Special interview with Sir Roger Penrose, Nobel laureate and this year’s winner of Academia Europaea’s Erasmus Medal

Special interview with Sir Roger Penrose, Nobel laureate and this year’s winner of Academia Europaea’s Erasmus Medal


For the 20th in our Interview Spotlight series, we were honoured to meet with world-renowned mathematician, physicist and Nobel laureate, Professor Sir Roger Penrose OM FRS MAE, winner of Academia Europaea’s Erasmus Medal, 2021.

This interview took place following a very special award ceremony for Sir Roger 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. Professor Ole Petersen CBE FMedSci FLSW MAE ML FRS, Vice-President of the Academia Europaea, presented the medal on behalf of the AE President. The lecture was shown during the opening session of the Annual Meeting of the Academia on 20th October, 2021. The laudation was given by Astronomer Royal Professor Martin Rees, The Lord Rees of Ludlow, OM, FRS, FREng, FMedSci, FBA (Hon) MAE.

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A special collective spirit: Reflections on my time as President of Academia Europaea by Professor Sierd Cloetingh

A special collective spirit: Reflections on my time as President of Academia Europaea by Professor Sierd Cloetingh


To mark our 5th anniversary, we are delighted to interview Professor Sierd Cloetingh who shares highlights from his role as President of Academia Europaea and reflects on the impact of the Academy’s work.

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

About Professor Sierd Cloetingh MAE

Sierd Cloetingh is a Distinguished Professor at Utrecht University. He was elected President of Academia Europaea in July 2014.

Professor Cloetingh was a member of the Scientific Council of the European Research Council from 2009-2015 and Vice-President from 2014-2015. He served as President of the Association for European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST) from 2017-2019.

Professor Cloetingh is a member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences and Foreign Member of the Royal Norwegian Academy of Sciences, the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences, the Heidelberg Academy, the Bavarian Academy and the German Academy for Technical Sciences, acatech. He is also an honorary member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.

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From Research to Public Health Policy by Professor Martin McKee MAE

From Research to Public Health Policy by Professor Martin McKee MAE



Professor Martin McKee tells us about his passion for Public Health, his role at the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies and his latest research on the adverse effects of movement restrictions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.



About Martin McKee

Martin McKee is Professor of European Public Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM). He qualified in medicine in Northern Ireland and later trained in public health in London. He is Research Director of the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies. He has published over 1,180 scientific papers and 46 books on health and health policy with a particular focus on countries undergoing political and social transition. He is a Fellow of the Royal Colleges of Physicians of LondonEdinburgh, and Ireland. His contributions to European health policy have been recognised by election to the UK Academy of Medical Sciences, the US National Academy of Medicine and other academies. He was elected to the Academia Europaea in 2018. 

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Understanding asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease by Professor Peter Barnes MAE

Understanding asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease by Professor Peter Barnes MAE


Peter Barnes tells us about his career highlights and the effect of COVID-19 on his research.

About Peter Barnes

Peter Barnes is Professor of Medicine at the National Heart and Lung Institute and Honorary Consultant Physician at Royal Brompton Hospital, London. He has worked as a respiratory scientist for over 40 years and was Head of Respiratory Medicine at Imperial College from 1987 to 2017. He has been the most highly cited respiratory researcher in the world over the last 30 years (h-index = 185) and recently ranked as 4th most highly cited researcher in the world across all areas. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society and the Academy of Medical Sciences.  He was elected a Member of Academia Europaea in 2012.

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Making decisions at times of uncertainty, by Nils-Eric Sahlin MAE

Making decisions at times of uncertainty, by Nils-Eric Sahlin MAE



Nils-Eric Sahlin MAE tells us about his research on decision-making under conditions of uncertainty, and his contribution to the recent evidence review on ‘Making Sense of Science for Policy’, coordinated by Academia Europaea.

About Nils-Eric Sahlin MAE

Nils-Eric Sahlin
Photo courtesy of Mikael Risedal

Professor Nils-Eric Sahlin MAE is the former Chair of the Swedish Research Council’s Expert Group on Ethics and a current member of the European Group on Ethics in Science and New Technologies (EGE).  He was a member of the SAPEA international working group that produced the Evidence Review Report, Making Sense of Science for Policy under Conditions of Complexity and Uncertainty (SAPEA, 2019), which was coordinated by Academia Europaea.





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A systematic review on the European food policy ecosystem is published

A systematic review on the European food policy ecosystem is published



Cardiff University has led the systematic review on the European food policy ecosystem, on behalf of the SAPEA (Science Advice for Policy by European Academies) consortium 



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. Cardiff University led the systematic review for the report. Dr Alison Weightman and Professor Terry Marsden tell us how the review was conducted and its primary purpose.

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Examining the sustainability of our food systems: By Peter Jackson MAE

Examining the sustainability of our food systems: By Peter Jackson MAE


Professor Peter Jackson MAE tells us why he became involved in the study of food, and his role in the publication of a major evidence review on sustainable food systems

About Peter Jackson

Peter Jackson is Professor of Human Geography at the University of Sheffield. He is the Co-Director of the University’s Institute for Sustainable Food. His research focuses on commodity culture and the geography of consumption with a particular interest in food.

Professor Jackson is a member of DEFRA‘s Social Science Expert Group (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) and previously chaired the Food Standards Agency’s Social Science Research Committee. He was elected as a Fellow of the British Academy in 2017 and the Academia Europaea in 2019.

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Working at the interface between academia and policy, by Barbara Prainsack MAE

Working at the interface between academia and policy, by Barbara Prainsack MAE


Professor Barbara Prainsack MAE shares her experiences of the vital relationship between academia and policy.


About Barbara Prainsack

Barbara Prainsack is a Professor for Comparative Policy Analysis at the Department of Political Science at the University of Vienna and Professor of Sociology at the Department of Global Health & Social Medicine at King’s College London. A political scientist, her expertise lies at the interface of policy and biomedicine and life science, and policy and forensics respectively. In 2017 Professor Prainsack was appointed by President Jean-Claude Juncker to be a Member of the European Group on Ethics in Science and New Technologies, advising the European Commission. She was elected to the Academia Europaea in 2019.

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My research career in big data analysis by Yike Guo, Imperial College London

My research career in big data analysis by Yike Guo, Imperial College London


Professor Yike Guo MAE discusses the importance of big data analysis, the impact of his international education and his continued links with China.

About Yike Guo

Professor Yike Guo

Yike Guo is a Professor of Computing Science and founding Director of the Data Science Institute at Imperial College London. He is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering (FREng), Member of Academia Europaea (MAE), Fellow of British Computer Society and a Trustee of The Royal Institution of Great Britain.

Professor Guo has published over 250 articles, papers and reports. He has contributed to projects which have been internationally recognised, including winning the “Most Innovative Data Intensive Application Award” at the Supercomputing 2002 conference for Discovery Net,  the Bio-IT World “Best Practices Award” for U-BIOPRED in 2014 and the “Best Open Source Software Award” from ACM SIGMM in 2017.

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