Open Call for Proposals: Future of Science Communication

ALLEA is proud to announce the Open Call for Proposals for the Future of Science Communication conference, to be held on 24-25 June 2021 in Berlin. The event is organised in cooperation with Wissenschaft im Dialog, the organisation for science communication in Germany. 

Funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, the two-day conference aims to bring together actors from research and practice of science communication. The goal is to provide a platform for stronger networking and exchange of activities and expertise in the field. We are looking for contributions from the following fields of research and practice: 

  • Trust in science 
  • The Covid-19 pandemic as a challenge for science communication 
  • Science communication in a digitized media world; Fake News/Disinformation
  • Science and politics 
  • Crisis communication with case studies (e.g. on climate change, Covid-19 pandemic) 
  • Target groups of science communication 
  • Citizen Science & Open Science 

We explicitly encourage the submission of contributions by researchers as well as practitioners whose research and work focus on science communication and the relationship between science, researchers and the public. Junior researchers should not be discouraged from sharing their insights. We are looking forward to receiving contributions from individuals with diverse backgrounds. 

The contributions for the conference programme can only be submitted using the application form. Please send the completed application to info@future-of-scicomm.eu by 28 February 2021.

We are looking forward to curating two days of interesting workshops, panels and discourse, for which we rely on your input and suggestions.  For more information and the proposal submission form, visit Wissenschaft im Dialog’s webpage

Download application form

Shaping the Future of Peer Review

ALLEA, the Global Young Academy (GYA), and STM (International Association of Scientific, Technical and Medical Publishers) published today the summary of a series of cross-sectoral workshops on the future of peer review in an open, digital world.

Experts from across the world, representing different cultural and disciplinary traditions of peer review, convened virtually in November 2020 to discuss the future of peer review in an Open Science environment. Participants explored which models can best serve and reward the research community in both an enhanced and sustainable way.

Peer review is an essential element of scholarly communication and documentation processes and contributes to ensuring the quality and trustworthiness of modern research. The traditional models of peer review are, however, challenged by new digital modes of publication, and the wider range of research outputs envisaged as part of the move towards Open Science.

The workshops comprised a broad array of experts and actors including researchers, research funders, universities, publishers, libraries, the Open Science community and trade bodies. Main themes and areas for further consideration that emerged during the discussions included:

  1. Clarifying peer review and the roles of different actors in the system
  2. Building capacity for peer review: training, mentoring, inclusion and diversity
  3. Leveraging technology to deliver enhanced peer review
  4. Changes should be motivated by a strong evidence-base, collected through research, pilots and experimentation

Read the full summary.

New ALLEA Working Group Chairs on Science & Ethics and E-Humanities

Two new chairs have been elected in ALLEA’s working groups. In the Permanent Working Group Science and Ethics, Dr Maura Hiney (Royal Irish Academy) is taking over from Prof Göran Hermerén (Royal Swedish Academy of Letters, History and Antiquities), who held the role since 2012. The E-Humanities Working Group elected Dr Maciej Maryl (Institute of Literary Research of the Polish Academy of Sciences), who succeeds Dr Natalie Harrower (Royal Irish Academy).

Dr Hiney has a PhD in Molecular Diagnostics and Epizootology from the National University of Ireland Galway. She has previously been a member of the working group and was lead author of the revised European Code of Conduct for Research Integrity in 2017. She is currently Head of Post-Award and Evaluation at the Health Research Board Ireland.

After being appointed Dr Hiney said: “Becoming Chair of this Working Group is an honour that presents me with a fantastic opportunity to build awareness and policy visibility across Europe and within the European Commission about issues of ethics and research integrity that impact the quality and credibility of the rich outputs of the research community. Such trust in science by policymakers and the public is more important now than ever before.’’ 

Furthermore, Dr Maryl, PhD, is assistant professor at the Institute of Literary Research of the Polish Academy of Sciences and founding Director of the Digital Humanities Centre at the Institute of Literary Research of the Polish Academy of Sciences. He is a literary scholar, sociologist and a translator.

