Academia Europaea’s Annual Members Conference, “Building Bridges” 2021

Academia Europaea’s Annual Members Conference, “Building Bridges” 2021

Over 300 members of Academia Europaea and the Young Academy of Europe attended the Annual Conference, hosted by the Academia Europaea Barcelona Knowledge Hub.

This year’s plenary conference took place on 20th – 21st October and delegates were able to attend either online or in person at the Barcelona Biomedical Research Park. You’ll find key highlights from the event below.

Professor Sir Roger Penrose receives Academia Europaea’s Erasmus Medal

AE’s delayed 2020 Erasmus Medal was presented to world-renowned mathematician, physicist and Nobel laureate, Professor Sir Roger Penrose OM FRS MAE. As Sir Roger was unable to attend the conference in person, a very special award ceremony was held at Wadham College, University of Oxford, on 24th September, at which Sir Roger was presented with the Erasmus Medal and gave the accompanying Erasmus Lecture. A recording of this event was shown during the opening session of AE’s plenary conference on 20th October.

Read our interview with Sir Roger Penrose which took place following the Erasmus medal award ceremony.

Professor Ole Petersen receives Academia Europaea’s Gold Medal

AE’s Gold Medal was presented to Professor Ole Petersen, Vice-President of Academia Europaea and Director of the Cardiff Knowledge Hub. Professor Ole Petersen, who attended the conference in person, received the Gold Medal for his contribution to the development of European science at AE’s plenary conference on 20th October. Professor Sierd Cloetingh, President of Academia Europaea, presented the Gold Medal to Professor Petersen.

Read more about Professor Petersen’s award.

A warm welcome to AE President-elect Professor Marja Makarow and a fond farewell to outgoing President Sierd Cloetingh

AE President-elect Professor Marja Makarow opened the second day of the conference outlining her priorities for Academia Europaea. She highlighted 3 key areas:

  • Diversity and the next generation of researchers
  • Interdisciplinary research
  • Translation of research findings to benefits for society

Professor Makarow will assume the Presidency in January 2022. She will be be the seventh President since the establishment of the Academy in October 1988, and the Academy’s first ever female President.

The Conference closed with a farewell toast for outgoing President Sierd Cloetingh. Professor Cloetingh has been AE President since 2014.

The full programme of activities can be viewed on the conference website.

Posted 3rd November 2021. For further information please contact

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An interview with Professor Sierd Cloetingh

Professor Sierd Cloetingh, President of Academia Europaea, welcomes the delegates

Professor Sierd Cloetingh shares highlights from his role as President of Academia Europaea and reflects on the impact of the Academy’s work. Read the interview.

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