Making sense of science – 04.11.2019

The global challenges, like climate change, loss of biodiversity and migration, are very complex. At the same time, the research areas are characterised by uncertainty and conflicts. How does politicians find the best available knowledge? How do we create good road maps for science for policy?

The science academies of the EU has recently published the report Making Sense of Science, on how scientific knowledge can be a good fundament for policies in times of complexitity and uncertainty.

What characterises effective research based policy making in the EU? Can the experiences from EU be used in Norwegian conditions?

Se the presentations and discussions here:

 

Hvordan får vi den beste og mest treffsikre politikken?

Mange gjør det annerledes enn Norge. Hvorfor?

Eystein Jansen er akademisk direktør for Academia Europaea Bergen Knowledge Hub.

Eystein Jansen er akademisk direktør for Academia Europaea Bergen Knowledge Hub.

Av Eystein Jansen, akademisk direktør for Academia Europaea Bergen Knowledge Hub.

Vi lever i en tid med mye usikkerhet. Det er vanskelig å skille fakta fra feilinformasjon, og internett gjør at det er vanskelig å skille mellom forskjellige oppfatninger som kan bruke forskning som argument for ulike politikkalternativ.

Særlig er dette merkbart i miljø- og klimapolitikken, i helsepolitikken, mat-og landbrukspolitikken og i spørsmål knyttet til bioteknologi. Spørsmålet blir da om vi har et system som greier å sortere fakta fra skeivinformasjon og om politikerne har et system rundt seg der de får mest mulig uavhengig informasjon før beslutninger tas.

Ofte hører vi at beslutninger er tatt på bakgrunn av faglige råd, men hvor uavhengig er disse? I Norge har departementene sine faginstanser, ofte forvaltningsinstitutt og lignende som brukes aktivt. I mange andre land har man kommet til at dette ikke gir tilstrekkelig uavhengighet i komplekse spørsmål, og bruker vitenskapsakademiene for å sikre uavhengige prosesser for å frembringe faktagrunnlag for politikkutviklingen.

EU har opprettet SAM (Scientific Advice Mechanism) for dette forholdet, og har en gruppe uavhengige vitenskapelige rådgivere som gir faglige innspill til politikk. Rådgiverne kan på eget initiativ eller på oppdrag fra EU-kommisjonen be vitenskapsakademiene i Europe om å utvikle et faktagrunnlag på et felt som er uklart og som trenger politikk.

SAPEA MASOS frontpage

SAPEAs nyligste rapport, “Making sense of science”, om tilgangen på forskningsbasert politikkrådgivning.

Dette skjer i prosjektet SAPEA, der de europeiske akademiene er medlemmer. Disse, som består av fremragende forskere, er helt uavhengige av myndighetene, og faren for bindinger bli mindre.

Systemet har fått frem faggrunnlag for politikk på en rekke områder. Slik får man et uavhengig faglig grunnlag, som de vitenskapelige rådgiverne kan bruke inn mot politikkutformingen. Systemet ser ut til å virke!

Burde ikke Norge etablere noe tilsvarende? I Finland har man nå utviklet en lignende ordning, med gode resultat. Politikken blir bedre, og den får større legitimitet med et slikt system. Hva holder oss tilbake?

På møtet “Forskningsbasert politikk?” (Facebook) på Litteraturhuset i Oslo den 4. november får vi høre fra europeiske eksperter om hvordan politikkutforming kan bli mest mulig i tråd med faglig kunnskap og være vitenskapsbasert, og vi får høre om hvordan norske akademikere og politikere tenker om den norske situasjonen og annerledesheten her i landet.

 

 

“Making Sense of Science”, SAPEA event in Oslo

November 4, 2019, 11.30–16.00. The House of Literature, Wergelandsveien 29, 0167 Oslo.

Evidence-informed policy: a Norwegian perspective

A seminar hosted by Academia Europaea Bergen Hub assesses the findings of the SAPEA report ‘Making sense of science for policy’ and reflects on what insights might be applied to science advice in Norway


The Academia Europaea Bergen Hub has hosted a successful seminar in Oslo, in collaboration with the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters.  The seminar, held on 4th November at the House of Literature, assessed the findings of the recent SAPEA report, Making sense of science for policy and reflected on what insights might be applied to the science advice process in Norway.

