Estonian-Norwegian scientific cooperation discussed during joint webinar “The Changing Arctic”

The Estonian Academy of Sciences, Tallinn University of Technology, the Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research/University of Bergen and the Academia Europaea Bergen Knowledge Hub in cooperation with the Norwegian Embassy in Tallinn co-hosted the webinar “The Changing Arctic” on April 14th, a joint Estonian-Norwegian scientific event.

The webinar pointed towards further Estonian-Norwegian scientific cooperation in Arctic Research, and it also received media attention in Estonia.

Academic director at the AE-Bergen Hub, Eystein Jansen, gave an overview the Arctic/polar research landscape in Norway.

Academic director at the AE-Bergen Hub, Eystein Jansen, gave an overview the Arctic/polar research landscape in Norway.

Academic director at the AE-Bergen Hub, Eystein Jansen, presented at the webinar. His presentation focused on recent evidence classifying the current climate changes in the Arctic as abrupt changes, compared to previous periods of climate change. He also gave an overview the Arctic/polar research landscape in Norway.

In a press release, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Estonia writes:

The joint virtual seminar “The Changing Arctic” focused on scientific cooperation between the countries to deal, with climate change and other issues related to the Arctic. Estonian Foreign Minister Eva-Maria Liimets and the State Secretary of Norway Audun Halvorsen made introductory statements. The seminar was opened by the President of the Estonian Academy of Sciences Tarmo Soomere, and Norwegian Ambassador to Estonia Else Berit Eikeland made welcoming remarks.

Foreign Minister Eva-Maria Liimets said Arctic issues had a prominent place in the action plans of both Estonia and Norway. “As a country on the Arctic coast, Norway is a major scientific power in the Arctic, and we would like to learn from and cooperate with Norway in this field. Estonia is currently applying for observer status on the Arctic Council to contribute to the sustainable development of the Arctic.”

“Scientists are observing, interpreting and analysing rapid change in the Arctic,” Minister Liimets said. “Their message is clear: climate change is the challenge of our time and nowhere is it more obvious than in the Arctic. We can only get enough data to keep up with and adapt to change in the Arctic through joint measures and international cooperation. The Arctic ecosystem is vulnerable and it is the task of concerned countries to listen to scientists and work together.”

The webinar was moderated by Professor Maarja Kruusmaa, whose joint project MAMMAMIA with the University of Oslo looks at the mechanisms of accelerating land ice loss.

The webinar was moderated by Professor Maarja Kruusmaa, whose joint project MAMMAMIA with the University of Oslo looks at the mechanisms of accelerating land ice loss.

The State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Norway Audun Halvorsen said that cooperation in Arctic research is crucial to adapting to climate change and developing new technologies that would contribute to sustainable jobs and the creation of values. “The rising temperatures in the Arctic are mainly caused by an increase in greenhouse gas emissions worldwide and not by human activity in the region. This means that we must set and meet global targets to improve the situation in the Arctic. And Norway is determined to do its part.”

At the webinar, scientists from Estonia and Norway gave a more detailed overview of the situation in the Arctic and the impacts of the Arctic climate change in the region and on ecosystems, and also presented their work and joint projects. The seminar reaffirmed the interest of both countries in continuing and boosting cooperation – the scientists of both countries are already involved in several projects. For example, TalTech’s Department of Geology and the Norwegian Polar Institute have been engaged in drilling and analysing ice cores in Svalbard.

The webinar was moderated by Professor Maarja Kruusmaa, whose joint project MAMMAMIA with the University of Oslo looks at the mechanisms of accelerating land ice loss.

The seminar was organised by the Estonian Academy of Sciences, TalTech and the Norwegian Embassy in Estonia. The programme was compiled by the Polar Research Committee of the Estonian Academy of Sciences, the Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research at the University of Bergen, and the Academia Europaea Bergen Hub. In addition to strengthening bilateral relations and advancing the polar cooperation of Estonia and Norway, the seminar also presented Estonia’s Arctic research expertise in light of Estonia’s bid for observer status on the Arctic Council.

