On Monday 24th September, more than 80 members of Academia Europaea (MAEs) gathered at the Royal Society in London to mark the Academia Europaea’s 30th anniversary.
Sir Venki Ramakrishnan, President of the Royal Society and Professor Sierd Cloetingh, President of Academia Europaea opened the event.
Professor Ole Petersen, Vice-President of Academia Europaea and Academic Director of the Cardiff Knowledge Hub introduced Sir Arnold Burgen, Founding President of the Academia. Sir Arnold spoke of the original aims in establishing the academy and highlighted some of its key achievements.
One of the highlights of the event was the presentation of AE’s Gold Medal to Robert-Jan Smits, currently the European Commission’s Open Access Envoy and formerly Director-General of the Commission’s Research and Innovation Directorate. Professor Cloetingh awarded the Gold Medal to Mr Smits following a laudatio by Professor Eva Kondorosi, Vice-President of the European Research Council.
A roundtable discussion took place on Making Sense of Science, a topic taken up by the European Group of Chief Scientific Advisers, with the evidence review led by AE’s Cardiff Hub on behalf of SAPEA (Science Advice for Policy by European Academies). Chaired by Professor Cloetingh, the expert panel comprised Professor Richard Catlow (Vice-President of the Royal Society), Professor Nicole Grobert (Member of the European Commission’s Group of Chief Scientific Advisors), Dr Johannes Klumpers (Head of the European Commission’s Scientific Advice Mechanism Unit), and Professor Ortwin Renn (Chair of the SAPEA Working Group on Making sense of science).
The last session of the programme focused on scientific developments over the last 30 years. Chaired by Sir John Skehel (Vice-President of the Royal Society), the speakers were Professor Alexander Boksenberg (University of Cambridge), Professor Tullio Pozzan (Italian National Research Council) and Baroness Onora O’Neill (the House of Lords). The evening concluded with drinks, canapes and a formal dinner for invited guests.
Following this event, a commemorative brochure will be published.