Briefing Series

Digital Media in Crisis Situations: Rethinking their role and function

At an online event held on 1st March 2021, a panel of experts discussed the role of the digital media on our public debate, attitudes and behaviour during the COVID-19 pandemic. This event was a partnership between Academia Europaea, University of Bremen, Cardiff University, SAPEA (Science Advice for Policy by European Academies) and in support of the Welsh Government’s Wales in Germany 2021 initiative. This briefing paper is a summary of the ideas discussed at the webinar.

Research Integrity: how can we support and protect early-career researchers in cases of alleged scientific misconduct?

This briefing paper summarises key themes and ideas discussed at our ‘Research Integrity: supporting early-career researchers in cases of alleged scientific misconduct’ webinar, held on 22nd March 2021.

At the webinar, our panel of experts explored what happens when an early-career researcher observes a more senior colleague apparently engaging in possible malpractice and what processes are in place to address potential problems and protect those involved. The backdrop to the discussion was a paper by four of the panellists, outlining one possible mechanism for investigating reported cases of possible misconduct.

This event was a partnership between the Academia Europaea Cardiff Knowledge Hub, the Young Academy of Europe (YAE), SAPEA and the European Group on Ethics (EGE).

Biodegradable plastics: how do we engage with consumers and society?

This briefing paper summarises ideas discussed at our ‘Biodegradable plastics: how do we engage with consumers and society?’ webinar, held on 21st May 2021. This briefing paper presents the views expressed by our panellists who were members of the SAPEA Working Group and other experts.

This webinar, a partnership event between SAPEA and the Royal Irish Academy, was attended by an international audience of over 200 people from 37 countries.

Diamond Open Access Model: what impact on research?

This briefing paper summarises ideas discussed at our ‘Diamond Open Access model; what impact on research?‘ webinar, held on 28th March 2022. At the webinar, an expert panel explained and discussed latest developments in Open Access publishing and what it means for researchers, research-intensive institutions, learned societies and other publishers.

This event was a partnership between Academia Europaea Cardiff, KU Leuven Libraries and the Young Academy of Europe.

Science advice at times of crisis : what role for universities and academies?

This briefing is a summary of ideas discussed at our webinar on ‘Science advice at times of crisis: what role for universities and academies?‘ webinar, held on 25th April 2022. An expert panel, representing six international policy engagement networks, came together to discuss what we are learning about science advice at times of crisis, and the role of such networks. This event was a partnership between Universities Policy Engagement Network (UPEN), Academia Europaea, Advancing Research Impact in Society (ARIS), Research Impact Canada, South African Higher Education Community Engagement Forum (SAHECEF), and Science Advice for Policy by European Academies (SAPEA). The webinar was a linked event to Science Advice under Pressure.

Open Access

The Future of Research: Assessing the Impact of Plan S

An international symposium on the impact of Plan S, organised by the AE Cardiff Knowledge Hub with KU Leuven Libraries, took place at KU Leuven on 6th November 2019. The symposium’s keynote address was given by Professor Johan Rooryck MAE, the newly appointed Open Access Champion. The rest of the symposium was dedicated to assessing the impact of Plan S on a range of stakeholders, including early-career researchers, research-intensive institutions, scholarly societies and publishers. The event concluded with a look at the future prospects for Open Access publishing and Plan S. This report gives a summary of each of the sessions.

Science for Policy

Biodegradability of plastics in the open environment mapping review

Specialists in systematic review at Cardiff University have carried out a mapping review of recent research evidence within the field of biodegradability of plastics in the open environment. The mapping review was overseen by an expert Advisory Group, which included Cardiff Professors Wouter Poortinga and Isabelle Durance.  It forms a separate but complementary document to the SAPEA Evidence Review Report, Biodegradability of Plastics in the Open Environment.  The evidence review was coordinated by the Cardiff Hub, on behalf of Academia Europaea.

Science Advice for Policy

The Academia Europaea Bergen Hub hosted a successful seminar in Oslo, in collaboration with the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters. The seminar, held on 4th November 2019 at the House of Literature, assessed the findings of the recent SAPEA report, Making Sense of Science for Policy, and reflected on what insights might be applied to the science advice process in Norway.

Science for Policy: A European Perspective

On 4th September 2018 at Swansea University, a six-member panel of experts, convened by Academia Europaea’s Cardiff Knowledge Hub, provided a range of insights into the relationship between science advice and policymaking. The presentations sparked an interesting and lively debate, with the audience expressing their views on a variety of issues. These included the challenges faced by researchers in navigating the policy process, the understanding of science by policymakers, the relationship between science and the media, and diversity within the sector.

Systematic Reviews

Cancer screening in Europe rapid reviews

As part of SAPEA’s work on Cancer Screening in Europe, Cardiff University undertook three rapid reviews, a lighter form of a full systematic review. The Review Team was led by Dr Alison Weightman (Director of the Specialist Unit for Review Evidence), together with Dr Nick Courtier, Dr Hui-Ling Ou (University of Cambridge) and Louise Edwards (Hub Manager). 

The three rapid reviews are published separately on the SAPEA website. The top-line results are included in the main SAPEA Evidence Review Report

Academia Europaea oversaw the production of the three rapid reviews, as well as coordinating the peer review of the SAPEA report.

A sustainable food system for the European Union: A systematic review of the European policy ecosystem

The SAPEA Evidence Review Report A sustainable food system for the European Union provides an evidence base for the Scientific Opinion of the European Commission’s Group of Chief Scientific Advisors. It was requested by the European College of Commissioners and written by a multidisciplinary group of leading scientists, nominated by academies across Europe.  The Scientific Advisors also requested a systematic review, with the aim of examining the changing food policy ecosystem within Europe.  It was conducted by specialists at Cardiff University and is published as part of the overall set of evidence. 

Translational Medicine

Academia Europaea Position Paper on Translational Medicine: The Cycle Model for Translating Scientific Results into Community Benefits

Translational Medicine (TM) is gaining prominence in medicine as a way to bring together basic researchers, clinicians, industry partners and policy decision makers to turn scientific knowledge into innovative therapies, medical procedures and diagnostics that benefit patients and healthcare systems, and become everyday best care practice. This multidisciplinary approach presents many challenges, and therefore Academia Europaea has launched a project to develop a model to facilitate and accelerate the utilisation of scientific knowledge for public and community benefit. The paper describes the development of the new model, including a renewed definition of Translational Medicine and a TM cycle that encompasses four elements: healthcare, science, knowledge and communication, all of which must be applied to achieve healthcare improvement. The paper serves as a basis for rethinking Translational Medicine, with the end result of enabling more efficient and cost-effective healthcare.