Digital Salon

Law, Human Rights & Climate Change: A Conversation with Helen Keller

The 2021 laureate of the Madame de Staël Prize, Professor Helen Keller, shares some insights into her work as a scholar of law and as a judge, having previously worked at the UN Human Rights Committee and at the European Court of Human Rights, where she served as judge between 2011-2020. She also tells us what winning the Madame de Staël Prize means to her and what her current research focuses on.

Videos and Illustrations of Science Communication Conference Available

ALLEA and the German science communication organisation Wissenschaft im Dialog organised an international conference on the Future of Science Communication last June. Videos and graphic recordings of the sessions are now available. Funded by the German Ministry of Education and Research, the event brought together different approaches from research and practice to science communication.

Noam Chomsky on Academic Freedom and Intellectual Dissent

US linguist and political activist Noam Chomsky delivered the keynote "The University at Times of Crisis" as part of the international conference "Academic Freedom and Intellectual Dissent" co-organised by Scholars at Risk and ALLEA on 8 June. 

“When We Explain the Facts, We Should Also Explain How Misinformation Can Distort Our Facts”

Dr John Cook (Monash University) is an award-winning scientist and cartoonist who fights climate misinformation with humour and critical thinking. He is also the creative mind behind the Cranky Uncle, a “male, older, white, and politically conservative” caricature of those who are dismissive of climate science according to psychological research.

Watch Recording: Webinar on “International Sharing of Personal Health Data for Research”

On 3 June, ALLEA, EASAC and FEAM co-organised an online discussion event to present the results of their first tripartite collaboration, in which they join forces to explore how barriers for sharing personal health data outside the EU/EEA for research in the public sector can be resolved. Watch the recording now.

‘Across Boundaries in Sciences’: Watch the Symposium’s Recordings

The recordings of the scientific symposium 'Across Boundaries in Sciences' are now available to watch. This event was held on 5 May 2021 and featured a wide range of international perspectives from research, politics, and civil society, speakers.

Sharing Matters: Why International Data Transfer is Crucial For Health Research

Dr. Robin Fears, one of the lead authors of report “International sharing of personal health data for research”, answers questions about the importance of science advice, the key messages of the joint report, and its implications for international medical research and European citizens.

How to Integrate Ethics into the Design of Disruptive Technologies

TechEthos is an EU-funded project that seeks to create ethics guidelines to deal with new and emerging technologies with a high socio-economic impact. Eva Buchinger (Austrian Institute of Technology, AIT) is the lead coordinator of the project. In this interview, she presents the key concepts and milestones to be tackled by TechEthos, which started in January 2021 and will run until the end of 2023. 

Lise Meitner: “A Physicist Who Never Lost Her Humanity”

Against all odds, Austrian-born Lise Meitner devoted her life to a career in nuclear physics. Today we look back on the achievements of a brilliant woman who many believe was once robbed of the Nobel Prize.

“Younger Women Need Role Models in order to Develop Ambition and Stamina”

Today, the UN celebrates women and girls in science. We asked one of the editors of ALLEA's book "Women in European Academies", historian Prof. Ute Frevert, to take a closer look on the past and present of women in European academies and science.

History and Future of Knowledge – Interview With ALLEA President

How is the nature of knowledge changing? What is the impact of the digital revolution on the roles of universities, academies and science advisors? Is democratisation of knowledge always a good thing? Professor Antonio Loprieno, ALLEA president, discusses these questions with Toby Wardman of SAPEA.

“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, gives an insight into current research on trust in science and why it is essential to foster deliberative communication formats.

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.

Science Does Not Have a Passport

It has now been more than 4 years since the decision by the people of the United Kingdom to depart from the European Union. The European research community was united in shock upon receiving the results of the plebiscite and has since, with many voices and on many occasions, raised concerns that scientific collaboration should be looked at as a global concern rather than a political negotiation piece.

ALLEA Webinar on Cultural Memories & Nationalist Sentiments – Recording Is Online

 On 5 November, cultural historian Joep Leerssen and Laura Hood of The Conversation discussed why and how national cultures obstruct European politics. Joep Leerssen, 2020 Laureate of the ALLEA Madame de Staël Prize for Cultural Values, is one of the most remarkable figures in the critical analysis of ethnic and cultural stereotyping.

Why Trust Experts?

Our EU-funded research project PERITIA has launched a new animation video, “Why Trust Experts?“. Inspired by their principal investigator Maria Baghramian’s article “Trust in Experts: Why and Why Not”, the video invites everyone to reflect on the role of expertise in our daily lives.

Five Questions About Genome Editing for Crop Improvement

Dr Oana Dima, one of the lead authors of the ALLEA Report “Genome Editing for Crop Improvement”, responds to five key questions about the science behind new plant breeding techniques, from its applications to the impact of the current policy and legal impasse.

Everything you wanted to ask about science advice #AskRolf

Professor Heuer is the Chair of the European Commission’s Group of Chief Scientific Advisors and an experimental particle physicist. On 3 November at 11:00, Professor Heuer will answer your questions and discuss with you how to make politicians listen and understand science and why it is important live on YouTube.

SAPEA Science for policy podcast

In September, SAPEA - one of ALLEA’s flagship projects - launched a series of podcasts on science advice for policy. Invited experts and science advice practitioners reflect on how far we should rely on science to make political decisions,  what makes a good science advisor, what to do when the evidence is incomplete or controversial,  what happens when science advice goes wrong,  and other questions on science-policy interactions.