ALLEA warmly thanks Prof Hermerén and Dr Harrower for their long-standing commitment and service to their working groups.

Breakthrough Prize Opens Public Nominations for Its 2022 Prizes

The public nomination period for the 2022 Breakthrough Prizes in Fundamental Physics, Life Sciences and Mathematics is now open. Nominations can be submitted online until 1 April 2021. While self-nominations are prohibited, anyone may nominate another person. The nomination forms and rules are available at breakthroughprize.org.

For the 10th 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 a live, globally televised 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 next ceremony is scheduled to take place in the fall of 2021 and will honour the 2021 and 2022 prize laureates.

ALLEA partners for the fifth year with the Breakthrough Prize, together with ResearchGate. The Breakthrough Prizes were founded by Sergey Brin, Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg, Yuri and Julia Milner, and Anne Wojcicki. The prizes have been sponsored by the personal foundations established by Sergey Brin, Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg, Ma Huateng, Jack Ma, Yuri and Julia Milner, and Anne Wojcicki.

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 2022 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics ($3 million) will recognize an individual(s) who has made profound contributions to human knowledge. It is open to all physicists – theoretical, mathematical and experimental – working on the deepest mysteries of the Universe. 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 2022 physics prizes includes: Eric Adelberger, Nima Arkani-Hamed, Jocelyn Bell Burnell, Charles Bennett, Sheperd Doeleman, Michael Green, Jens Gundlach, Alan Guth, Blayne Heckel, Joseph Incandela, Charles Kane, 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, Kip Thorne, Cumrun Vafa, Ewine F. van Dishoeck, Yifang Wang, Steven Weinberg, Rainer Weiss and Edward Witten.

 

Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences

Up to three 2022 Breakthrough Prizes in Life Sciences ($3 million each) will be awarded to individuals who have made transformative advances in understanding living systems and extending human life. One of the prizes is designated for work contributing to the understanding of Parkinson’s disease or other neurodegenerative disorders.

The Selection Committee for the 2022 Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences includes: David Allis, James Allison, Victor Ambros, David Baker, Cornelia I. Bargmann, Alim Louis Benabid, Frank Bennett, David Botstein, Edward Boyden, 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, Michael Hall, John Hardy, Ulrich Hartl, Helen Hobbs, Arthur Horwich, David Julius, Adrian Krainer, Eric Lander, Robert Langer, Virginia Lee, Richard Lifton, Dennis Lo, Kazutoshi Mori, Kim Nasmyth, Harry Noller, Roeland Nusse, Yoshinori Ohsumi, Svante Pääbo, Gary Ruvkun, Charles Sawyers, Alexander Varshavsky, Bert Vogelstein, Peter Walter, Robert Weinberg, Shinya Yamanaka, Richard Youle, Xiaowei Zhuang and Huda Zoghbi.

 

Breakthrough Prize in Mathematics

One 2022 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 2022 math prizes includes: Ian Agol, Alex Eskin, Simon Donaldson, Martin Hairer, Maxim Kontsevich, Christopher Hacon, Vincent Lafforgue, Jacob Lurie, James McKernan, Terence Tao and Richard Taylor.

Information on the Breakthrough Prizes is available at breakthroughprize.org

Expert Workshop on Causality of Health Inequalities Held Online

On 2 December, the Scientific Committee of the ALLEA-FEAM-KNAW project on Health Inequalities in Europe welcomed external experts to its second workshop, which was held online. Dedicated to exploring causality of socioeconomic inequalities in healthover 50 participants analysed and debated new approaches to assessing causality in an interdisciplinary dialogue. 

Recent quasi-experimental studies have pointed out that a direct relationship between socioeconomic position and health could not be confirmed, and that factors such as education or income may not always lead to the assumption that there is a causal effect of such factors on health. Meanwhile, novel findings in genetics suggest a stronger role of genetic predisposition in ‘confounding’ as opposed to the causal effect of the indicators such as socioeconomic position and physical and mental wellbeing. This and other related perspectives were introduced and discussed by leading European experts in the field, who were joined by their North American counterparts despite the early hour across the pond.  