Prof Eystein Jansen, Director of the AE Bergen Hub, welcomes all to the seminar
Prof Eystein Jansen, Director of the AE Bergen Hub, welcomes all to the seminar

The seminar was designed around two linked sessions, one focused on the European dimension of evidence-informed policy and the second examining Norwegian policymaking.

Professor Eystein Jansen, Director of the Bergen Hub, welcomed everyone to the seminar and emphasised the timeliness of the topic under discussion. Professor Ole Petersen, Director of the Cardiff Hub (which coordinated the SAPEA report) gave an introduction to the European Science Advice Mechanism and the role played by academies within it.

Session 1: ‘Making sense of science for policy’ Evidence Review Report

Professor Jeroen van der Sluijs (Bergen), a member of the SAPEA Working Group, presented the key findings of the SAPEA report, with a thought-provoking response provided by Professor Silvio Funtowicz (Bergen) and a lively debate with the audience, with skilful moderation by Professor Matthias Kaiser (Bergen).  Themes that came up included:

  • The issue of bias and the underrepresentation of certain social groups within science
  • The role of the humanities in evidence-informed policymaking
  • The potential for including different types of knowledge and extended peer communities in science advice

An interesting case study came from Finland, which is trialling a new approach to science advice, drawing on insights from the European Commission’s Science Advice Mechanism.  Professor Risto Nieminen, President of the Finnish Academy, spoke of the contribution that could be made by academies to the design and operation of such a system.

Professors Ole Petersen, Jeroen van der Sluijs, Risto Nieminen and Silvio Funtowicz during the panel discussion in session 1
Professors Ole Petersen, Jeroen van der Sluijs, Risto Nieminen and Silvio Funtowicz during the panel discussion in session 1


Session 2: Science advice in Norway

The second half of the seminar put science advice in Norway under the spotlight.  Professor Oystein Hov (Norwegian Academy) gave several examples of success and failure of science advice in Norway.  Kyrre Lekve (Simula) spoke of two contrasting relationships experienced by science advisers, one with civil servants, the other with politicians.

The closing discussion between the panel and the audience, also moderated by Matthias Kaiser, gave rise to further reflections on science advice in Norway.  They included:

  • The nature of risk assessment, citing the example of mercury contamination from a sunken U-boat off the Norwegian coast
  • The contribution the European science advice model could make to solving policy problems in Norway
  • The use and potential misuse of scientific knowledge in the context of policymaking

Look out for a full report on the seminar, to be published in the coming weeks.

Prof Oystein Hov, Prof Torbjørn Digernes, Kyrre Lekve and Prof Matthias Kaiser during the panel discussion in session 2
Prof Oystein Hov, Prof Torbjørn Digernes, Kyrre Lekve and Prof Matthias Kaiser during the panel discussion in session 2

11th November 2019. For further information please contact Louise Edwards, Knowledge Hub Manager EdwardsL31@cardiff.ac.uk

The Arctic has entered a new phase of abrupt climate change

Saturday 12 October, 11.30-12.15. Viðey, Harpa Second Level, Reykjavik, Iceland

Organized by University of Bergen, Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research & Academia Europaea Bergen Knowledge hub.

SPEAKERS

  • Eystein Jansen, Professor, University of Bergen/Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research: Are Ongoing Climate Change in the Arctic Abrupt in the Perspective of Past Abrupt Changes?
  • Jens Hesselbjerg Christensen, Professor, Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen: What are the Expected Future Changes in Arctic and Greenland Climates in the Future Due to Continued Manmade Climate Forcing
  • Eystein Jansen/Jens Hesselbjerg Christensen: How Vulnerable is the Greenland Ice Sheet?

Read more at Arctic Circle Conference conference website

Event Horizon Telescope and the portrait of a black hole

June 7, 2019, 14:00. Auditorium B, Allégaten 66, Bergen, Norway.

How was the famous image of the black hole made? Tuomas Savolainen presents the process and science leading up to capturing a glimpse of M87.

Tuomas Savolainen will present the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) project, describe how the now famous image of M87 was made, and discuss future prospects for studying black holes at event horizon scale resolution.

