!!Letter to AE and YAE members and guests from the President Sierd Cloetingh
!July 2015
!Dear fellow members of the Academia Europaea, members of the Young Academy and guest readers,

I have a number of important announcements to make and a major development to report on.
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__Firstly the major development__\\
For many years, our members and the section committees have been pressing the AE to become more engaged directly in the European science (in the sense of ‘Wissenschaft’) policy arena.
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That space has been and of course continues to be very crowded, both with specialist lobbies; nationally based organisations; pan European umbrella organisations and of course politically focussed specialist groups.  Our voice was limited and we necessarily restricted ourselves to a focus on interventions relating to issues affecting the freedoms and independence of the academic discourse and the role of the Humanities in the European context.
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An important part of this approach, has been our very successful group – __[HERCuLES|Acad_Main/Activities/HERCulES]__ (Higher Education, Research and Culture in European Society), that continues to plan and execute a highly relevant series of symposia and publications in topics that are especially relevant to Higher Education, scholarship and learning. The group’s most recent publication is now available (in Open Access) through the [European Review Vol. 23 (supplement number 1) May 2015|http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayIssue?jid=ERW&volumeId=23&seriesId=0&issueId=S1], entitled “Mobility and Migration in Science”]. We are grateful to the HERCuLES group members, to the [Compagnia di San Paolo|http://www.compagniadisanpaolo.it/eng] and to the [Academia Nationale Dei Lincei|http://www.lincei.it/modules.php?name=Content&pa=showpage&pid=60] for their collaboration on this event. More recently, we held a symposium in Stockholm, courtesy of the [Wenner Gren Foundations|http://www.swgc.org/the-foundations.aspx], on “From Books to MOOCs”. The volume is in preparation and the presentations are accessible on the [event archive page|Acad_Main/Activities/HERCulES/Emerging Models of Learning and Teaching in Higher Education]. Plans are advancing for a further HERCuLES  symposium scheduled for September 2016 and under the auspices of [The Volkwagen Stiftung|https://www.volkswagenstiftung.de/en.html]. This will take place in Hannover and will be entitled “__University Governance: Impeding of Facilitating Creativity?__“  The group are also planning a second AE-China dialogue event at Shanghai Jio Tong University, in collaboration with our member [Prof. Wang Ning|User/Wang_Ning].
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Also in connection with our engagement on science and policy: we were founder members of [EASAC|http://www.easac.eu] (The European Academies’ Science Advisory Council) providing both a President of that organisation (Brian Heap) and continuing members of both the standing panels and expert working groups. That organisation has and continues to publish an excellent series of authoritative papers on important ‘science into policy’ topics, but from a strictly scientific perspective. So we have not been absent from this landscape in past years.
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Since the abolition of the position of Chief Scientific Advisor:  the Commission have been working on a new model for provision of independent scientific advice for European policy. I am pleased to report,  that a [cooperation agreement|Acad_Main/News_Archive/European Academy Organisations Sign Memorandum of Understanding] was signed earlier this year between us and [ALLEA|http://www.allea.org/Pages/ALL/4/731.bGFuZz1FTkc.html], [FEAM|http://www.acmedsci.ac.uk/policy/policy-projects/federation-of-european-academies-of-medicine] (__Federation of European Academies of Medicine__); [EURO-Case|http://www.euro-case.org/index.php] (__the science advisory body of the European Academies of Engineering__) and EASAC (see above). Since then, a number of meetings of the Presidents of the group of five organisations and the Commission have taken place.  There is strong support for this group (in the Commission) to establish a new independent platform for the provision of coordinated advice to the Commission. The system and process will utilise the already  existing structures that are present amongst the group members and will facilitate a better and more integrated approach to ensure that that the Commission receives the best quality advice that covers both the scientific and the social and economic aspects (including the other humanities) of “the state of the art”, in an fully integrated way. A full proposal for the funding of this new platform is under development and it is hoped that the new organisation will become operational in 2016.
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It will be imperative that you the members, are willing to play an active part in this new mechanism by engaging in expert panels, reviews and the other activities. Without your expertise and support this will not be a success and the Academies will have collectively thrown away a major opportunity.
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Finally on this subject, I am pleased to report that our new cooperation is already yielding fruit. I have agreed  with the President of ALLEA ([Prof. dr Guenter Stock MAE|User/Stock_Günter]) that we will plan and hold more joint events and in particular share a common programme every two years with a merging of our annual conferences. We are hoping therefore to start with and event in 2016 and to share the AE 2017 annual conference, which is planned to take place in Budapest.
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Whilst these developments have been taking place, many other events and activities are ongoing, both through the Hubs and more generally.
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The Board recently took part in a regional members’  discussion meeting in __[Bergen|http://acadeuro.b.uib.no]__, organised by the Hub ([Jan Vaagen|User/Vaagen_Jan], [Lászlo Csernai|User/Csernai_Lászlo_Pál] and Vidar Totland) and  where a number of regional speakers stimulated a lively debate on a wide range of scientific issues relevant to the “__Northern Dimension__”. We also took part in the first Bergen Consensus debate event. Where  Prof. Moene was the convenor and Profs. Aarebrot and Hannesson  debated the Nordic Model: “ Is it outdated? “ The intention is for the debate to become an annual and open  fixture in the Hub calendar. The Hub had also organised two other events: A Young Academy/ AE symposium on ‘Clean Energy and Climate Modelling’ and  a joint AE/EASAC/JRC event on ‘Nuclear Energy and Management of Spent Fuel’.