Moderated by Axel Börsch-Supan, member of the National Academy of Leopoldina and Johan Mackenbach, Chair of the Scientific Committee of this tripartite project, workshop attendees emphasized the importance of causation both in the scientific as well as policy context. As such, they called for the need to adequately address socioeconomic disadvantages vis-à-vis policymakers in a unified voice from scientists. 

Initially set to take place in March 2020 at the Leopoldina Academy in Berlin, this meeting was shifted to an online format due to the restrictions brought on by the current pandemic. In a next step, the Committee will start preparing the final workshop of this project, which will aim at evaluating current policies and interventions to reduce health inequalities. 

Read more about ALLEA’s Health Inequalities activities

Special Issue on Vulnerability and Trust

PERITIA Special Issue on Vulnerability and Trust

How can we characterise the affective nature of trust? How can we explain the ethical demands that arise from deliberately making yourself vulnerable by trusting someone? What is the application of this to the question of the epistemic vulnerability involved in communication? And how can we explain trust and distrust of sources of knowledge in society?

These four questions are the focus of the new PERITIA Special Issue of the International Journal of Philosophical Studies this month. The work tackles the need to investigate what Annette Baier (1986) called “the variety of forms of trust” and “the varieties of vulnerability”.

The closing article “Vulnerability in Social Epistemic Networks” is the winner of the PERITIA special prize. In this paper, Emily Sullivan (EU Eindhoven), Max Sondag (TU Eindhoven), Ignaz Rutter (Universität Passau), Wouter Meulemans (TU Eindhoven), Scott Cunningham (University of Strathclyde), Bettina Speckmann (TU Eindhoven) and Mark Alfano (Macquarie University & Delft University of Technology) examine the nature of epistemic vulnerability within the virtual networks of social media.

Other articles in this volume include “Epistemic Vulnerability” by Casey Rebecca Johnson (University of Idaho), “From Vulnerability to Precariousness: Examining the Moral Foundations of Care Ethics” by Sarah Clark Miller (Penn State University) and “Expressive Vulnerabilities” by Joe Larios (Emory University).

The special issue is part of PERITIA’s investigation on the conditions under which citizens trust science-based policy advice. ALLEA is part of this EU-funded project that brings together a multidisciplinary team of researchers from across nine countries.

Read more about this publication on PERITIA’s website.

“Inoculating people against being manipulated will be crucial”

What are the main approaches to win the fight against misinformation? And how do the fact-checking methods applied by social media platforms affect the actual spread of conspiracy myths? Stephan Lewandowsky, professor of cognitive science at the University of Bristol and member of the ALLEA scientific committee Fact or Fake?, gives an insight into current research on trust in science and why it is essential to foster deliberative communication formats.

Question: Mr. Lewandowsky, conspiracy myths and misinformation are not really a new thing. However, they are currently making headlines again. Are we really experiencing a rise in misinformation during the pandemic?

S. L.: I don’t know of an evidence-based answer to this question as I do not have data on the quantity of misinformation and conspiracy myths. What we do know is that people’s trust in science and research has increased in response to the corona pandemic. On that we do have data from different European countries like Germany or the U.K. as well as the US. In Germany for example the science barometer by Wissenschaft im Dialog (Science in Dialogue) showed a dramatic increase in trust to over 70 per cent in April. That has been accompanied by a vastly smaller number of people who have gone the other way and have been swept up in the toxic brew of covid denialism and anti vaccination movements. I think these are the developments we have, based on the data.

We also see that the media is paying a lot of attention to conspiracy myths and misinformation and while it is important to do so, at the same time, by talking about it a lot, you are enhancing the prevalence of misinformation as well. So that is something to watch.

“(A rise of trust in science) has been accompanied by a vastly smaller number of people who have gone the other way and have been swept up in the toxic brew of covid denialism and anti vaccination movements.”

Q.: Why are pandemics a good breeding ground for conspiracy myths?

