Academia Europaea celebrates its 30th Anniversary at the Royal Society#

On Monday 24th September, more than 80 members of Academia Europaea (MAEs) gathered at the Royal Society in London to mark the Academia Europaea’s 30th anniversary.

Members of Academia Europaea at the Royal Society
Members of Academia Europaea at the Royal Society

Networking over coffee
Networking over coffee


Sir Venki Ramakrishnan, President of the Royal Society and Professor Sierd Cloetingh, President of Academia Europaea opened the event.

Sir Venki Ramakrishnan, President of the Royal Society
Sir Venki Ramakrishnan, President of the Royal Society welcoming members of Academia Europaea to the Royal Society

Professor Sierd Cloetingh, President of Academia Europaea
Professor Sierd Cloetingh, President of Academia Europaea, opening the event


Sir Venki Ramakrishnan, President of the Royal Society
Sir Venki Ramakrishnan, President of the Royal Society

Professor Sierd Cloetingh, President of Academia Europaea
Professor Sierd Cloetingh, President of Academia Europaea


Professor Ole Petersen, Vice-President of Academia Europaea and Academic Director of the Cardiff Knowledge Hub introduced Sir Arnold Burgen, Founding President of the Academia. Sir Arnold spoke of the original aims in establishing the academy and highlighted some of its key achievements.

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Professor Ole Petersen, Vice-President of Academia Europaea and Academic Director of the Cardiff Knowledge Hub introducing Sir Arnold Burgen

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Sir Arnold Burgen, Founding President of the Academia.


One of the highlights of the event was the presentation of AE’s Gold Medal to Robert-Jan Smits, currently the European Commission’s Open Access Envoy and formerly Director-General of the Commission’s Research and Innovation Directorate. Professor Cloetingh awarded the Gold Medal to Mr Smits following a laudatio by Professor Eva Kondorosi, Vice-President of the European Research Council.

Robert-Jan Smits
Academia Europaea Gold Medal winner, Robert-Jan Smits

Professor Eva Kondorosi, Vice-President of the European Research Council
Professor Eva Kondorosi, Vice-President of the European Research Council giving a laudatio for Robert-Jan Smits


A roundtable discussion took place on Making Sense of Science, a topic taken up by the European Group of Chief Scientific Advisers, with the evidence review led by AE’s Cardiff Hub on behalf of SAPEA (Science Advice for Policy by European Academies). Chaired by Professor Cloetingh, the expert panel comprised Professor Richard Catlow (Vice-President of the Royal Society), Professor Nicole Grobert (Member of the European Commission’s Group of Chief Scientific Advisors), Dr Johannes Klumpers (Head of the European Commission’s Scientific Advice Mechanism Unit), and Professor Ortwin Renn (Chair of the SAPEA Working Group on Making sense of science).

Expert panel
Making Sense of Science expert panel: Dr Johannes Klumpers, Professor Ortwin Renn, Professor Nicole Grobert and Professor Richard Catlow

Questions for the panel
Questions for the panel


The last session of the programme focused on scientific developments over the last 30 years. Chaired by Sir John Skehel (Vice-President of the Royal Society), the speakers were Professor Alexander Boksenberg (University of Cambridge), Professor Tullio Pozzan (Italian National Research Council) and Baroness Onora O’Neill (the House of Lords). The evening concluded with drinks, canapes and a formal dinner for invited guests.

Sir John Skehel chairing the final session: 30 years of scientific developments
Sir John Skehel chairing the final session: 30 years of scientific developments

Professor Alexander Boksenberg, University of Cambridge, presenting on observational astronomy
Professor Alexander Boksenberg, University of Cambridge, presenting on observational astronomy


Professor Tullio Pozzan from the Italian National Research Council presenting on the regulation of mitochondrial function
Professor Tullio Pozzan from the Italian National Research Council presenting on the regulation of mitochondrial function

Baroness Onora O’Neill from the House of Lords presenting on trust in science
Baroness Onora O’Neill from the House of Lords presenting on trust in science


The speakers
The speakers

Academia Europaea’s Presidents, past and present: Sir Arnold Burgen, Professor Lars Walløe, Professor Sierd Cloetingh and Professor Dr Jürgen Mittelstraß
Academia Europaea’s Presidents, past and present: Sir Arnold Burgen, Professor Lars Walløe, Professor Sierd Cloetingh and Professor Dr Jürgen Mittelstraß





Following this event, a commemorative brochure will be published.
Photos courtesy of the Royal Society.
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