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allea newsletter #20 | December 2019

Genome editing in the spotlight 

Dear ALLEA members and friends,

Undoubtedly, we find ourselves in times of rapid and exciting advances in the science and technology. At present few scientific breakthroughs are discussed as controversially as the ones around genome editing. This technological progress has come with major challenges to researchers, policymakers and the public alike, and plenty of open questions about the ethical, legal and wider societal implications of genome editing remain.

ALLEA and our Member Academies are trusted providers of independent science advice to policy makers and society, while encouraging high ethical standards in science and research. Thus, we cannot be absent from those important debates.

To contribute to further, and much needed, interdisciplinary and cross-sectoral exchanges, ALLEA and the Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium brought together academics, experts, civil society representatives and policy makers, for a discussion on how to harness the benefits of genome editing while ensuring its wide-spread acceptance in society. A publication synthesising the deliberations from the symposium is under preparation right now and will be published next year. Our activities on genome editing won’t stop there, as we will continue to work on the topic to ensure that the voice of the scientific community is duly taken into account.

Before I let you enjoy the rest of this newsletter, I would not want to miss sending best wishes to the new European Commission, which took office at the beginning of this month. I am particularly glad to see that the Commission responded favourably to the suggestions and pleas from ALLEA and many other research stakeholders in Europe to include the term “research” in the name of Commissioner Mariya Gabriel’s portfolio. We are certainly looking forward to working with her and her fellow Commissioners over the coming years.
 
Kind regards,
Antonio Loprieno
President of ALLEA
 
latest news
The potential and challenges of genome editing for crop improvement lively discussed in Brussels

The symposium ‘Genome Editing for Crop Improvement’, organised by ALLEA and the Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Science and the Arts brought together eminent speakers and stakeholders to discuss how to harness the benefits of genome editing while ensuring a wide-spread acceptance of the new technology in society.
Read more

Academic institutions need to adapt IPR strategies to fulfil their role in Europe's innovation ecosystem 

A new ALLEA publication formulates recommendations both to scientific organisations and European and national legislators, and highlights the importance of managing intangible assets with due consideration of intellectual property rights.
Read more

Science Academies need to be less self-centred and more open to society, says ALLEA President

ALLEA President Antonio Loprieno was one of the speakers at the conference ’The Role of Academies in Sustaining European Knowledge Societies in Time of Crisis’, which took place at the Academy of Sciences of Turin on 7 and 8 November. 
Read more

Academies’ event on migrant health: European Commission promises to keep migration high on its agenda

On 22 November, at the conference organised by ALLEA and FEAM, numerous academics and experts discussed the health status of migrants in Europe and new challenges to healthcare systems posed by the recent influx of newcomers.
Read more

Unite to defend evidence-informed policy, science advice community tells European Commission

Politicians, scientists and civil society need to defend evidence-informed policy as a cornerstone of liberal democracy. This was the key message to the new European Commission, at a major event on ‘The Future of Science Advice in Europe’ organised by SAPEA. 
Read more

The Future of Research: Assessing the impact of Plan S

Impacts of the open access proposal ‘Plan S’ on researchers, research-intensive institutions, societies and publishers were debated at an international symposium organised by Academia Europea Cardiff Knowledge Hub and KU Leuven Libraries. ALLEA was represented by its Board Member Luke Drury, who underlined some of the key points introduced by the ALLEA statement on Plan S.
Read more

Understanding public discourse and trust in a digital society 

A new report published by ALLEA and Re-Imagine Europa examines the effects of digital communications on Europe’s value-system and democracy. 
Read more

Breakthrough Prize opens public nominations for its 2021 prizes in fundamental physics, life sciences & mathematics

For the ninth year, the Breakthrough Prize, recognized as the world’s largest science prize, will honor top scientists. Nominations can be submitted online today through 1 April 2020. Prizes will be awarded in late 2020, during a live, globally televised gala awards ceremony in Silicon Valley.
Read more
 
upcoming events

Research Collaboration in Changing Times - ALLEA General Assembly
London, 3-4 June 2020
Hosted by the UK Member Academies

This year, the conference will explore the following issues: 

  • Protecting Collaborative Research in a Turbulent Europe
  • Balancing Excellence and Regional Equality within Europe
  • Interdisciplinary Research: The Key to the Future?

More information coming soon on www.alleageneralassembly.org. Registration will open in January 2020.

Social Inequalities in Health
Paris, 22 January 2020
organised by ALLEA, FEAM and Académie Nationale de Médecine

allea in the news

Turning European researchers to intellectual rights’ protection

Social media the ‘big game changer’ for trust in experts

Viewpoint: the EU needs better IP protection of publicly-funded science

Trust must be earned, it cannot be demanded – even by scientists 
(behind paywall)

Interview with ALLEA President Antonio Loprieno by the Italian television RAI 

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ALLEA Newsletter 2019 ALLEA,  Some rights reserved.


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