S. L.: Pandemics are always a trigger for conspiracy myths and that has been true throughout history. People are frightened, their sense of control over their lives is disrupted and whenever that happens, people are drawn towards conspiracies. Psychologically, people seek comfort in the assumption that evil people are responsible for bad things that are happening because there is potential for the world to be better. If you have an enemy that is responsible for bad things, you can pretend that things would be better if they were not there. Accepting that a virus is responsible is something that is out of control. That is frightening and that is why these times are breeding times for conspiracy myths.

Q.: In Germany we are currently seeing protests against measures the government has taken. In how far are they due to uncertainty when introducing measures, especially with regards to the introduction of masks?

S. L.: Most Germans actually think that the government is doing a good job with the measures. So once again we should not pay too much attention to the minority of protesters. Corresponding to that we see a decline in support for the AfD because they do not offer any solutions for the problems at hand. I think we have to be careful not to exaggerate the uncertainties that existed. Social distancing for example was never doubted as an effective measure against the pandemic and even though there was uncertainty about masks, a lot of scientific advice was actually quite consistent. Of course it would have been nice, if the science on masks had been available more quickly but I do not think uncertainty was a trigger for conspiracy myths in this case.

Q.: If trust is rising, why should we still care about fighting conspiracy myths? 

S. L.: The mere exposure to conspiracy myths can potentially reduce people’s trust in official institutions and is inducing people to become disengaged with politics. So the mere exposure has adverse consequences and that’s not talking about the people who believe in them. Secondly, we have data showing that the people who believe in conspiracy myths are less likely to comply with social distancing measures. So there is an association between not doing what you are supposed to do and believing in conspiracy myths. We do not know if there is a causal relationship but we know there is an association. The final thing is that ultimately conspiracy theorists are more prone to violence than others and are more likely to endorse violence as a means to resolve conflicts. So there are a number of reasons why we should be concerned about them and why we need to tackle the problem at hand.

“We do know that it is better to inoculate people before they are exposed to conspiracy myths than to fight them after they are spread.” 

Q.: What are the main approaches to win the fight against misinformation?

S. L.: First of all we do know that it is better to inoculate people before they are exposed to conspiracy myths than to fight them after they are spread. Ideally what could have been done right in the beginning of the pandemic would have been to communicate up front not only what we know about the virus but also what might happen during the pandemic with regards to conspiracy myths developing. There is evidence that shows that telling people how they will be misled is actually beneficial to building up resistance. On a societal level the moment to do so has passed, but we can still do it with new disinformation that may come along.

The second thing is, that you can correct things and you can get through to people who are spreading conspiracal narratives and it has been shown that not all people are completely resistant to correction. Sometimes the narratives are just used as a rhetorical device and for that group of people corrections can work and are a good device. For hard core conspiracy theorists where the myths have become part of their identity, that is not the case and talking them out of them is very difficult.

If (scientists) communicate well and explain things online and offline, they can be an asset in the fight against misinformation. The same is true for physicians who are very influential and can play a large role. I think by now most scientists – especially younger ones – are very capable of communicating well and know how to use social media well.”  

Q.: What can scientists themselves do to combat fake news?

S. L.: A lot. Scientists are among the most trusted people in most societies including Germany. If they communicate well and explain things online and offline, they can be an asset in the fight against misinformation. The same is true for physicians who are very influential and can play a large role. I think by now most scientists – especially younger ones – are very capable of communicating well and know how to use social media well.

“Algorithms should not draw attention to outrage and myths and that is something we have to tackle and deal with.” 

Q.: Some of the social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter have started introducing fact checking. What is your opinion on those?

S. L.: I do not think there is a single magical silver bullet to the problem. We instead need to add up different measures and put them together to solve the issue. Labeling – if done correctly – can be very effective. What Twitter is doing is OKish but not good enough. What Facebook has done with Covid misinformation has been much better because they put an opaque banner on them that hid the headline so that you could not see it at first glance. That is much more effective than the little button twitter put underneath the information. To be effective you have to introduce friction that prevents access to the information that is critical. Not totally of course because that is censorship, but sufficiently so that it causes friction. The Facebook manipulation cut sharing of misinformation by 95 per cent which is very good and that shows that labeling can work, if it is done right.

