On Friday 13th October, a major symposium examined how global policy challenges are being addressed through evidence-based scientific advice. The event was organised by the SAPEA (Science for Policy by European Academies) consortium, with Academia Europaea Cardiff responsible for shaping the programme.
Hosted at the Estonian Academy of Sciences in Tallinn, it was designed as a complementary event to the international conference, European Research Excellence: Impact and Value for Society, held the previous day. Both took place as part of the programme of the Estonian Presidency of the European Council. Over 30 countries were represented.
Following a keynote by Professor Dame Helen Wallace of the British Academy, panel sessions provided four different stakeholder perspectives – citizens, policymakers, the academic community and the corporate sector. Media presenter Professor Brian Cox joined us for the first of these panels.
Key themes included:
- The complexity of the European landscape for scientific advice
- The importance of improving relationships and understanding between the main stakeholders
- The need for scientists to be much better communicators and influencers, and
- The advantage of establishing shared spaces for dialogue and services, most likely digital
Everyone recognised that the European Scientific Advice Mechanism (SAM) has a unique role to play and needs time to mature. In addition to the excellence of its expertise and its independence, SAPEA has significant opportunities make a real difference in areas like public engagement.
A briefing paper will be published by SAPEA shortly.
Credits: Siim Vaikna for the images