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__The Barcelona Hub__ continues to develop new links and has organised as part of the [International Year of Light|http://www.light2015.org/Home.html], [an event in Lisbon|http://barcelona.acadeuro.org/?event=light-from-the-earth-to-the-stars] (that was in part a memorial to our respected member  [Prof. dr Mariano Gago|User/Gago_José_Mariano]). I was grateful that our former Trustee [Prof. Denis Weaire|User/Weaire_Denis] (Physics) represented the AE Board at the event. Reports and announcements for upcoming events can be found on the [Barcelona Hub webpages|http://barcelona.acadeuro.org].
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__The Young Academy__ ran a symposium in Uppsala, on Women in Sciences and I was pleased that a number of our leading women members took part. More information can be found on the [YAE website|http://yacadeuro.org].
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__The Wroclaw Hub__ continues to develop a strong programme and is currently planning for a major young researcher expert “Summer Schools” event in September 2016 funded by the Riksbankens Jubileumsfond. The theme is “Central Europe and Colonialism: Migrations, Knowledges, Perspectives, Commodities”. Again, please  look at the Hub webpages for all upcoming events and calls for papers etc. 
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Finally on events: I know that E-zine mailings have gone out to all members (those with an  unblocked email  address) announcing that registration is open for the __2015 Annual conference in Darmstadt (7 – 10 September)__.

!PLEASE DO COME ALONG.
[{Image src='hall_edith©Michael-Wharley-2013-1_small.jpg' caption='' height='170' alt='hall_edith©Michael-Wharley-2013-1_small.jpg' class='image_left'}] The programme is excellent and we will celebrate the [2015 Erasmus Medal and Lecture|Acad_Main/News_Archive/2015 Erasmus Medal], __to be given by [Professor Edith Hall|User/Hall_Edith]__ and welcome our new members who were elected in 2014. [Event page|http://www.ae2015.eu].
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Do not forget, that in the __afternoon of  7 September,  all members are invited to attend the Annual Business Meeting__, where the Board and the Hubs will report on 2014; we will formally elect a new Treasurer and there will be proposals to amend some of the current regulations. This is your opportunity to question me and the other members of the Board directly. A specific E-zine mailing will be sent to all members and a webpage can be found on [www.ae-info.org|Acad_Main/Past_Events/2011-present/2015 Annual Business Meeting of Members] for the AGM.
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My last announcement, is  to  thank all of the members who have submitted proposals into the new __[2015 HUBERT CURIEN Fund|Acad_Main/Past_Events/2011-present/2015 AE Hubert Curien Initiatives Fund]__. We were oversubscribed by a large margin on this first call and we have now committed all of the 2015 funds.
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__The following proposals were accepted (some have already taken place):__
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*[European Parliament Workshop on Future Technologies|Acad_Main/Past_Events/2011-present/Future Science] ([Prof.Maurer|User/Maurer_Hermann] ) April 2015
*[Memory Frictions|Acad_Main/Past_Events/2011-present/MEMORY FRICTIONS - CONFLICT-NEGOTIATION-POLITICS] – Zaragoza ([Prof Onega|User/Onega_Susana]) May 2015
*[Light from Earth to Stars|Acad_Main/Past_Events/2011-present/LIGHT - FROM THE EARTH TO THE STARS] – Lisbon (Barcelona Hub) – July 2015
*[Exploring the Shores of fundamental Matter|Acad_Main/Past_Events/2011-presentNorSAC-2015] (NORSAC 2015) – Bergen ([Prof. Csernai|User/Csernai_Lászlo_Pál]) – July-August 2015
*[Language Endangerment and Revitalisation|Acad_Main/Past_Events/2011-present/Language endangerment and revitalization - Poznań Linguistic Meeting] -  Poznan (Prof. Dziubalska-Kolaczyk) September 2015
*[Ion Channels Trimming the Brain|Acad_Main/Past_Events/2011-present/Ion Channels Trimming the Brain] – Kiev ([Prof. Oleg Krishtal|User/Krishtal_Oleg]) September 2015
*Flexible Query Answering Systems – Cracow (Prof. Janusz Kacprzyk) – October 2015
*[200 Years of Cracow Science|Acad_Main/Past_Events/2011-present/200 years of the Cracow Learned Society] – [Prof. Kozlowski|User/Kozlowski_Janusz_Krzysztof]  (December 2015)
*Visualising Law, Visual Jurisprudence and Literature – Verona ([Prof. Daniela Carpi|User/Carpi_Daniela]) – November 2015
*Project:  Video interview archive -  ‘Personal past’ achievements informing future careers (no date) – Young Academy (Dr Lynn Kamerlin and [Prof. Anne Buttimer|User/Buttimer_Anne] (VP AE))
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__Small Presidents’ grants:__
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*[Topo Europe 2015|Acad_Main/Past_Events/2011-present/TOPO-EUROPE 2015] – Antibes ([Prof. Nolet|User/Nolet_Guust]) – October 2015
*[Geology at Different Scales|Acad_Main/Past_Events/2011-present/GEOLOGY AT DIFFERENT SCALES]  [[Plus meeting of the new Serbian Chapter members of the AE] – Belgrade  (Dr  Nevena Andric) – August 2015
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Sierd Cloetingh\\
President
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