The seminar is part of a series of events dedicated to the centenary of diplomatic relations between Estonia and Norway.

Watch the event here.

Estonian media covered the event, among them public broadcaster ERR.

Pathways towards more sustainable shipping in the Arctic

The webinar “Arctic Marine Operations and Shipping: Green Initiatives and Challenges”, organised by the Academia Europaea Bergen Knowledge Hub (AE-Bergen), Pacific Environment, University of Bergen, and Arctic Frontiers on April 7th 2021, is now available as a recording. In this article, you’ll also find selected highlights.

Major economies aim to be carbon neutral by 2050. Such an ambition implies an almost full transition away from using fossil fuels to power the transport sector, including maritime transport. How will the maritime Arctic be influenced by global responses to climate change? The webinar, organised by the Academia Europaea Bergen Knowledge Hub (AE-Bergen), Pacific Environment, University of Bergen, and Arctic Frontiers on 7 April 2021, addressed maritime transport in the Arctic and provided insights into a complex set of issues: the Arctic policy framework for marine safety and environmental protection; indigenous and conservation perspectives; green ship technology; marine infrastructure; and, what measures are needed to make Arctic marine operations and shipping more sustainable.

Jim Gamble (Director, Arctic Programme Director of Pacific Environment) chaired the webinar, and Eystein Jansen (Professor at the University of Bergen, the Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research and Academic Director of Academia Europaea Bergen Knowledge Hub) served as a moderator.

A recording of the webinar is available below: 

The full recording and discussion is also available in it’s original form on the Arctic Frontiers digital platform:  https://myonvent.com/event/arctic-frontiers.

In his presentation titled “Challenges and policies for Arctic marine operations and shipping”, Dr. Lawson Brigham highlighted the complexity of marine operations and shipping. Arctic marine operations should be discussed in the context of global changes and trends, as the Arctic cannot be separated from geopolitics, climate change, sanctions, and other regional and global processes. In many cases, the infrastructure deficit and lack of hydrographic, ocean, and meteorological data are challenging for safe operations. Implementation of the Polar Code will be critical in the following decades to ensure the safety of marine operations and environmental protection.

During the presentation entitled “The green transition for arctic shipping”, Morten Mejlænder-Larsen pointed out that the decarbonization pathways of shipping depend on regulatory and policy measures, fuel prices, and future seaborne trade demands. As of today, we are still far away from starting a transition.

During the webinar, several experts highlighted the lack of Arctic infrastructure as a barrier to the green transition within the maritime industry.

During the webinar, several experts highlighted the lack of Arctic infrastructure as a barrier to the green transition within the maritime industry.

The transition is expected to be costly. LNG is already used, primarily for deep-sea shipping. Ammonia and methanol are among the most promising alternative fuels in addition to sustainably produced biofuels. When it comes to engine technology, hybrid engines are becoming a new standard these days and bring many advantages for operations in the Arctic.

According to Hege Økland (CEO, Maritime CleanTech), 90% of shipping emissions come from international shipping. Due to the long life span of vessels, shipbuilders need to foresee future the upcoming regulations at an early stage, when ships are being planned and constructed.

Russia is the largest Arctic country, and hence the drivers of the development of the Russian Arctic are of great interest. According to Arild Moe, Research Professor at the Fridtjof Nansen Institute, it is essential to include Russian experts in the discussions focusing on the future technology and governance in Arctic shipping.

According to Dr. Moe, the primary traffic along the Northern Sea Route consists of destination shipping. The demand for international transit shipping remains somewhat unclear at this point as the economic benefit is uncertain.

Russia focuses on the development of Arctic transit shipping. While the Northern Sea Route is not a fully-fledged alternative to the Suez canal at the moment, it can serve as an option alongside the Suez as transit traffic picks up.