But even before you get there what really needs to be done and needs to be discussed are the algorithms of the platform. Nothing you see on Facebook or Twitter is there accidentally but is put there by the algorithms. Those algorithms are often guiding users to extremist content and even though the platforms knew that they did not do anything against it because they were afraid that it would cut into their revenue. We therefore have to take a close look at the information diet that is created to us and we have to make them accountable for their activities. This is not about censorship but about mandating information and about holding platforms accountable. Algorithms should not draw attention to outrage and myths and that is something we have to tackle and deal with.

Q.: How likely do you think it is that this will happen sooner than later?

S. L.: In the United States we are probably not going to get there any time soon. In Europe chances are much higher. The European Union will be taking action and I have written an in depth report for them and hopefully they will use some of those ideas when it comes to introducing regulations.

“Dialogue can be successful and positive in formats that focus on deliberation, on sharing data and on moderated debates in which people can participate.”

Q.: What would a good online discourse look like?

S. L.:  Dialogue can be successful and positive in formats that focus on deliberation, on sharing data and on moderated debates in which people can participate. That is something we are not finding online at the moment but we know it works from deliberative assemblies like those in Ireland which debated topics like abortion and gay marriage. Topics with the potential to tear a country apart but that did not happen because they were led successfully. There is evidence that this can work online as well if you design spaces in which this can work. The moment you create those spaces and make them work you move away from the terribly polluted spaces that we are currently having.

Q.: One topic people are currently worried about is vaccinations and trust in vaccines. Are you worried that this will be a huge breeding ground for conspiracy myths?

S. L.: It depends on the country you are talking about. I am worried about the situation in the U.K. because the government has not exactly a good track record in managing the pandemic and thus it is very likely to be problematic. In Germany I think it is much more likely to work well. Countries like Germany, New Zealand or Australia with well-functioning governments acting in the interest of the people will be able to deal with the situation well. What is crucial is to make the vaccine easily available and to make uptake easy. I don’t think we will be facing insurmountable problems especially if you make it mandatory to be vaccinated to be able to take part in certain activities we will be fine. Once again, inoculating people against being manipulated will be crucial and we should be planning those campaigns right about now.

 

Stephan Lewandowsky is professor of Cognitive Science at the University of Bristol. His research examines people’s memory, decision making, and knowledge structures, with a particular emphasis on how people update their memories if information they believe turn out to be false. This has led him to examine the persistence of misinformation and spread of “fake news” in society, including conspiracy theories.

He will speak at the session “Disinformation, Narratives and the Manipulation of Reality“ organized by ALLEA at the International Forum on Digital and Democracy on the 10th and the 11th of December. The session will present some of the findings of the JRC Report on Technology and Democracy: Understanding the influence of online technologies on political behaviour and decision-making by Stephan Lewandowsky and Laura Smillie.

This interview was conducted by Rebecca Winkels and was first published on the Wissenschaftskommunikation’s website. Credit picture: Stephan Lewandowsky. 

Book release: “Women in European Academies — From Patronae Scientiarum to Path-Breakers”

ALLEA released the book “Women in European Academies — From Patronae Scientiarum to Path-Breakers” today. 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.

These persevering personalities either had a key influence in the establishment of academies (“Patronae Scientiarum”) or were pioneering scientists who made major contributions to the progress of science (“path-breakers”). In both cases, their stories provide unique testimonies on the scientific institutions of their time and the systemic barriers female scientists were facing.

“While many of our academies were founded by women in position of political power such as Prussia’s Sophie Charlotte, Austria’s Maria Theresa, Russia’s Catherine the Great or Sweden’s Lovisa Ulrika, women’s role in professional science has suffered from a long discrimination which in the academic world was not less virulent than in other societal domains”, says ALLEA President and series editor Antonio Loprieno in the preface.

Conceptualized as a transversal series of thirteen biographical portraits, the contributions focus particularly on each personalities’ role in (or relation to) European academies, ensuring both a geographical and disciplinary balance.

