In 2019, ALLEA, the European Federation of Academies of Sciences and Humanities, will celebrate its 25th Anniversary during its annual General Assembly, which on this occasion will be hosted by the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences.
The last quarter century has been a period of tremendous change in the field of science, which has affected both disciplinary discourses and patterns of institutional governance. European scientific institutions have become motors of excellence and innovation with a high impact on the transformation of European societies in our digital age. Yet, public confidence in the guiding role of science in shaping our future seems to be increasingly called into question.
Does European science blossom, while European societies ache? Political discourse is frequently driven by algorithms of acceptance rather than by scientific or scholarly expertise. Our common cultural values, rooted in the curiosity and tolerance of the Enlightenment, are increasingly challenged. Different perceptions and narratives of Europe threaten to divide our societies, leaving a vacuum of haunting uncertainty about the future. What role can European academies play to provide a bridge between production and diffusion of knowledge to and with Society? How can they contribute their share to anchore the underlying values of the Enlightenment upon which scientific progress is based?
ALLEA and its Member Academies will delve into these questions during our annual General Assembly in Bern on 8-10 May 2019. The event includes the annual closed meeting of European academies of sciences and humanities, the award ceremony of the All European Academies Madame de Staël Prize for Cultural Values and the symposium “Science and Society in Present-Day Europe”.
At the closed business meeting on 8 May, ALLEA governance and policy matters are on the agenda and discussed by ALLEA Member Academies. In the evening, the opening of the conference will take place with a commemoration to the 25 years of ALLEA and the award ceremony of the All European Academies Madame de Staël Prize for Cultural Values.
The symposium will bring together European policymakers, scientists, scholars as well as the interested public to debate the most pressing issues faced by science and society on 9 May 2019. The one-day symposium will seek to debate the role of academies in present-day Europe and look at past achievements with the eyes of the present, in order to prepare a better future.
The event is completed with a cultural programme on 10 May 2019. The Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences will invite participants of the conferance to a day-trip to visit the scientific facilities of Basel.