Assembly in Berlin: Registration Is Now Open

ALLEA is delighted to announce that registrations are now open for its upcoming general assembly, set to convene in Berlin, Germany, on 22–23 May 2024. This event, celebrating ALLEA’s 30th anniversary, promises a dynamic platform for intellectual exchange and collaborative engagement.

At the heart of the assembly is a public symposium, ‘European Research Collaboration in a Shifting Geopolitical Landscape: How Open Can We Be?’ on 22 May. Co-hosted by the German National Academy of Sciences – Leopoldina, the German Young Academy – Die Junge Akademie, and the Union of the German Academies of Sciences and Humanities, this public event will ignite conversations on the evolving dynamics of cross-border research collaboration amidst geopolitical shifts.

Distinguished physicist Professor Fabiola Gianotti, Director-General of CERN and recipient of the 2023 ALLEA Madame de Staël Prize for Cultural Values, will deliver a keynote address following the award ceremony. A subsequent high-level panel discussion, featuring experts from academia and policy spheres, will delve into the challenges and opportunities presented by geopolitical complexities in scientific collaboration.

Who should attend this event?

The public symposium on 22 May explores pressing issues from the fields of science, society, and policy. It provides a platform for international, interdisciplinary and cross-sectoral debate. Participation is open to all and is free of charge. This is an in-person event. An online livestream will be provided.

In addition to the public symposium, ALLEA Members are invited to participate in an internal business meeting on the morning of 22 May. The business meeting addresses governance, strategy and policy matters and is restricted to member academies’ delegates.

For detailed programme information and to register for the event, please visit the ALLEA General Assembly website.

ALLEA Releases Statement Addressing IP Challenges for Developing Crops Using New Genomic Techniques

Today, ALLEA released a statement addressing concerns surrounding the impact of the current intellectual property (IP) system on the adoption and development of New Genomic Techniques (NGTs) for crop breeding. The outcomes will be further discussed during an open webinar on Wednesday, 6 March, 14:00 (CET).

The statement entitled, ‘Measures to Ease the Impact of the IP System on New Genomic Techniques for Crop Development’, examines how the current IP system affects the operations of European breeders and farmers, especially small ones. It provides a range of short-, medium-, and long-term recommendations to overcome possible obstacles posed by the current IP system.

Due to their potential to contribute to sustainable crop development, environmental safety, and food security, the enhanced precision and speed offered by NGTs, such as genome editing through the use of CRISPR-Cas, are considered to offer promising advancements in crop breeding  (see ALLEA’s work on NGTs for more information). However, the current IP landscape, which is governed through the European Union (EU) Biotechnology Directive 98/44/EC and the special Plant Breeders’ Rights, presents various challenges for breeders and farmers, including concerns about unintentional patent infringement, monopolisation of these technologies and the resulting plant varieties, and licensing complexities.

This statement highlights the increasing complexity of the patent landscape for NGT plants and products, which would arise primarily due to the increased speed in which new varieties can be produced, as well as the fact that plant varieties developed with NGTs may not be easily distinguishable from those generated by traditional breeding techniques. It also draws attention to the uncertainty arising from legal disputes surrounding patents on CRISPR-Cas9 technology. In addition, the lack of transparency and clarity in licensing agreements pose substantial obstacles to innovation and equitable access to these technologies.

In response to some of the challenges resulting from the current IP system, measures proposed in this statement provide a toolbox for multi-faceted solutions.

“The proposed short- and medium-term measures could be implemented relatively quickly and should help to alleviate some of the challenges for breeders and farmers by increasing transparency and access to these technologies. At the same time, however, it may be necessary to explore a more fundamental redesign of our IP system for food plants and related technologies in order to provide a more structural and future-proof solution.”

Heinz Müller, Task Force Chair

This comprehensive statement on IP for New Genomic Techniques underscores the urgency of a nuanced approach. To arrive at these recommendations, a dedicated task force, consisting of leading experts on the topic, consulted with stakeholders representing a variety of perspectives, including patent holders, small breeders, academic researchers, and NGOs.

“With the increasing pressures on our food systems arising from climate change and geopolitical developments, collaboration among diverse stakeholders is paramount to securing the availability of sufficient and high-quality food. The proposed measures aim at supporting future European food systems that are more sustainable and serve the needs of our society.”