The co-editors of the volume are Professor Ute Frevert (Co-Director at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development), Professor Ernst Osterkamp (President of the Deutsche Akademie für Sprache und Dichtung) and Professor Günter Stock (former ALLEA President). In the foreword, they underline the myths that this book challenges:

One might easily get the impression (…) that behind the scientific and scholarly achievements of the exclusively male members of these academies membership was the sole preserve of men for several centuries there was in all these cases a patrona scientiarum: the hand of a woman, conceptually guiding the membership and their research programmes from on high. Yet are these not, in reality, mere founding myths formulated on the basis of the interests and wishes of our own time, and assigning to these queens and empresses a substantially greater interest in the academies and a higher share in their scientific programme than they ever in fact delivered?”.

The contributions are written in the native language of the authors and translated to English where necessary. The book is the third volume of the ALLEA book series Discourses on Intellectual Europe, which includes two additional volumes: “The Boundaries of Europe” and “The Role of Music in European Integration”, both in open access.

About the book

Authors: Eberhard Knobloch, Barbara Stollberg-Rilinger, Eva Haettner Aurelius, Jan Kusber, Paolo Sommella, Pat Thane, Hanna Krajewska, Doris A. Corradini, Katja Geiger, Brigitte Mazohl, Ramon Pinyol, Patricia Faasse, Eoin Mac Cárthaigh, Minna Silver, Eleanor Dodson.

More information about how to acquire the book is available here.

The foreword is available here.

Media inquiries

Please contact Susana Irles, ALLEA Communications and Media Relations Officer at irles@allea.org.

Free copies for reviewers and media are available upon request.

Climate Change Education Webinar

On 24 November, ALLEA and the Royal Irish Academy, held a webinar entitled “Can Climate Change Education save the planet? European perspectives” to address the role and importance of climate change education within both the European and the Irish context.

If you missed it, now you have an opportunity to watch the recording on YouTube:

Key speakers at the webinar included:

  • Dr Cliona Murphy, Dublin City University and ALLEA Science Education Working Group Chair
  • Professor Paweł Rowiński, Vice-President of the Polish Academy of Sciences and ALLEA Board Member
  • Dr Philippe Tulkens, acting Head of the Climate and Planetary Boundaries Unit in Directorate “Healthy Planet” of the European Commission
  • Professor Pierre Léna, Emeritus Professor at the Université Paris-Diderot
  • Dr Agata Gozdzik, Head of the Science Communication and Education Unit, Polish Academy of Sciences
  • Dr Michael John O’Mahony, Director of Environmental Education Unit, An Taisce – The National Trust for Ireland

New Task Force on “Sustainable Agriculture and Innovation” launched

ALLEA, together with Re-Imagine Europa and EU-SAGE, is part of a new Task Force on “Sustainable Agriculture and Innovation” chaired by Carlos Moedas, former European Commissioner for Research, Science, and Innovation. This initiative, led by Re-Imagine Europa, aims to build inclusive and pragmatic proposals on how innovation can support the creation of more sustainable and resilient European agricultural systems.

To achieve this, the Task Force will convene an Expert Committee of approximately 100 prominent individuals representing a multitude of perspectives from academia, politics, and key stakeholder groups.

“We need to change the way we reflect on future proofing regulation so that our laws can keep up with our labs”, said Moedas.

The Steering Committee currently consists of the following experts: Prof. Anne Cambon-Thomsen [CNRS, EGE]; Prof. Maria da Graça Carvalho MEP; Prof. Paolo De Castro MEP; Garlich von Essen [Euroseeds], Prof. Dirk Inzé [VIB-UGent Center for Plant Systems Biology], Dr. Peter Kearns [formerly of the OECD]; Pekka Pesonen [Copa-Cogeca], Prof. Pere Puigdomènech [ALLEA, Center for Research in Agricultural Genomics]; Dr. Daria Tataj [Tataj Innovation]; Nils Torvalds MEP.

The first meeting of the Task Force’s Steering Committee, a smaller group who will coordinate the work of the Expert Committee, took place on 17 November.

Read the press release

Read ALLEA’s report “Genome Editing for Crop Improvement