Academia Europaea congratulates Dorthe Dahl-Jensen and Johannes Oerlemans as winners of the 2022 Balzan Prize

Dorthe Dahl-Jensen from Uni Copenhagen and Johannes Oerlemans from Utrecht University have won the 2022 Balzan Prize in the category “Glaciation and Ice-Sheet Dynamics”.
Dorthe Dahl-Jensen from Uni Copenhagen and Johannes Oerlemans from Utrecht University have won the 2022 Balzan Prize in the category “Glaciation and Ice-Sheet Dynamics”.

Dorthe Dahl-Jensen of Uni Copenhagen. FOTO: Danmarks uddannelses- og forskningsministerium.

Dahl-Jensen is a world leader in ice core drilling and subsequent analysis of ice core data in conjunction with models to determine past climate and how it affected the Greenland ice sheet dynamics and size, thus informing future changes in climate and sea level. Her research has led to numerous achievements that document how the past illuminates potential future abrupt climate changes. Dorthe Dahl-Jensen was elected to Academia Europaea in 2022.

– We are particularly happy to see the prize awarded to a scholar from the Nordic and Baltic region, covered by our Hub, says Eystein Jansen, Academic Director of AE-Bergen Hub.

Johannes “Hans” Oerlemans is a Dutch climatologist specialized in glaciology and sea level. He has been a professor of meteorology in the Faculty of Physics and Astronomy at Utrecht University since 1989. He was elected a member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1994, and has been a member of Academia Europaea since 1989.

The International Balzan Prize Foundation aims is to promote culture, the sciences, and the most meritorious initiatives in the cause of humanity, peace, and fraternity among peoples throughout the world.

Johannes Oerlemans of Utrecht University

Johannes Oerlemans of Utrecht University

Academia Europaea congratulates Dorthe Dahl-Jensen and Johannes Oerlemans as winner of the 2022 Balzan Prize.

Guest lecture by Professor Sierd Cloetingh

European cooperation in science, innovation and policy advice.

 

Welcome to a guest lecture by Professor Sierd Cloetingh: Perspectives on European cooperation in science, innovation and policy advice.

The lecture on September 6th at 13.30, at Studentsenteret in Bergen (physical meeting only) will last for approximately 45 minutes and will be followed by a short coffee/tea break, shorter comments/perspectives and a discussion.

Shorter comments/perspectives by:

  • Professor emeritus Matthias Kaiser (Center for the Study of the Sciences and the Humanities, SVT)
    More systematic science advice is badly needed
  • Researcher Scott Bremer (SVT)
    Chained up: when representations of science-policy become problematic
  • Professor Jeroen P. van der Sluijs (SVT)
    Science, innovation and the precautionary principle (presentation based on this report)

Discussion moderated by Professor Eystein Jansen, Scientific Director of Academia Europaea Bergen Knowledge Hub

Sierd Cloetingh

Sierd Cloetingh is Utrecht University Distinguished Professor.

His research field is Earth Sciences.

He published more than 360 papers in international peer-reviewed journals and has been promotor of close to 80 PhD students.

He has amongst other engagements served as President of the Academia Europaea, Member and Interim-Chair of the Board of SAPEA (Scientific Advice for Policy by European Academies), President of the Association for European Cooperation in Science & Technology (COST), Membership of the Scientific Council (2009-2015) and Vice-President of the European Research Council (ERC), President of the European Geophysical Society (1998-2000), President of the International Lithosphere Program (ILP), Distinguished Professor of the Royal Netherlands Academy for Arts and Sciences (KNAW, 2006-2015), Editor-in-Chief of the international journal “Global and Planetary Change” and Chairman of the TOPO-EUROPE collaborative research program.

He was distinguished in 2005 as Chevalier de Legion d’Honneur and in 2014 as Knight of the Royal Order of the Netherlands Lion for his contributions to science and European scientific cooperation in research and education.

More details about the event here.

The latest IPCC climate report in 5 takeaway points

The Academic Director of the AE-Bergen Knowledge Hub, Eystein Jansen, had the task of distilling 3000 pages of the latest IPCC Climate reports into a 15-minute talk.

Jansen spoke of the key findings in the latest 3 IPCC climate reports during the 2022 Rosendal Week, a regional conference in Western Norway focusing on climate change, energy transitions, green initiatives, and sustainability.

IPCC 6th Assessment report consists of 3 available reports, focusing respectively on «The Physical Science Basis», «Impacts, Adaptations and Vulnerability» and «Mitigation of Climate Change». Even more condensed than in Jansen´s 15-minute talk, the findings can be broken down to 5 bullet-points:

  • Every decade the last 60 years have been warmer than the previous decade.
  • With a global temperature increase of 1,25 degrees, the goal of the Paris accord of limiting global warming to 1,5 degrees will be surpassed within 10-15 years.
  • The increase in extreme heatwaves, forest fires and flooding affect all continents.
  • Extreme rainfalls are increasing both in frequency and in intensity.
  • Sea levels have risen 4,6 mm yearly since 2010.

Towards the end of his presentation, Academic Director Eystein Jansen looked at Norwegian emissions of CO2 and other climate gases, implying that there is a need for lowering national emissions by 3,5 million tons yearly in the years leading up to 2030 in order to reach the national reduction targets.

Discussion moderated by Bergens Tidende Editor-in-Chief Frøy Gudbrandsen (left). Norwegian minister of climate and environment Espen Barth Eide (middle), Eystein Jansen of the AE-Bergen Knowledge Hub (right).

Discussion moderated by Bergens Tidende Editor-in-Chief Frøy Gudbrandsen (left). Norwegian minister of climate and environment Espen Barth Eide (middle), Eystein Jansen of the AE-Bergen Knowledge Hub (right).

Following the presentation from Eystein Jansen, was a discussion between him and the Norwegian minister of climate and environment, Espen Barth Eide, moderated by Bergens Tidende Editor-in-Chief Frøy Gudbrandsen. The minister agreed with Jansen that stronger measures must be implemented to reach climate goals.

– We see encouraging progress in the EU countries. For a country like Norway, demanding climate action from trading partners can be an effective measure, the minister said.

The location of the conference in the idyllic village of Rosendal by the Hardangerfjord in Western Norway, underlined the urgency in taking care of the natural beauty of the planet.

– While we are at risk of reaching some negative tipping points, we also see the possibility of some positive tipping points, arising from increased awareness in the public, something that also should be addressed by the social sciences, Eystein Jansen said, ending the talk and the discussion on a positive note.

Summer greetings from the Academic Director

Summer has reached Europe. While some parts experience heat waves, it has been cool and wet so far here in Bergen, but now finally the Nordic summer is emerging. We can look back at a semester where the grip of the pandemic has faded.

Eystein Jansen Academic Director is the Academic Director of the AE-Bergen Knowledge Hub. Photo: ERC.

Eystein Jansen Academic Director is the Academic Director of the AE-Bergen Knowledge Hub. Photo: ERC.

However, new variants of the virus put people to bed, but this time mostly with milder symptoms and new lockdowns in Europe seem unlikely. This encourages our Hub to plan for more physical activities ahead, although the pandemic has taught us that we can get much done and reach further out by also utilizing online meeting and webinars.

Instead of the expected normalization we now have a devastating ongoing crisis in Europe with global effects, due to Russia´s unprovoked brutal invasion of Ukraine. In addition to the direct suffering and senseless destruction, the conflict influences many aspects of academic life. Most severely for Ukrainian academics who have had their lives turned upside down, whose workplaces are destructed or inaccessible, who have had to flee or to take part in the armed or civilian resistance. They all have my deepest thoughts and concerns!

But the effects go way beyond the direct impact for Ukrainian (and Russian) academics. Research is international by nature, and the changing geopolitical and economic landscape will influence us all in many ways. We can already see that the war and the sanctions have created severe obstacles for cooperation in the Arctic, – a region of high priority for our Hub. In May we organised a successful side-event on the status, opportunities, and environmental impacts of potential deep-sea mineral mining at the Arctic Frontiers Conference in Tromsø. Throughout the conference however, both in sessions and off sessions, the effects of the ongoing war on Arctic research were a theme of deep concern.