The Executive Director of the Bering Sea Elders Group, Mellisa Johnson,  highlighted the concern that the local communities in Alaska have regarding the food safety of the locally produced food they harvest and trade. Increased shipping poses several environmental threats, such as risks of oil spills and disturbance of animals’ migration patterns. “The ocean is our grocery store. Marine vessel traffic can influence our way of life”, – said Melissa Johnson.

Dr. Sian Prior is a lead advisor at the Clean Arctic Alliance, which advocates for HFO (heavy fuel oil) free Arctic Ocean. Dr. Prior highlighted the concern that black carbon emissions have increased in the Arctic by 85% between 2015 and 2019. She further highlighted the need to switch to the other type of fuels. Such shift alone can account for a 40% reduction in black carbon emissions. The use of filters can reduce emissions even further. According to Dr. Prior, Arctic shipping can become a flagship for the rest of the world.

During the webinar, several experts highlighted the lack of Arctic infrastructure as a barrier to the green transition within the maritime industry.  Regulatory aspects play a crucial role in the further implementation and scaling up of the existing technologies.

This webinar is the first step in a series of discussions ahead of the upcoming Arctic Frontiers 2022 conference. The work of Arctic Frontiers will traditionally facilitate pan-Arctic stakeholder engagement by linking business, policy, science, and society.

Furthermore, the theme of Arctic infrastructure will be among the core themes discussed during the conference in Tromsø in early 2022.

Active year for AE-Bergen amid Covid restrictions

The annual report of the Academia Europaea Bergen Knowledge Hub for 2020 is now available to download from our website. The report shows an active year, despite Covid restrictions. The AE-Bergen Hub participated in 7 live events before the pandemic, and 1 live event (Rosendal Week) during the relative easing of restrictions in August.

The Hub also participated in several digital events during 2020.

Several organisational developments took place, such as the establishment of a not-for-profit- company to be able to organise and coordinate activities e.g., for project management within Horizon Europe. Our nomination of Rebecca Cox to the SAM (Scientific Advice Mechanism) expert group on ‘How can Europe ensure adequate management of and better preparedness for future epidemics and pandemics in the global context?’ resulted in her participation as expert consultant for the report commissioned by the EU.

The AE-Bergen Hub annual report will also give indications of the key elements in our soon-to-be-finalised Strategy Plan.

You can view or download the annual report here.

 

Green Initiatives and Challenges in the Arctic

The AE-Bergen Hub is one of the co-organizers of the webinar: Arctic Marine Operations and Shipping: Green Initiatives and Challenges.

Major economies aim to be carbon neutral by 2050. Such an ambition implies an almost full transition away from using fossil fuels to power the transport sector, including maritime transport. How will the maritime Arctic be influenced by global responses to climate change?

What measures are needed to make Arctic marine operations and shipping more sustainable?

What measures are needed to make Arctic marine operations and shipping more sustainable?

The webinar addresses maritime transport in the Arctic and will provide insights into a complex set of issues: the Arctic’s policy framework for marine safety and environmental protection; indigenous and conservation perspectives; green ship technology; marine infrastructure; and, what measures are needed to make Arctic marine operations and shipping more sustainable.

OrganizersAcademia Europaea Bergen Knowledge Hub (AE-Bergen), Pacific EnvironmentThe University of Bergen and Arctic Frontiers

Program: The program includes two keynotes followed by a moderated panel-debate with keynote speakers and panelists. The panelists will all give brief introductions between the keynotes and the debate. There will be opportunities for registered participants to ask questions in the debate by chat. Biographies of the contributors can be downloaded here.

Participation: The webinar is free and open to all. But participation requires registration. Before the webinar starts, you must log in to the Arctic Frontiers conference platform. Press a green button “Join as participant” in the top right corner. If you participated in the Arctic Frontiers 2021 conference, please choose the “LOG IN” option; If not, please select the “SIGN UP” option (a two-step process, which will allow attending future Arctic Frontiers events). The registration is open, and we recommend login/sign up ahead of the event.

