The Bergen Knowledge Hub aims to:
- Be a catalyst for collaboration, for knowledge exchange, and for exchange of ideas.
- Engage research and scholarship with policymaking in Europe and in the Nordic and Baltic Regions, on behalf of Academia Europaea and in close collaboration with national academies of the region.
- Promote excellent research from and about the Nordic and Baltic Region, its surrounding seas and the Arctic with emphasis on marine and maritime research, sustainability and the Nordic social model, through scholarly workshops and public events.
- Demonstrate the importance of scientific scholarship and maximise engagement with our members, policymakers, private and public entities and the wider public.
- Stimulate scientists to accomplish stringent and unequivocal communication with decision makers, media, and the public.
The Academia Europaea is the pan-European Academy of Humanities, Letters, Law, and Sciences. The Academia was founded in 1988 as the functioning Europe-wide Academy that encompasses all fields of scholarly inquiry.
I am writing to you after the first snowfall in Bergen and after an unusually dry and sunny autumn. This coincides with the opening of COP28, that will provide a stocktake of how countries are living up to their pledges to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Despite the need for urgency, the status unfortunately looks as bleak as an early winter day in the high North, academic director Eystein Jansen writes in his Christmas greeting.
Currently, Arctic climate research does not have access to climate data from 45% of the Arctic area. This is because climate data from the Russian Arctic areas is largely no longer available to the global research community, as a by-product of the Russia sanctions. This is one of the findings in the report “The Future of Arctic Science and Science Diplomacy”, initiated by Academia Europaea Bergen, the Nordic hub for the European science academy Academia Europaea. The absence of complete data for climate development in the Arctic is potentially dramatic, as the Arctic is seen as a “temperature gauge” for global warming. In the Arctic, temperatures are rising three times faster than generally in global warming.
The project commissioned by the Academia Europaea Bergen Hub, “The Future of Science Diplomacy in the Arctic”, is the topic of a recent episode of the SAPEA podcast. “Genuinely one of the most important topics I’ve ever discussed on this podcast”, says Toby Wardman, host of the SAPEA podcast, about his discussion with project manager Ole Øvretveit and AE-Bergen Hub director Eystein Jansen.
The AE-Bergen Hub organized a side event at the Arctic Frontiers conference in Tromsø February 3rd, titled “The Future of Arctic Science and Science Diplomacy”. The backdrop is the freezing of science diplomacy efforts during the sanctions in the wake of Russia’s invasion in Ukraine. The project on Science Diplomacy in the Arctic is commissioned by the Academia Europaea Bergen Knowledge Hub, and will include a report to be published later in the year. Political scientist Ole Øvretveit is preparing the report, and also planned the Arctic Frontiers conference side event with the Hub.
If the previous covid-affected two years were exceptional, the year that now comes to a close has been no less exceptional. I am thinking of the Russian aggression and the war in Ukraine with all its atrocities, loss of lives and senseless destruction. The effects of the war have been profound on many aspects of academic life, most dramatically for our Ukrainian colleagues who have had to suspend their work, flee their workplace, home and country, academic director Eystein Jansen writes in his Christmas’ greeting to members.
Science Diplomacy has been a central part of Arctic relations for many decades, with the 8 Arctic states working together, even during the Cold War. After Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the Russo-western relationship has understandably entered an ice-cold phase. What are the foreseeable effects of freezing Science Diplomacy in the Arctic? This is the subject of a report commissioned by the AE-Bergen Hub.
– It has long been my firm belief that the chances of achieving premium research are higher when researchers are allowed to develop their own ideas. Challenging ideas are also more likely to result in new knowledge, says Eystein Jansen, Academic Director of the AE-Bergen Hub, AE trustee and as of 1st January, 2023, Vice-President of the ERC.
The work of the Academia Europaea Task Force on Environment, Climate and Sustainability over the last year, was presented during a plenary session during the Building Bridges Annual Conference. Among the suggestions of the Task Force is for AE to set up a Permanent Working Group on Environment, Sustainability and Climate (PWGESC). The Task Force sees the need for a comprehensive and interdisciplinary approach.
The Academic Director of The Academia Europaea Bergen Knowledge Hub, Prof. Eystein Jansen is elected Vice President of the European Research Council (ERC). He will be responsible for the ERC activities in the Physical Sciences and Engineering domain from January 1th 2023, replacing Prof. Andrzej Jajszczyk.
NORCE scientist and working group member and co-author on the SAPEA report “Biodegradability of plastics in the open environment”, Gunhild Bødtker, started her presentation at the recent Avfallsforsk webinar “Marine Littering in Norwegian Fjords” by saying that “biodegradable plastics have some uses that can be a part of the solution, but it shouldn’t be seen as an excuse for littering, and it is not a quick fix”.