!!!President's page
[{Image src='Cloetingh_Sierd2018.jpg' caption='' height='200' alt='Sierd Cloetingh' class='image_left'}]
!!Letter to AE and YAE members and guests from the President Sierd Cloetingh
!March 2021

We have all been hoping, that with the start of the mass vaccination programmes across Europe, the COVID-19 pandemic would come to an end, slowly,  as spring approaches. Instead, now a number of countries seem to be in the third wave, with more infections than before and the emergence of new, more infectious COVID variants.  I hope that you agree with me, that mass vaccination is the only current option if we are to eradicate this pandemic. We must acknowledge the heroic work of the scientists who have worked on vaccine development, and discovered how the virus works and how it affects the human body. It is a triumph of scientific achievement.
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So, even though we are still in unclear waters, I am pleased to announce that we will definitely hold a 2021 AE annual member conference in October. It will again be run under the theme of Building Bridges and our Barcelona Hub will provide the hosting focus. I am also pleased that the Young Academy of Europe (YAE) will again play a part in the programme. Recognising the situation, the conference will have to be a virtual event, as the future COVID travel restrictions are still unknown and are likely still to be complex, even by October. But we hope to provide full details of all sessions, speakers and the registration procedures in late May.  But as of now, the timetable will be as follows:
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__During the week of 11 October__, our four classes - __Humanities__ (Chair [Poul Holm|Member/Holm_Poul]); __Social and Societal Sciences __([Chair Björn Wittrock|Member/Wittrock_Björn]); __Exact Sciences__ ([Chair Don Dingwell|Member/Dingwell_Donald]) and __Life sciences__ ([Chair Alex Verkhratsky|Member/Verkhratsky_Alexei]) will organise [[with their Section committees] and run four separate Class meetings online. The focus, will be on new members elected in 2020. But of course the Class sessions will be open for any member to “attend”. These Class sessions will include a welcome and short  presentations by new members and also an outstanding keynote speaker(s)/ discussion session.
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Then, on __20th and 21st of October__, we will run the virtual plenary conference of the AE. This will be open to all AE and YAE members. We have a programme of outstanding AE speakers. Including; [Roger Penrose|Member/Penrose_Roger] ([2020 Erasmus Medal|Acad_Main/News2_Archive/Erasmus Medal] winner and recent Nobel Laureate -  Mathematics and Physics), [Quentin Skinner|Member/Skinner_Quentin] (Balzan Prize winner -  Social  and European History), [Mara Dierssen|Member/Dierssen_Mara] (Cognition, behaviour and health), [Don Dingwell|Member/Dingwell_Donald] (Munich Hub Director, Hon. Vice president and trustee -Volcanology), [Ole Petersen|Member/Petersen_Ole] (AE Hon. Vice president, Cardiff Hub Director and AE Gold medallist - Physiology) and [Susan Trumbore|Member/Trumbore_Susan] (Balzan prize winner – Carbon cycling in plants and soils)  We will also have a [Young Academy|https://yacadeuro.org] Panel debate and the presentation of the [YAE  Andre Mischke Prize for 2021|Acad_Main/News_Archive/André Mischke YAE Prize 2021].  __So, please put the dates in your diary.
!Other high points:

*NOMINATIONS for new members is still open. The closing date is __31 March__. \\
**Download the [nomination form|Acad_Main/Nominations]
**[Nomination instructions|Acad_Main/Nominations]

*[Call for nominations|Acad_Main/News2_Archive/CALL FOR NOMINATIONS FOR THE 2022 ERASMUS MEDAL] for the __2022 AE ERASMUS MEDAL__ is open. The information is on the website.

*The [call for nominations|Acad_Main/News_Archive/André Mischke YAE Prize 2021] for the __Young Academy Andre Mischke Prize__ is open (AE members may nominate younger scholars as candidates) -  see our home page announcement.

*The [AE ICONOCLASM conference|Acad_Main/Past_Events/2011-present/ICONOCLASM] has a new date: __4-6 October 2021__ in Wroclaw. Open to all AE members and non-AE members.

*Our [Tbilisi Hub|https://www.aetbilisihub.org] is running a webinar event: “[The Fiasco of Federalism in Caucasus|https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-fiasco-of-federalism-in-the-caucasus-1918-1921-tickets-145108548575]”, which will talk place online on the __30th of March__ at 3 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. (CET). All members are invited to participate.

!Prizes and awards

I am also pleased to report that the following AE members have recently won a major __international prize:__
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__2021 Wolf Prize__: [Professor Joan Steitz|Member/Steitz_Joan] (Medicine) and [Professor Giorgio Parisi|Member/Parisi_Giorgio] (Physics).
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[{Image src='Wolf_Prize_2021.jpg' caption='Professor Joan Steitz and Professor Giorgio Parisi' height='300' alt='Professor Joan Steitz and Professor Giorgio Parisi' align='center'}]
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Finally, it is with profound sadness that we have been notified of the passing of the following members:
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[Paul Crutzen|Member/Crutzen_Paul] (Nobel Laureate – Ozone hole)\\
[Vladimir Fortov|Member/Fortov_Vladimir] (former President of the Russian Academy of Sciences - Physics)\\
[Lewis Wolpert|Member/Wolpert_Lewis] (Developmental Biology)\\
[Peter Lachmann|Member/Lachmann_Peter] (immunology)\\
[Aleksandra Kornhauser Frazer|Member/Kornhauser_Aleksandra] (Chemistry)\\
[Jean Aubouin|Member/Aubouin_Jean] (Medieval oriental history)\\
[Heinz Georg Wagner|Member/Wagner_Heinz_Georg] (Chemistry)\\
[John Meurig Thomas|Member/Thomas_John_Meurig] (Catalysis)\\
[Rudolf Zahradník|Member/Zahradník_Rudolf] (Quantum Chemistry)\\
[Alexander S. Spirin|Member/Spirin_Alexander] (Protein chemistry)
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Yours sincerely
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[Sierd Cloetingh|Member/Cloetingh_Sierd]\\
Utrecht, 10 March 2021 
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