The webinar will be streamed in the auditorium (enter the door from the lobby). It will be possible to ask participants questions on the auditorium’s live wall, which will be activated during the event.

Should you have any practical questions regarding the conference platform, please contact Alexey Pavlov (alexey@arcticfrontiers.com) at Arctic Frontiers.

When: 7th of April 2021, CET: 18.00-20.00 (Norway) and AKDT: 08.00-10.00 (Alaska)

Chair:  Jim Gamble, Arctic Programme Director of Pacific Environment

ModeratorEystein Jansen, Professor at the University of Bergen, the Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research and Academic Director of Academia Europaea Bergen Knowledge Hub

Keynotes:

Lawson Brigham, Wilson Fellow, Polar Institute of the Wilson Center
Challenges and policies for Arctic marine operations & shipping (20 minutes)

Morten Mejlænder-Larsen, Director of Arctic Operations and Technology, DNV
The green transition for arctic shipping (20 minutes)

Panelists:

Hege Økland, CEO at Maritime CleanTech
Green global shipping, status on technological aspects (5-7 minutes introduction)

Arild Moe, Senior Research Fellow, The Fridtjof Nansen Institute
Russian Arctic Shipping: Commercial and political drivers (5-7 minutes introduction)

Mellisa Johnson, Executive Director, Bering Sea Elders Group,
Community perspectives on Arctic shipping (5-7 minutes introduction)

Sian Prior, Lead Advisor to the Clean Arctic Alliance,
Sustainable Arctic Shipping – priorities from an environmental group perspective (5-7 minutes introduction)

 

– Many of the lessons from Covid-19 can be applied to future epidemics

Professor Rebecca Cox, head of the Influenza Centre in Bergen, has been an expert consultant for the Independent Expert Report “Improving pandemic preparedness and management”, commissioned by the EU. She was nominated by the Academia Europaea Bergen Knowledge Hub (AE-Bergen) for the role. 

Professor Rebecca Cox, head of the Influenza Centre in Bergen, has been an expert consultant for the Independent Expert Report “Improving pandemic preparedness and management”.

Professor Rebecca Cox, head of the Influenza Centre in Bergen. Photo: Kim E. Andreassen

As part of the EU’s Scientific Advice Mechanism (SAM), AE-Bergen regularly nominates experts to contribute to various reports, including evidence review reports from the consortium ‘Science Advice for Policy by European Academies’ – SAPEA. The recently published independent expert report on the response to and the lessons from the Covid-19 outbreak, points to several recommendations to improve pandemic response in the future. We asked Professor Rebecca Cox to sum up some of the challenges in working on the report, as well as to comment on some of the recommendations given.     

You can download the report here.

 Covid-19 is an ongoing crisis. What were the challenges in evaluating an ongoing situation? 

– The main challenges were the ever-increasing scientific evidence and rapidly evolving epidemic with the second wave of the pandemic in Europe which required a thorough review of the scientific literature including preprints. The question posed by the EU were complex and challenging and they required a rapid answer due to the importance of a rapid response for the continent. 

– The title of the report is “Improving pandemic preparedness and management”. How prepared were Europe and the rest of the world for this pandemic and what will we learn in preparing for the next one? 

– Generally, a number of EU countries were well prepared for an influenza pandemic but not for a such a serious coronavirus pandemic. The challenges of the ongoing pandemic were much greater than with an influenza pandemic where we have antivirals, pandemic vaccine pre-approved for manufacturing and of course pre-existing immunity. In 2009 influenza pandemic some of the most vulnerable people the elderly had pre-existing immunity which prevented severe infection

– I think we have learnt many important lessons in how we can combat a future pandemic using good hygiene and social distancing. Clearly many countries were not prepared for a pandemic of this severity and there will be may lessons to be learned which can also be applied to future epidemics. 

– What areas of this report have been of particular interest to you? 

