President's page#

Marja Makarow

Letter to AE and YAE members and guests from the President Marja Makarow#

January 2022#

Dear members of the Academia Europaea, members of the Young Academy and guest readers,#

As this is the first 'letter to members' of my presidency, can I say what an honour and privilege it is to have your confidence and the mandate to follow in the footsteps of our previous Presidents. The opportunity to continue their work and to develop and strengthen our academy in the coming years is an exciting challenge. You can read a recent interview with our Cardiff Hub and also watch the video of my presentation at the 2022 annual conference on our website. I will be pleased at any time to hear from members who have ideas and suggestions to make.

Times are still desperately difficult for us all and in many different ways, but I remain very confident that over the coming months, we the AE, will emerge into some sort of normality. I want to assure you all, that we are planning for this and I am already pleased to be able to announce that our 2022 plenary member conference will be a physical one and that it will take place in Barcelona on October 26 – 27, with a social excursion planned for the 28th. So please put these dates into your diaries. Also, we will make sure that we can once again have a real welcome event dedicated to new members (elected in 2021), as a part of the overall programme.

At our final Board of trustees meeting of 2021, which was superbly hosted at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences on December 10th, I had the honour to be a co-signatory to a new cooperation agreement for our Wroclaw Knowledge Hub. Also present for the signing was our outgoing President, and the Academic Director of the Wroclaw Hub - Professor Arkadiusz Wójs. We were honoured by the virtual presence of the Deputy Mayor of the city of Wroclaw - the honourable Jakub Mazur, who gave a speech confirming the value that our Hub brings to the city. Wroclaw was our first Regional Knowledge Hub (and we now have seven active hubs). It was an initiative of our past President Professor Lars Walløe and trustee Professor Jerzy Langer and carried the full support and sponsorship of the City authority through the then Mayor Rafal Dutkiewicz (later our Honorary member). So, it is a mark of the success of the Hub, that the city was pleased to continue as a supporter for the Hub. It is also very pleasing, that under the Hub Directorship of Prof. Wójs - Rector of the Technical University of Wroclaw, the day-to-day responsibility and support for the Hub will now move into the University. This brings Wroclaw into line with our other Regional Knowledge Hubs. To mark this significant development, the Hub is planning an open event that will take place in Wroclaw on 24-25 March 2022. All will be welcome. Look out for further information in due course.

I would very much like to thank those trustees who retired on 31 December after many years of service. These included our Vice President Genoveva Marti (Barcelona). In due course, we will publish a call for nominations for the election of a new Vice President. Also retiring was Professor Theo D’Haen (Leuven). He stepped down as a trustee and also from his role as the long-time Editor-in-Chief of our peer reviewed journal - The European Review. He has been succeeded by Professor Alban Kellerbauer (Karlsruhe). Finally, we said a fond farewell to Sierd Cloetingh, who left us in some style in Budapest, with a wonderful valedictory lecture that was streamed live. Other changes that were approved in December, included Professor Don Dingwell (Munich) who retired from his role as inaugural Chair of Class B – Exact Sciences and has been succeeded by Professor Paolo Papale from Rome. Paolo comes onto the Board as a trustee from January 1st and I am pleased to report that Don has agreed to stay as a trustee. His long experience will be invaluable.

I wish to welcome the members of our newly established Board of Trustees Advisory Group (TAG). The TAG includes Cloetingh, S., Heldin, C-H., Heuer, R-D., Mas-Colell, A., Nowotny, H. and Smits, R-J.. Their collective experience and accomplishments in sectors instrumental for the advancement of science will be of great value for the further development of our academy.

Can I take this opportunity to remind all AE members, that the call for nomination of candidates for election to membership, has been extended to the 31 March 2022. Please bear in mind that our membership needs more diversification in terms of geographical spread, career age and gender. In particular, I would like to invite our newer members – especially those elected in the last three years - to consider making nominations. Members can nominate for any Class and Section, not just their own and numbers are not restricted.

Finally for this letter. Just before the holiday, we mailed out a newsletter that announced a Call for proposals for new initiatives under our ‘Hubert Curien’ scheme. This is an open call. So, please look on our website and submit your proposals. Let us try to re-establish the high activity levels we had before the pandemic hit.

Marja Makarow
January 2022

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