– Antonio Loprieno, ALLEA President

On Wednesday, 6 March, 14:00 (CET) a webinar will take place to discuss the outcomes of this statement, and further explore the implications of its recommendations as well as their potential impact in this field.

Read the full statement here

ALLEA Welcomes Launch of European Research Area Policy Platform

Last week marked a significant step towards a more integrated European Research Area (ERA) with the official launch of the ERA Policy Platform by the European Commission.

This ‘one-stop-shop’ serves as a gateway to comprehensive information on current ERA policies, activities, and achievements. It reflects the joint ambition of EU Member States, the European Commission, associated countries, and Research and Innovation (R&I) stakeholders such as ALLEA for a unified, borderless market for research, innovation, and technology across Europe.

Following this goal enshrined in Article 179 of the Lisbon Treaty, the ERA Policy Platform is an integral part of the new ERA governance framework and the Pact for R&I in Europe. Its multifaceted role includes providing up-to-date information on the implementation of the ERA Policy Agenda, showcasing EU-wide activities contributing to ERA progress, and serving as a repository for key ERA-related documents.

As such, the ERA Policy Platform serves as a central space for communication among various stakeholders interested in advancing ERA objectives. EU Member States, countries associated with Horizon Europe, and R&I stakeholder organisations can actively contribute to the platform, fostering collaboration and supporting the ERA monitoring system by sharing relevant information, data, or documents at both national and EU levels. The platform also serves as a source of information for interested citizens, in line with the goal of fostering inclusivity through a borderless market that benefits individuals across Europe.

ALLEA is pleased to contribute valuable insights from the European academies to the platform through the active involvement of its working group on the ERA in the ERA forum. As an umbrella organisation of academies from across Europe, ALLEA’s involvement reflects the collaborative spirit of the ERA’s ambitious objectives.

For more information on the ERA Policy Platform and to explore its features, please visit the European Research Area Platform website: https://european-research-area.ec.europa.eu/.

Nominations Open for 2025 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics, Life Science and Mathematics

In collaboration with ALLEA, the Breakthrough Prize is releasing the call for nominations for the 2025 awards in fundamental physics, life sciences, and mathematics. This prestigious international recognition celebrates groundbreaking research and advancements in these fields. ALLEA warmly invites members of the European scientific community to participate actively by nominating individuals and teams for these esteemed awards. This is an opportunity to spotlight the outstanding contributions of European scientists on the global stage, emphasising their vital role in shaping the landscape of research worldwide.

 

Press release, The Breakthrough Prize, 9 January 2024

The public nomination period for the 2025 Breakthrough Prizes in Fundamental Physics, Life Sciences and Mathematics is now open. Nominations can be submitted online today through 1 April 2024. While self-nominations are prohibited, anyone may nominate another person. The nomination forms and rules are available at breakthroughprize.org.

For the 13th year, the Breakthrough Prize, recognised as the world’s largest science prize, will honour top scientists, handing out three prizes in Life Sciences, one in Fundamental Physics and one in Mathematics. Each prize comes with a $3 million award. In addition, six New Horizons Prizes, each for $100,000, will be available to promising early-career researchers in the fields of Physics and Mathematics. Nominations will also be taken for the Maryam Mirzakhani New Frontiers Prize, an annual $50,000 award presented to early-career women mathematicians who have completed their PhDs within the previous two years.

The Breakthrough Prize, dubbed ‘The Oscars of Science,’ hosts an annual globally broadcast gala awards ceremony to celebrate the laureates’ achievements and to foster broad popular support for scientific endeavours and inspire the next generation of scientists. The cohort of 2024 laureates was announced in September 2023.

For the eighth year, the Breakthrough Prize will partner with two prestigious institutions – the European Federation of Academies of Sciences and Humanities (ALLEA) and ResearchGate – to directly engage with researchers and the science community.

ALLEA brings together more than 50 academies from over 40 countries, with members leading scholarly enquiry across all fields of the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities.

ResearchGate is the professional network for researchers. Over 20 million researchers use researchgate.net to share and discover research, build their networks, and advance their careers. Based in Berlin, ResearchGate was founded in 2008. Its mission is to connect the world of science and make research open to all. ResearchGate members are encouraged to nominate their peers for the 2025 prizes in Fundamental Physics, Life Sciences, and Mathematics.