– I am most interested in the way Covid-19 has changed our society so drastically in 2020 and how we can harness the lessons learned to build a continent that is better prepared for the next epidemic and pandemic. The emphasis on equitable and fair access to health and social care across the EU and strength of public health responses and particularly the versatility the EU has shown in collaboration, partnership and funding possibilities for research. 

– Which of the final recommendations in the report do you find be the most important ones?  

– I think all of the final recommendations are very important to guide how we should live with a preparedness for future epidemics and pandemics, strengthening of public health system and collaboration across the EU: 

– What place do you see for UiB in upcoming Covid-19 research? 

– UiB has a very important role in Covid-19 research with the newly opened pandemic centre. UiB hosts many projects looking at many of the important aspects of the pandemic from population-based studies in the community, in health care and social care settings to the psychological and economic impact of the pandemicRebecca Cox says.  

She is also conducting a major Covid-19 research project herself, and leads the Bergen COVID-19 research group which is following the outbreak from the first cases and also through the coming waves of the pandemicThis study has recruited over 1700 health care workers and patients (both in and outpatients and their household members) to study the infection risk in healthcare institutions, families and in the community.  

– Our ongoing work is looking at the duration of immunity after infection, characterising how disease severity influences immune responses and investigating the long-term complications after COVID-19. 

Rebecca Cox is the head of the Influenza Centre in Bergen.

Greetings from Academic Director, professor Eystein Jansen

christmas greeting

Although some of our planned activities were postponed or cancelled in 2020, we are eager to reinsert some in the plans for 2021, writes academic director, professor Eystein Jansen.

As we approach the end of 2020 and look ahead into the next year, we are acutely aware that we are living under very special circumstances. The Covid-19 pandemic has fundamentally affected many aspects of our lives, our work, and the Bergen Hub. It has impeded our ability to reach out and integrate academic scholarship and knowledge with society, which is the heart and raison d´être for our Hub.

Although there is hope for a different situation as mass vaccination is implemented during the first half of next year, we foresee that the pandemic will influence a large part of 2021, and likely influence academic life in years to come. As digital forms of exchange and communication has replaced physical meetings, and shown that it is possible to do without many travels, we will probably converge to a less physical and more digital way of conducting our activities, or hybrids between the two.

Our environmental and climatic footprint will be reduced, but it comes at a cost, as in-person meetings, networking and informal and social exchanges is key to our life as academics. I am most worried about the impact on young researchers, who need to meet and be inspired by others to build up independent careers and scientific pathways. Hence, when programming Hub activities in the post-pandemic era, we should ensure that we strengthen our capacity to support the careers of the next generation of eminent researchers. Things will be different, but we need to ensure that we stick to our mission.

The pandemic raises many questions and gives rich and novel data sets for many investigations of our societies, including health care systems, governance, scientific prioritizations – to name some. It is already clear that many countries considered to be very resilient to disruptions, and with seemingly strong health care systems have not lived up to such expectations. Others have handled the pandemic surprisingly well, despite having health care systems considered to be vulnerable prior to the pandemic. The evidence now at hand underscores the necessity of a renewed discussion on the role of science advice for policy, and the role of politics vs expert opinions in decision making in crises.

Through the SAPEA consortium our Hub nominated experts to the evaluation conducted by the EU Commission´s science advice mechanism (SAM) on pandemic preparedness. You can read more about this in the interview with Professor Rebecca Cox at the AE-Bergen website.

The evidence now at hand underscores the necessity of a renewed discussion on the role of science advice for policy, and the role of politics vs expert opinions in decision making in crises.

It is important to recognize and communicate that the solution to the pandemic through vaccination has been founded on long-term blue-sky research. The successful development of novel vaccine technologies, such as those based on mRNA, is a result of bottom-up basic science projects awarded to the best talents with the best ideas, e.g., from ERC.

