The Gago Conferences on European Science Policy

The Gago Conferences on European Science Policy provide an international forum to strengthen the debate on emerging issues of research and innovation policy in Europe, as well as to promote the necessary involvement of major stakeholders in policy making and the diffusion of knowledge in science education and culture. The Conferences seek also to strengthen international scientific and technological cooperation networking in Europe towards a positive impact on a global scale.

Science and technology (S&T) are key global resources for our collective future, our wealth, job creation and shared prosperity, both at home and abroad. The impact of S&T and innovation are the result of a cumulative, long-term, collective and uncertainty process, involving an extensive division of labour, which requires massifying the training of human resources and qualifying the labour force in many economic sectors. Increasing interest in these processes has been driving innovative research and practice across a wide range of businesses and academic disciplines - from management, marketing, engineering and economics to public policy, sociology, history and law.


"Science is a battle ground, it's not neutral.
And if you know it's not neutral, it becomes interesting.
It can become part of the modern youth culture.
You must choose between generosity and greed,
between peace and war,
and choose between disclosing or hiding the truth"...


José Mariano Gago (2001)

The primary objective of these conferences is to bring together leading representatives from academic, business, social, culture and government sectors worldwide to present and discuss current and future issues of critical importance for European science and technology, including their impact to foster social and economic development and shared prosperity both at home and abroad. Multidisciplinary perspectives are encouraged to provide state-of-the-art and useful knowledge to decision makers in the private, public and social sectors - including informed and effective education, culture, business, government policies and strategies for Europe.


Europe supporting young researchers in times of uncertainty

4th Gago Conference on European Science Policy

A joint organization of Ciencia Viva and Initiative for Science in Europe (ISE)

June 13, 2022

French Permanent Representation to the European Union, Brussels


A Manifesto to support early research careers and healthy research workplaces
This Manifesto resulted from the 4th Gago Conference on European Science Policy, that gathered research institutions, policy makers and representatives of early career researchers´ associations with the support of the French Presidency of Council of the European Union. The purpose of the conference was to take stock of the impacts of different challenges, namely the pandemics, disproportionately affecting early career researchers and to discuss ways to mitigate those impacts and support the next generation of researchers in Europe. A message from Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner responsible for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, was received.



The Manifesto calls for:
  • Monitoring the situation

  • Improve healthy research careers in Research Performing Organisations (RPOs), Research and Technology Organisations (RTOs) and in Higher Education Institutions (HEIs):

  • Improve healthy research careers in the third sector, including NGOs and governmental organizations

  • Involve national funding agencies in cooperation with the EC

The Manifesto is open for suggestions and endorsement by European organizations and research networks until the beginning of September 2022:


Media



Background note
The times of uncertainty we live in have put a terrible impact on societies all over the world, bringing to the forefront the difficulties felt by young scientists, who are Europe's most valuable asset to guarantee our region's competitiveness and prosperity.

In particular, the recent pandemic crisis has been felt in several ways: as young persons, by a feeling of isolation from their friends and families, and, as researchers, by the disruption of their research. For several months, lab facilities and field research were not accessible, thus making it impossible to carry out research; the impact has been uneven depending on disciplines and countries. Those with young children to support, in particular young women, have been affected the most, and this situation continues because of lasting disturbances of normal schooling. Travel restrictions have prevented them from attending conferences or visiting other research groups. Both provide the key opportunity of face to face meetings with colleagues which are of utmost importance for their scientific maturation. Overall, the pandemic has deeply affected the running of research institutions. Possibilities of making post-doctoral periods have also been severely limited.

This situation is documented by many testimonies and partial studies. For instance, the European Commission conducted a survey showing that 83% of Marie Sktodowska-Curie fellows reported a negative or very negative impact on their careers. An internal study at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm showed that close to 80% of research projects were affected to some degree by the pandemic. Some countries and some research performing institutions have taken significant steps to mitigate the situation, but it remains overall very preoccupying.

Indeed, today, many doctoral students and postdoctoral fellows feel discouraged. Europe needs more researchers and needs to cherish them. Initiative for Science in Europe (ISE) is fully aligned with this challenge, considering it as a threat to the development of European research, and proposed this topic for the organization of a conference. The 4th Gago Conference on Science Policy, coorganised by Ciencia Viva and ISE, will present an assessment of the situation in Europe, including:

  • a presentation of the results of a preliminary study of the impact of the Covid crisis in a selection of member states and institutions;

  • some personal testimonies by early career researchers;

  • a survey of undergoing mitigation actions by the Commission, national Governments and Research Performing Organisations.

The conference will discuss an action plan to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on the next generation of researchers in the context of the EU strategy to foster research careers, and lead to a call to action at European level in the form of a Manifesto:

The Gago Conferences on European Science Policy provide an international forum for debate on emerging issues of research and innovation policy in Europe. Ciência Viva organizes these conferences to celebrate the legacy of José Mariano Gago on the appropriation of science by citizens. José Mariano Gago was the founder of Ciência Viva and the first president of ISE.