Selection Committees are composed of previous Breakthrough Prize laureates, who select the winners from the list of candidates generated during the nomination period.

Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics

One 2025 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics ($3 million) will recognize an individual or individuals who have made profound contributions to human knowledge. It is open to theoretical and experimental physicists. The prize can be shared among any number of scientists. Nominations are also open for the New Horizons in Physics Prize, which will include up to three $100,000 awards for early-career researchers who have already produced important work in their fields.

The Selection Committee for the 2025 physics prizes includes: Eric Adelberger, Nima Arkani-Hamed, Charles H. Bennett, Charles L. Bennett, John Cardy, Sheperd Doeleman, Michael Green, Jens Gundlach, Alan Guth, Blayne Heckel, Joseph Incandela, Charles Kane, Hidetoshi Katori, Alexei Kitaev, Andrei Linde, Arthur McDonald, Juan Maldacena, Eugene Mele, Lyman Page, Saul Perlmutter, Alexander Polyakov, Adam Riess, John Schwarz, Nathan Seiberg, Ashoke Sen, David Spergel, Andrew Strominger, Cumrun Vafa, Ewine F. van Dishoeck, Yifang Wang, Rainer Weiss, Edward Witten, and Jun Ye.

Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences

Three 2025 Breakthrough Prizes in Life Sciences ($3 million each) will be awarded to individuals who have made transformative advances in comprehending living systems and extending human life. One of the prizes is designated for progress in understanding of Parkinson’s disease or other neurodegenerative disorders.

The Selection Committee for the 2025 Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences includes: David Allis, James Allison, Victor Ambros, David Baker, Shankar Balasubramanian, Cornelia Bargmann, Alim Louis Benabid, Frank Bennett, David Botstein, Edward Boyden, Clifford P. Brangwynne, Lewis Cantley, Emmanuelle Charpentier, Zhijian “James” Chen, Joanne Chory, Don Cleveland, Hans Clevers, Karl Deisseroth, Titia de Lange, Mahlon DeLong, Jennifer Doudna, Catherine Dulac, Stephen Elledge, Napoleone Ferrara, Jeffrey Friedman, Thomas Gasser, Sabine Hadida, Michael Hall, John Hardy, Ulrich Hartl, Demis Hassabis, Helen Hobbs, Arthur Horwich, Anthony A. Hyman, John Jumper, David Julius, Carl June, Katalin Karikó, Jeffery W. Kelly, David Klenerman, Adrian Krainer, Eric Lander, Robert Langer, Virginia Lee, Richard Lifton, Dennis Lo, Pascal Mayer, Emmanuel Mignot, Kazutoshi Mori, Kim Nasmyth, Paul Negulescu, Harry Noller, Roeland Nusse, Yoshinori Ohsumi, Svante Pääbo, Gary Ruvkun, Michel Sadelain, Charles Sawyers, Ellen Sidransky, Andrew Singleton, Fredrick Van Goor, Alexander Varshavsky, Bert Vogelstein, Peter Walter, Robert Weinberg, Drew Weissman, Shinya Yamanaka, Masashi Yanagisawa, Richard Youle, Xiaowei Zhuang, and Huda Zoghbi.

Breakthrough Prize in Mathematics

One 2025 Breakthrough Prize in Mathematics ($3 million) will be awarded to an individual who has made outstanding contributions to the field of mathematics. Nominations are also open for the New Horizons in Mathematics Prize, which will include up to three $100,000 awards for early-career researchers who have already produced important work in their fields. In addition, up to three $50,000 Maryam Mirzakhani New Frontiers Prizes will be presented to early-career women mathematicians who have completed their PhDs within the previous two years (2019, 2020).

The Selection Committee for the 2025 mathematics prizes includes: Ian Agol, Simon Brendle, Alex Eskin, Simon Donaldson, Martin Hairer, Maxim Kontsevich, Christopher Hacon, Vincent Lafforgue, Jacob Lurie, James McKernan, Takuro Mochizuki, Daniel Spielman, Terence Tao, and Richard Taylor.

Information on the Breakthrough Prizes is available at breakthroughprize.org.

[End of press release]