It was thus disappointing to see the lack of priority given to frontier research in the EU Council proposal for the EU 7-year multiannual budget. Only after a strong mobilisation from the research community and friends in the European Parliament did we avoid a very negative development in the funding of our best research talents through the ERC. Yet thousands of completely brilliant research ideas will continue to remain unfunded, constituting a severe loss for our societies. Hence, an important part of the activities of our Hub will be to establish arenas for disseminating these aspects and promote the key role of fundamental research. We will be happy to receive ideas for how to do this in the Nordic/Baltic region and will engage with Young Academies in this endeavour.

Although some of our planned activities were postponed or cancelled in 2020, we are eager to reinsert some in the plans for 2021. We have plans for events on green transport during the Arctic Frontiers conference and the Sustainable Development Conference, both in February 2021 (stay tuned), and for a physical meeting of our Advisory Board and Steering Groups when the situation a

llows for this, hopefully in the spring of 2021.

We welcome the new AE Hubs in Budapest and Munich and look forward to engaging in Hub-to-Hub activities in the coming years. The Bergen Hub has established an entity to enable us to take part in external projects, such as in Horizon Europe. We look forward to being a partner in various projects in Horizon Europe in the years to come.

An important aspect is the current nomination cycle for new members of AE. If we are to increase our impact it is important that we attract the most active scholars across all fields. Please think about your colleagues and networks and identify candidates that should be nominated. We can clearly do with a better gender balance and a larger and younger base of members to ensure that the leading scholars in our region have a home in our Academy.

I will also use this opportunity to congratulate Marja Makarow on her appointment as AE president. Marja also serves on our Advisory Board and we look forward to our future collaboration.

Best wishes for a healthy Christmas and a rewarding new year!

Future European Research Policy

An Academia Europaea statement of principles for the Future of Research and innovation policy of the European Union – Forward from 2020.

Academia Europaea wishes to express our strong support for the further development of the European research area and in particular the European Research Council. We express our concern about the July 2020 Council conclusions[1] and the budgetary decision on Research and innovation.

We are of the clear opinion, that ‘armaggedon’ is not on the horizon. Nevertheless, we share the worries expressed by our sister Academy organisations and other related organisations. Member States and the European Parliament should not see research funding as simple tap, to turn on and off when things get difficult. Political short-termism puts at risk the capacity to deliver the essential longer-term research and innovation gain. We are of the strong opinion that the various extant threats we collectively face and the as yet unrealised and to an extent unknown consequential impacts, now more than ever require a steady hand and an increased and substantial active dialogue between policy makers, political agencies and the research and innovation communities. Such an approach will ensure that Europe can maintains its capacity to deliver research and innovation in an effective and prioritised way at whatever level of budget is agreed.

Over past decades, the EU has with the support of the member states and its citizens, made enormous and positive advances in research training and Innovation policy and through consistent increased financing, delivered significant improvements in collaborative research capacity and research excellence across all phases of the research spectrum. The establishing of the European Research Area and its proposed renewal[2] and within it, the creation of Erasmus, Marie Curie, The European Research Council (ERC) and Framework/Horizon programmes, have all severally and collectively made real and significant contributions to our European research, training and innovation capacity. There has been a positive but perhaps unimagined scale of stimulation of collaborative research efforts and cross -cultural community development. These impacts can be seen through the many direct and indirect benefits to European Society across very diverse areas that have flowed out of these very large investments of public money. However, we must not lose sight of the ongoing reality: that even now the majority of investments into research and innovation are those made at national level and which respond to national priorities and communities. It is vital that all member states and those states associated fully to EU programmes continue to see EU level programmatic support as additional and complimentary and not as replacements for their own sound and viable national funding programmes.

The Academia Europaea is pleased to note in particular, that the development of the ERC has perhaps been the singular policy innovation with the highest recognition and impact on the landscape of European research. This model institution must be nurtured and further developed for future generations.