Defending Truth: From Pseudo-Science to Science Disinformation

Prof. Dan Larhammar is a molecular biology professor at the University of Uppsala, the President of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences as well as the Chair of ALLEA's new project 'Fact or Fake: Tackling Science Disinformation'. In this interview, he shares with us insights into his work on tackling pseudo-science such as homeopathy and alternative medicine, as well as these trends work to some extent in similar ways as science disinformation efforts.

Trust in Expertise at times of Covid-19

The EU-funded research project PERITIA just launched its first newsletter dedicated to Covid-19 and trust in expertise. The issue includes highlights from the first five months of the project with a selection of essays, news, interviews, blog posts, and podcasts from its team dealing with how the pandemic is affecting trust in expertise and science advice systems.

Science rarely yields clear answers, the decisions need to be made democratically

Philipp Kanske, chair of Die Junge Akademie (the German Young Academy), talks with us about the emergence of young academies, the role of early-career researchers in today´s society and of science in the Covid-19 pandemic. The academy provides interdisciplinary and socially relevant spaces for outstanding young academics from German-speaking countries.

Covid-19 and our food: How is the current crisis affecting how we eat?

The Covid-19 pandemic has altered many aspects of our daily lives, including our trip to the supermarket, the access to food at times of uncertainty or how we eat when we spend more time at home. SAPEA just started a webinar series dedicated to "Sustainable food system" and the first webinar opened the discussion diving into the question of food and Covid-19.

Why open science is here to stay

"Openness is one of the defining characteristics of modern science and scholarship. The idea that there should be some secret esoteric knowledge reserved for initiates has long been banished from serious research and survives only in some non-academic fringe groups", writes Luke Drury, Chair of the ALLEA Open Science Task Force.

Why should mitigation, adaptation and climate justice be at the heart of education?

We speak with Cliona Murphy, chair of the ALLEA Science Education Working Group, about what is missing on climate science education in Europe according to the initial findings of a pan-European survey. The research underlines the need to support effective teaching and learning about climate change and to promote content knowledge; scientific, critical thinking and problem-solving skills; and, attitudes towards mitigating climate change.

Diverging Narratives of Democracy in Europe

Peter J. Verovšek, Lecturer (Assistant Professor) in Politics/International Relations at the University of Sheffield and British Academy Mid-Career Fellow, joined us in a conversation about the challenges facing Europe’s unity. In this interview, he sheds light on the factors preventing intellectuals from actively and effectively addressing these challenges.

How can we make Europe’s food system sustainable?

Food insecurity and sustainability are among the most significant global challenges facing humanity today. They are linked to a range of other challenges including malnutrition, biodiversity loss, climate change, soil degradation, and water quality. Peter Jackson, the chair of the SAPEA expert group in charge of the Evidence Review “A Sustainable food system for European Union", offers us the key takeaways of the report.

Dealing with a populist backlash against experts

Maria Baghramian, Project Leader and Coordinator of PERITIA (Policy, Expertise and Trust in Action), explains the rationale behind the project and argues for a re-examination of the role of experts in democratic governance.

A great deal of mud is being thrown at most forms of expertise

Baroness O'Neill of Bengarve, past President of the British Academy and fellow of the Royal Society, and co-chair of the ALLEA Working Group Truth, Trust and Expertise, reflects on the contradictions of public opinion and actual behaviour vis-a-vis the alleged loss of trust in science and experts.

Disrupting the Scientific Publishing System? Plan S and the Future of Open Access

The open access initiative Plan S has rekindled the debate on the future of open access and pushed the European research community to renew its commitment to a transition towards a fully open science system. ALLEA joined the discussion with the expertise of its working groups and elaborated an initial response to shift the focus of the initiative for the benefit of science and society. The debate is far from close and many ethical, legal and disciplinary considerations are still on the table. We asked ALLEA working groups' chairs about some of the most relevant aspects of the future of open access.

Mariana Mazzucato: From Market Fixing to Market Co-creation

Mariana Mazzucato, Professor in Economics of Innovation and Public Value at University College London (UCL) and the 2019 Madame de Staël Prize Laureate, delivers a lecture entitled 'From Market Fixing to Market Co-creation: a Mission Oriented Approach'. The lecture was part of the Madame de Staël award ceremony held at the University of Bern on 8 May 2019.

Towards a data-enabled Europe

Professor Richard Catlow, Royal Society Foreign Secretary and Vice-President, talked with ALLEA about the motivation behind the ALLEA-Royal Society conference “Flourishing in a data enabled Europe” held on 1-2 November 2018 at Chicheley Hall, United Kingdom. As Chair of the Organising Committee of this initiative, Prof Catlow shared with us his vision on what academies and scientists can do to  promote new uses of data for human benefit.

We must step out of our comfort zone and seek out dialogue with the general public

Günter Stock, ALLEA President and 2017 Chairman of the SAPEA Board, reflects on the first year of SAPEA, the future of science advice in Europe and the need for better engagement with the public.

Research involves imagining the future and wrestling with the issues that it throws up

The chair of the ALLEA Working Group Framework  Programme 9 and lead author of ALLEA’s position paper “Developing a Vision for Framework Programme 9”, Professor John Bell, reflects on the EU’s future research and innovation programme after Horizon 2020 and elaborates on ALLEA’s recommendations on the topic.

Creating a supportive climate for research integrity is the next big challenge for the academic system

The lead author of the revised European Code of Conduct for Research Integrity, Dr Maura Hiney, elaborates on the key aspects of the new edition. In addition to her involvement in ALLEA. Dr Maura Hiney was chair of the Science Europe Working Group on Research Integrity during its remit, and is Head of Post-Award and Evaluation at Health Research Board (HRB) in Ireland, which includes the development of policy for the organisation.