Ole Øvretveit will work on a report on the effects of the Ukraine War on science diplomacy and scientific cooperation in the Arctic for the AE-Bergen Knowledge Hub.

Ole Øvretveit will work on a report on the effects of the Ukraine War on science diplomacy and scientific cooperation in the Arctic for the AE-Bergen Knowledge Hub. Photo: Nils Olav Sæverås

Research has for many years been an avenue for science diplomacy and collaboration in the Arctic and has helped lower geopolitical tensions in the region. The current shut-down in western-Russo relations is effective in the Arctic. A potent example of this is the pausing of all Arctic Council activities. The academic community risks losing networks, collaborations, and key environmental data. For this reason, our Hub has initiated a project to investigate the effects of the war on Arctic research and science diplomacy on the short and longer term. We aim to provide a report by the end of this year.

Through November 2021-March 2022 the Hub helped organise the work of an AE Task Force set up by the Board to explore a stronger AE presence in the area of climate, environment and sustainability. A membership poll showed wide interest in contributing, and we envisage new initiatives to emerge after the summer break.

We can welcome close to 50 new AE members from the Nordic and Baltic regions in this year´s nomination round, and hope all will become active members. In Norway we have strengthened our ties to the national academies and hope to be able to do so across the Nordic/Baltic region as well. Any help with establishing meeting places or joint activities in the rest of the region will be heartly welcomed.

With the demise of the pandemic, we plan to launch new initiatives and opportunities for our members the coming semesters, some in collaboration with other AE Hubs and some related to the Science Advice for Policy activities of AE in the second phase of the SAPEA project, now funded as SAPEA+ under the Horizon Europe Programme. We look forward to receiving suggestions and ideas that our members may have on events and themes that our Hub should engage in.

With best wishes for a nice summer!

Eystein Jansen
Academic Director

 

 

Advisory Board and Steering Group meetings in June 2022

The AE-Bergen Knowledge Hub held meetings with both the Advisory Board and Steering Group in June 2022.
The Advisory Board of the AE-Bergen Knowledge Hub.

The Advisory Board of the AE-Bergen Knowledge Hub.

For the Steering Group, which is based in Bergen, it was finally possible to have a physical meeting on June 16th, after virtual meetings during the pandemic. For the Advisory Board, with members from the Nordic and Baltic region, there was a virtual meeting on June 17th.

The Academic Director of the hub, Eystein Jansen, gave an overview of the hub activities of the past year, as well as some upcoming projects.

Among the 2021/22 activities summed up in Jansen´s presentation, were our participation in the Rosendal Week, as well our cooperation with NTVA-Bergen and Tekna on local technology seminars. The Hub also offered technical support for the Academia Europaea Building Bridges 2021 Conference, as well as the SAPEA webinar om new energy systems on October 11th. The AE-Bergen Knowledge Hub organized the founding of the AE Task Force on Environment, Climate and Sustainability, including a survey among members and report to the AE Board.

Arctic Frontiers Side-Event

Turning the page to 2022, we co-hosted a Norwegian webinar on biodegradable plastics held by NORCE scientist Gunhild Bødtker on March 23rd. We also co-hosted the Darwin Day lecture by Professor Yadvinder Malhi, as well as organized a side-event on deep-sea mineral mining during the Arctic Frontiers conference. In late May, we were honored to host László Lovász, the academic director of our sister hub in Budapest, for two days during his Norway visit. We also co-hosted his lecture “Graphs and Geometry”.

The Steering Group of the AE-Bergen Knowledge Hub.

The Steering Group of the AE-Bergen Knowledge Hub. Photo: Nils Olav Sæverås

Many of these activities, including the local technology seminars with NTVA-Bergen and Tekna, will continue in the autumn. A new, major project in the autumn, is a report coordinated by Ole Øvretveit on the effects of the Ukraine War on science diplomacy and scientific cooperation in the Arctic. There will be more news on this major project at our website as the project progresses in the autumn.

