UP academic co-chairs the Global Young Academy
By Martie Meyer
Posted on 18 April 2011
Prof Bernard Slippers
The Global Young Academy (GYA), an international, independent, science-based institution that aims for excellence and impact that was launched last year, elected Prof Bernard Slippers of the University of Pretoria (UP) as the Co-chair. Prof Slippers is an Associate Professor from the Department of Genetics in the Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute.
The GYA held its inaugural General Assembly meeting at the end of March 2011 at the German Institute for Economic Research in Berlin.
The initial support of the IAP: Global Network of Science Academies was instrumental in founding the organisation, and more recent generous financial support from the Volkswagen Foundation of Germany has enabled the development and growth of the GYA.
The meeting saw the launch of several new initiatives, including a major new project to make scientific software accessible to young researchers in developing countries. “The energy that comes from meeting so many exceptional young scientists from such a diverse background, and getting to work with them towards common goals of a better world through our passion for science, is truly inspiring,” said Prof Slippers.
GYA members have committed to provide short-term research opportunities to Japanese researchers and trainees who are unable to work because of the earthquake.
The GYA seeks to mobilise young scientists in their creative prime by providing a rallying point for outstanding young scientists from around the world to come together to address topics of global importance. This year’s meeting saw 32 new members welcomed into the Academy, bringing the total to 132 members from 50 countries around the world.
As Prof Bruce Alberts, Editor-in-Chief of the magazine Science said ”These young scientists can often be more effective than their older peers in interactions with society and with politicians. They also bring new energy to these interactions, with a better gender balance due to the advances that women scientists have made in recent decades. By bringing together outstanding scientists from many different disciplines, Young Academies catalyse the formation of multidisciplinary scientific collaborations that generate innovative new discoveries. Participation in a Young Academy also strengthens a nation’s scientific enterprise by training its next generation of leaders. The work exposes them to important policy issues while building networks of trusted personal relationships that can bridge disciplines for a lifetime.”
The GYA is the voice of young scientists and its primary aim is to unlock the potential of young scientists from around the world, as a prestigious organisation for top scientists around the age of 35. Working together, this group of young scientists can provide new insights on major challenges in scientific capacity-building and science-based education, policy and international issues.
For more information, Visit the website at www.globalyoungacademy.org or contact Prof Slippers on firstname.lastname@example.org