This year’s prize was awarded to Prof. Janusz Bujnicki, Professor of Biology, and head of a research group in the International Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology (IIMCB) in Warsaw and at the University of Poznań. By awarding the YAE Prize, we recognise his internationally leading roles in academic research, management, and policymaking. Prof. Bujnicki was present at our AGM in Barcelona to accept the award.
This year’s Laudatio by our former Chair Marcel Swart (full text available as PDF) explained the renaming of the prize:
After such a successful start of the YAE Prizes, last year was tough when our Founding Chair André Mischke suddenly passed away. André had an efficient yet gentle approach to making a difference to society, academia, and science policy. As Founding Chair of the Young Academy of Europe and Member of Academia Europaea he dedicated time and energy to foster the development of a pallet of opportunities available to young researchers and as such make a difference to Europe’s next generation of scientists and beyond. Beyond his impressive re- search achievements, André played a pivotal role in gathering scientists around Europe to en- courage participation in science policy and communication from a bottom-up approach, in particular through the establishment of a pan-European initiative that continues to shape Europe for a greater tomorrow. The Young Academy of Europe has given the next generation of scientists a voice and it is with great fondness that we can say André has made a difference to Europe and beyond, at a level that is difficult to capture in words. In honour of André’s legacy we decided to rename the YAE Prize after him.
The summary of Prof. Bujnicki’s acceptance speech is given below:
In a complex world, both politics and science have many roles and can be defined in various ways. There are also many areas, where science and policy meet each other, including political science, science diplomacy, policy-for-science, and science-for-policy advice . Science-for-policy advice links scientific expertise to decision-making processes, and thereby informs evidence-based policy-making. Many challenges in policy-making are related to ‘wicked’ problems, which combine environmental and societal issues, and where science advice is difficult. The European Commission (EC) has established the Scientific Advice Mechanism (SAM), comprising the Group of Chief Scientific Advisors (GCSA), a consortium of scientific academies (SAPEA), and a unit within the EC, to provide the College of Commissioners with independent and relevant scientific advice that responds to policy challenges, and has the appropriate timing and format to be useful. The Group of Chief Scientific Advisors has recently published a scientific opinion “Scientific Advice to European Policy in a Complex World”, in which we highlight the principles of good scientific advice and make recommendations to generate high quality scientific advice for European policy.