In opening the AGM on Tuesday 25 October, Gemma Modinos, the chair of the YAE welcomed the participants and presented the activities of the YAE in 2021-22, from the workshops organised by the YAE for its own members, to how board members participated in meetings at a European level on science outreach and research assessments. Gemma then awarded the new YAE members their certificates, and Zeila Zanolli presented her treasurer’s report.
The first session of the afternoon gave time to the participants to brainstorm about the future activities of the taskforces of the YAE. This was followed by a Wikipedia hackathon organised by the Science Outreach taskforce, given by Jess Wade. Jess Wade presented how crucial Wikipedia is as a tool to spread scientific knowledge and make science more inclusive and diverse. She also gave tips to get started with creating and editing articles on Wikipedia.
The final workshop of the first day was given by David Budtz-Pedersen and Rolf Hvidtfeldt. Called a ‘Science Communication Lab’, this workshop allowed participants to reflect on the impact of their research on audiences beyond the scientific community and gave them tools to plan their communication so that it can reach maximum impact.
On the second day of the AGM, on Wednesday 26 October, three new members of the YAE presented their research: Maria Górna on protein function, Filip Ivanović on Byzantine philosophy and Monica Morales-Masis on solar cells. The elections for the new board also took place: Moniek Tromp was elected as new chair of the board; Scott Bremer and Katalin Solymosi were elected as new vice-chairs of the board; Serim Ilday, Pierre-Héli Monot, Carme Font Paz, David Fernández Rivas and Mona Simion were elected as new members of the board. After the official end of the AGM, the attendants participated in a session given by Bart Veys on the European Cooperation in Science and Technology COST Actions.
Building Bridges, co-organised by the Academia Europea and the YAE, started on Wednesday 26 October in the afternoon with a debate session on hot topics in science policy, in which the YAE was represented in two panels. Moniek Tromp participated in the panel ‘Science policy for the future’ and insisted on the importance of revising assessment instruments to better evaluate and support the careers of young researchers. Linn Leppert chaired a panel organised by YAE in which Katalin Solymosi participated, entitled ‘Towards an inclusive and representative academic landscape’, which mapped out best practices and efficient measures in current Equality, Diversity and Inclusion policies in European research institutions.
On the second day of Building Bridges, Gemma Modinos gave the YAE Andre Mischke Prize to Gergely Toldi. He received this award for his outstanding work in the neonatology field, and his research on the immunological response of neonates, especially premature babies, to breastfeeding, but also for his engagement for other early career researchers, as one of the founders of the Hungarian Young Academy. In his talk, Gergely Toldi not only presented his research, but also reflected on the career path of academic clinicians and its challenges.
It was an important moment in the life of the YAE to be able to hold our AGM again on site and to co-organise Building Bridges after two years of online and hybrid AGMs, especially as we are celebrating our 10th anniversary, on which Gemma and Moniek reflected in this short interview. We hope to see many of our members again next year!