AE-Bergen Knowledge Hub Steering Group:

Dag L. Aksnes; MAE, Professor, Univ. of Bergen (Marine biology)

Petter Bjørstad; MAE, Univ. Bergen (Informatics)

Kjersti Fløttum; MAE, Univ. Bergen (Linguistics)

Jessica Jewell; Research scholar/Assoc. prof., IIASA/Univ. of Bergen (Energy and Political science)

Matthias Kaiser; Professor, Univ. of Bergen (Philosophy of science)

Stein Kuhnle; MAE, Professor, Univ. of Bergen (Political science)

Dieter Roerich; MAE, Univ. Bergen (Physics)

Anne Gro Salvanes, MAE, Professor, Univ. of Bergen (Marine biology)

Sigrid Eskeland Schütz; Professor Univ. of Bergen (Law)

Svein Sundby, MAE, Professor, Institute for Marine Research, Bergen (Oceanography)

Marit Warncke, CEO Bergen Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Ole Øvretveit, CEO Initiativ Vest

AE-Bergen Knowledge Hub Advisory Board:

Margareth Hagen; Chair, Rector and Professor, University of Bergen, Norway (Italian Literature)

Erland Källen; MAE, Professor, University of Stockholm, Sweden (Meteorology/Climate)

Kirsten Drotner; MAE, Professor, University of Southern Denmark, (Media)

Carl G. Gahmberg; MAE, Professor Emeritus, University of Helsinki, Finland (Molecular and Integrative Biosciences)

Björn Wittrock; MAE, Professor Emeritus, Uppsala University and Vice President AE

Jüri Allik; MAE; University of Tartu, Estonia (Psychology)

Ole Arve Misund; MAE, Director/Professor Tromsø (Marine and fisheries biology)

Martin Fernø; MYAE, Professor, University of Bergen (Physics)

Meeting of Hub Directors in Bergen during László Lovász’ visit

The AE-Bergen Knowledge Hub was honored to host László Lovász, the academic director of our sister hub in Budapest, for one evening during his Norway visit this spring. Possible cooperation was discussed.  

The academic director of the AE Hub in Budapest, mathematician László Lovász, was awarded the Abel Prize for 2021.

The academic director of the AE Hub in Budapest, mathematician László Lovász, was awarded the Abel Prize for 2021.

The academic director of the AE Hub in Budapest, mathematician László Lovász, was awarded the Abel Prize for 2021. Because of Covid restrictions last year, he visited the Norwegian Acadamy of Science and Letters this year instead. His week in Norway included 2 days in Rosendal in western Norway, as well at 3 days in Bergen, where a meeting with the AE-Bergen Hub took place.

László Lovász was awarded the 2021 Abel Prize jointly with Avi Wigderson.

– Lovász and Wigderson have been leading forces in the development of theoretical computer science and its mathematical foundations over the last few decades. Their work interlaces in many ways, and they have both made fundamental contributions to understanding randomness in computation and in exploring the boundaries of efficient computation, says Hans Munthe-Kaas, chair of the Abel Committee, and continues:

– Thanks to the ground-breaking work of these two, discrete mathematics and the relatively young field of theoretical computer science are now firmly established as central areas of modern mathematics.

Abel Prize winners Dennis Sullivan and László Lovász in Oslo. In the background Lise Øvreås, president of DNVA.

Abel Prize winners Dennis Sullivan and László Lovász in Oslo. In the background Lise Øvreås, president of DNVA. Photo: Natalia Demina / Abelprisen

Several opportunities for cooperation were discussed during the meeting between Hub directors László Lovász and Eystein Jansen. Among these were the thematic mission of the Budapest Hub: Methodology of Science Education, as well as Urban Sustainability. Of these, the theme of Urban Sustainability is a good fit with the focus on sustainability in the strategy of the Bergen Hub.