The Academia Europaea now takes this opportunity to re-state in a positive way, some of the underlying and critical policy objectives that the next budgetary frame should be focussed to deliver. Whatever the final political outcomes are in terms of budgetary decisions, these priorities must stay as guiding tenets to inform the future, provide the community with a balanced and equitable distribution of resources and condition the content and priorities for research and innovation that support European societal needs. We should all agree that the overall objective of publicly funded, collective European Research and Innovation actions must be to contribute towards delivery of resilience, security and sustainable economic prosperity for all of European society and in addition, must contribute towards the most urgent priorities that underpin a sustainable future for our common home.

We see the following as guiding tenets for EU level research and innovation policy in the next financial framework:

  • Ensure the most efficient and effective application of public resources in support of the whole chain of research and innovation for the longer-term.
  • Ensure that support for future generations is deployed through the most effective training; education and research support schemes and in particular addresses regional inequalities of opportunity.
  • Ensure a continuing effort to put European fundamental research capacity at the global forefront of excellence. Fully support the ERC to target and develop the best in terms of research and innovation capacity and support those in less research-intensive regions through relevant channels to achieve the best.
  • Focus the priorities for EU research and innovation policy on effective and efficient knowledge and innovation activity that responds to future societal needs and on the delivery of an anticipative capacity that can mitigate future risks in a timely, equitable and sustainable way.

The Academia Europaea feels confident that the institutions of the European Union will collectively recognise that whatever the detailed budgetary debates may be, a collective and substantial EU -level investment in common research, education and training public investment is beneficial for the whole of Europe. We therefore strongly urge Member States, to take real steps to achieve effective co-ordination through co-operation of their national investments in R & I with the EU level investment. Effective implementation of the new European Research Area policy and programme is a priority. The AE wishes to emphasise, that the ERC and its support instruments having achieved an unparalleled global recognition as a guarantee for excellence in research innovation must see the resources allocated to the instruments of the ERC at the Horizon 2020 levels – as a minimum.


Published under the authority of the Board of trustees of the Academia Europaea
21 October 2020
London

[1] https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2020/07/21/european-council-conclusions-17-21-july-2020/
[2] https://ec.europa.eu/info/research-and-innovation/strategy/era_en#revitalising-era-timeline

Lecture on Plan S and the European Research Council

Open access is highlighted as the new opportunity to make research publications available to all interested parties, regardless of expensive subscriptions. In Plan S, the Research Council of Norway has demanded full and immediate open publication for announcements from 2021. At the same time, this policy is accused of being a threat to academic freedom, scientific quality and the rights of researchers. Why is the debate over Open Access and Plan S so polarized? And does it look the same in all subject areas?

This debate meeting was arranged on 6 October 2020 by the Research Ethics Committee at the Norwegian Academy of Sciences.

Making the transition to sustainable food

The shift to a more sustainable food system is inevitable. Here’s how to make it happen.

 

Europe’s top scientists agree that a radical change is coming in how we produce and distribute food, to ensure food security and deliver healthy diets for all.

Now a new report from SAPEA lays out the social science evidence on how that transition can happen in an inclusive, just and timely way.

The Evidence Review Report ‘A sustainable food system for the European Union’ provides an evidence base for the scientific opinion of the European Commission’s Chief Scientific Advisors. It was written by a multidisciplinary group of leading scientists, nominated by academies across Europe.

Based on the best available evidence and supported by a detailed systematic review, the report concludes that the key steps towards the new model are not only to reduce food waste and to change our consumption patterns — but also to recontextualise how we think about food in the first place.

Professor Peter Jackson, the chair of the working group that wrote the report, said:

“Food is an incredibly complex system, with social, economic and ecological components. Yet, it contributes significantly to greenhouse gas emissions and plays a key role in driving climate change. The food system is responsible for around a third of global greenhouse gas emissions. The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation estimates the annual financial cost of wasted food to be €900 billion in economic costs and an additional €800 billion in social costs. That’s why ‘business as usual’ is no longer an option.

“Our report doesn’t stop at highlighting the problems, which are now widely recognised. It also provides a range of evidence-based examples about how the transition to a sustainable food system can happen.”

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: