Digital Salon

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.