Organizing Committee:

  • Fernanda Bajanca, MCAA - Marie Curie Alumni Association
  • Brian Cahill, EuroScience and MCAA - Marie Curie Alumni Association
  • Monica-Georgiana Brînzac, EUPHAnxt - European Public Health Association - The next generation network
  • Katalin Solymosi, Young Academy Europe
  • Shireen Sindi, Chair, Junior Faculty Steering Group, Karolinska Institute, Sweden
  • Darragh McCashin, Dublin City University
  • Martin Andler, President, Initiative for Science in Europe, France
  • Jean-Pierre Bourguignon, Institut des Hautes Études Scientifiques, former President of ERC, France
  • Manuel Heitor, Center for Innovation, Technology and Policy Research (IN+/IST), University of Lisbon; and former Minister for Science, Technology and Higher Education, Portugal
  • Antoine Petit, President of CNRS
  • Rosalia Vargas, President, Ciência Viva, Portugal

Target participants:

The conference will gather high-level speakers, including:

  • Research Ministers, Members of the European Parliament and policy makers in European member states and at the European Commission;
  • Academics and other representatives from research institutions;
  • Representatives of young researchers associations;
  • Stakeholders of the European Research Area.

International Secretariat:

Ciência Viva, the Portuguese National Agency for Scientific and Technological Culture, promotes scientific and technological culture in Portuguese society, with particular emphasis on the younger generation. Ciência Viva carries out its activity through complementary streams: strengthen STEAM pre-University education; support public engagement and the development of public policies for science & technology; and coordinate and manage the National Network of 20 Ciência Viva Science Centers.

ISE, the Initiative for Science in Europe (ISE), is an independent platform of 16 European Learned Societies and Research Organisations operating within different disciplines and across sectors. ISE supports all fields of research at a European level, involves researchers in the design and implementation of European science policies, and advocates strong independent scientific advice in European policymaking.





Organization:

Ciência Viva ISE - Initiative for Science in Europe Centre national de la recherche scientifique


Supported by:

Ciência Viva

PROGRAMME

(Time zone CEST)


13th June 2022

Location: Brussels


9:00 - Reception of participants

9:30 - Opening and welcome

  • Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner responsible for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth
  • Message from Mariya Gabriel
  • Philippe Léglise-Costa, Ambassadeur, Représentant permanent de la France à l'UE
  • Antoine Petit, Président du Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique
  • Manuel Heitor, Center for Innovation, Technology and Policy Research (IN+/IST), University of Lisbon
  • Martin Andler, President, Initiative for Science in Europe
  • Ana Noronha, Executive Director, Ciência Viva

9:45 - A lost generation for research?

Key-note by:

  • Jean-Pierre Bourguignon, Nicolaas Kuiper Honorary Professor at the Institut des Hautes Études Scientifiques, Bures-sur-Yvette


10:00 - Round table 1: The data we have

Moderator:

  • Ana Noronha, Board of Directors of Ciência Viva
  • Fernanda Bajanca, MCAA - Marie Curie Alumni Association
  • Brian Cahill, EuroScience and MCAA - Marie Curie Alumni Association
  • Monica-Georgiana Brinzac, EUPHAnxt - European Public Health Association - The next generation network
  • Katalin Solymosi / Moniek Tromp, Young Academy Europe
  • Shireen Sindi, Chair, Junior Faculty Steering Group, Karolinska Institute, Sweden Q/A
  • Afonso Mesquita, JUNITEC


10:55 - What data should be retained and how should they be interpreted to estimate the impact of the crises among early career researchers? Jean-Philippe Touffut (Centre Cournot)



11:00 - Break



11:15 - Reverse session 1: Experiences and best practices: impact on research, careers, and funding

Moderator:

  • Shireen Sindi

Rapporteur:

  • Grant Kemp, Chair of the National Junior Faculty, Sweden

Debate with the audience.



12:00 - Lunch


13:00 - Presentation of the Manifesto


Draft of the Manifesto


13:20 - Reverse session 2: Experiences and best practices: mental health and work-life balance

Moderator:

  • Darragh McCashin, Dublin City University

Rapporteur:

  • Brian Cahill

Debate with the audience.



14:05 - Wrap-up of the Reverse sessions

Rapporteurs from reverse sessions



14:30 - Claire Giry, Directrice générale de la recherche et de l'innovation, Ministère de l'enseignement supérieur et de la recherche



14:45 - Round Table 2: Supporting young researchers affected by the pandemic and other crises; discussion of the manifesto: "Europe needs more scientists!"

Modérateurs:

  • Martin Andler (ISE) and Alain Mermet (CNRS)
  • Jean-Pierre Bourguignon, (IHES)
  • Nuno Cerca, ANICT - Portuguese National Association of Researchers in Science and Technology
  • Alexander Hasgall, Head of the European Universities Association Council for Doctoral Education
  • Manuel Heitor, (University of Lisbon)


15:45 - Endorsement of the Manifesto "Fostering young researchers' careers in Europe"



16:00 - Award of a Gago Medal for European Science Policy to Martin Andler

Venue

French Permanent Representation to the European Union

Address:

14 Place de Louvain
1000 Brussels
European Union