The importance of Young Academies: a global movement of young researchers is making its mark

05/08/2021 | by Eszter Turopoli | Semmelweis

As the first national network of early-career researchers celebrates its 21st birthday, Semmelweis members of the Hungarian Academy of Young Researchers have contributed their experience to an article published in the journal Nature reviewing the activities, the variety of services and the main benefits of Young Academies.

The image shows a collage of seven portraits of the seven Semmelweis members of the Hungarian Academy of Young Researchers together with its logo.

Semmelweis members of the Hungarian Academy of Young Researchers, Fiatal Kutatók Akadémiája (FKA). Image source: Attila Kovács, Semmelweis University

In 2000, early-career researchers in Germany established the first in a row of national Young Academies, organisations dedicated to looking after the needs of researchers at the start of their careers. Twenty-one years later, there are Young Academies in 45 countries, as well as international ones, such as the Global Young Academy and the Young Academy of Europe. 

Young Academies aim to support young scientists and lecturers at a national, regional or global level and to get their voices heard by leaders of the political and academic community, decision-makers, legislative authorities, sponsors, business leaders and media. The academies’ advice to decision-makers is often on topics that are central for young people — such as open science, open data, climate change and biodiversity loss.

The Hungarian Academy of Young Researchers called Fiatal Kutatók Akadémiája (FKA) was established in 2019. Seven of its total 48 members belong to Semmelweis University

Three researchers of Semmelweis University, together with the founders of FKA, recently published a three-page article in Nature. The article summarises the benefits of academies such as theirs to young researchers, local scientific communities and society. “As their financial and legal status and institutional structure greatly varies, our purpose was to introduce the goals, activities and opportunities of national and international academies. Young Academies organise workshops aiming to make citizens aware of recent scientific results and evidence, they promote open access publishing, which is key to strengthen interdisciplinary research and collaborations at both national and international level”, says Dr Dorottya Csuka, one of the authors.

Young Academies can also inspire the next generation of scientists to pursue a career in science. Mentoring offered by Young Academies represents various opportunities to support the career development of young scientists, including through science communication, scientific writing or grant writing workshops as well as seminars for individual counselling, advice or mentoring schemes. These types of mentoring can help early-career researchers to choose an independent career path, regardless of discipline-specific conventions, by generating, gathering and sharing knowledge on responsible research practices across all disciplines.

The Young Academy movement is already having an impact on scientific advice. In June 2021, the European Commission included representatives from the 14 European Young Academies in the latest meeting of its official Group of Chief Scientific Advisors. The group advises Europe’s leaders on science-policy questions, such as those related to cleaner energy or dealing with future pandemics.

 

For more information about the Young Academies’ members representing Semmelweis University, please visit:

https://semmelweis.hu/english/2021/08/young-academies-representing-semmelweis-university-in-hungary-and-at-an-international-level/

Find the artice in Nature:

"Six reasons to launch a Young Academy" (Erika Bálint, Dorottya Csuka, Viktória Venglovecz, Gitta Schlosser, Zsófia Lázár, Eszter Gselmann, Donát Alpár, Katalin Solymosi (2021) Six reasons to launch a Young Academy Nature 594, 599-601.)

https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-021-01682-9

 

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