The Event Horizon Telescope is a global, very long baseline interferometry array operating at 1.3 mm wavelength. The combination of a short observing wavelength and long intercontinental baselines between the participating telescopes allows the EHT to make images at exquisite resolution of 20 microarcseconds – enough to resolve event horizon scale structures around the supermassive black holes in the centre of our galaxy, and in the centre of the radio galaxy M87.

The first EHT observations with an array that had potential to image these black holes took place in April 2017. After almost two years of data processing and analysis, we can now report success. The EHT has successfully imaged the radio source in the centre of M87 and the image reveals a bright, asymmetric ring of emission encompassing a central depression in brightness.

The image is consistent with the predictions for a shadow of a Kerr black hole in General Relativity. The observed properties of the ring are in close agreement with a gravitationally lensed photon ring of a 6.5 billion solar mass black hole.

The lecture is organized by the Department of Physics and Technology and Academia Europaea Bergen Knowledge Hub.

The lecture starts at 14.15. Refreshments will be served from 14.00.

Tuomas Savolainen

Tuomas Savolainen is an Academy Research Fellow with the Aalto Universitys Anne Lähteenmäki Group and Department of Electronics and Nanoengineering, as well as an Academy Research Fellow with the Metsähovi Radio Observatory.

He is one of the over 200 researchers part of the international Event Horizon Telescopecollaboration, the group responsible for the very first image of a black hole, released April 10, 2019.

International Workshop on Collectivity

September 14-19. Kőszeg, Hungary.

The workshop is organized jointly by the Institute for Advanced Studies, Kőszeg (iASK) and the Energy and Sustainable Development Activity of the Academia Europaea Bergen Hub (AE-B), between Sept. 14-19, 2019, in Kőszeg. (Sept. 13 and 20 are the planned travel days.)

Web pages:

Kőszeg (Video 1080 530MB) is a small medieval city, it is about 1 hour drive South of Vienna Airport (VIE, Schwechat), and about 3 hours by train or car from Budapest.

The topic of the workshop is wide, from fundamental research, through applied research and technology, and the effect of these on social sciences.
For example, relativistic heavy ion physics, or nano sciences, their applications for nuclear fusion or fission, and finally the impact of these advances on sustainable development and its connections to energy and natural sciences.

Conference registration and participation management is via the CERN indico website.

25th International Conference on Types for Proofs and Programs

Oslo, Norway, 11 – 14 June 2019. The conference will be held at Ingeniørenes Hus Møtesenter, located centrally in Vika in Oslo.

The TYPES meetings are a forum to present new and on-going work in all aspects of type theory and its applications, especially in formalised and computer assisted reasoning and computer programming. The meetings from 1990 to 2008 were annual workshops of a sequence of five EU funded networking projects. Since 2009, TYPES has been run as an independent conference series.

The TYPES areas of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • foundations of type theory and constructive mathematics;
  • applications of type theory;
  • dependently typed programming;
  • industrial uses of type theory technology;
  • meta-theoretic studies of type systems;
  • proof assistants and proof technology;
  • automation in computer-assisted reasoning;
  • links between type theory and functional programming;
  • formalizing mathematics using type theory

We encourage talks proposing new ways of applying type theory. In the spirit of workshops, talks may be based on newly published papers, work submitted for publication, but also work in progress.

The conference is partially supported by COST Action CA15123 EUTypes, the Research Council of Norway, and Academia Europaea Knowledge Hub Region Bergen.

Homotopy Type Theory and Univalent Foundations

Oslo, Norway, 12 – 14 June 2019. The conference will be held at Ingeniørenes Hus Møtesenter, located centrally in Vika in Oslo.

Homotopy Type Theory and Univalent Foundations combines ideas and techniques from algebraic topology, logic, higher categories and computer science. As a fairly young subject it is still under dramatic development and sees vibrant activity.

The workshop aims at bringing together researchers spanning the width of the field, complementing the concurrent TYPES conference with which it will share some plenary sessions.

The workshop is organised jointly by the Centre for Advanced Study (CAS) at the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters and the University of Bergen (UiB). With financial support from Academia Europaea Knowledge Hub Region Bergen.