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Joint ESAF/INGSA meeting 2019, Dublin, Ireland

On the 26th and 27th June, ESAF and the International Network of Government Science Advisors (INGSA) ran a joint meeting in Dublin. It brought together organisations in Europe with an interest in, and remit for, providing science based strategic policy advice and promoting the use of evidence in policymaking and government, including the EU group of Chief Scientific Advisors (EU GCSA) and the EU Joint Research Centre (EU JRC). 

The programme consisted of an outstanding set of international speakers and panellists to address some of the most topical and compelling issues in the science policy interface. Highlights were keynotes from Commissioner Moedas and Baroness Onora O’Neill and a long workshop organised by ESAF, aimed at sharing best practices in providing science based strategic policy advice. ESAF members and associates from Austria, Germany, Denmark, Switzerland and Finland presented cases with lessons on the timing of and advice and the involvement of stakeholders. After a first reaction by a panel, a lively discussion with the audience followed.    

The meeting was hosted by Professor Mark Ferguson, Director General of the Science Foundation Ireland and Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government of Ireland. With his excellent local team he organised the meeting at an historic venue at Trinity college Dublin, in the heart of Dublin city centre. We are very grateful for all their efforts.

During the event the ESAF members had a short closed meeting to discuss organisational ESAF-matters. At this meeting it was decided that the ESAF-6 meeting will take place in Ljubljana, June 2020. More information will follow when available.

Please find the programme of the ESAF/INGSA meeting here.

More photos of the meeting are available here.

Fourth meeting of ESAF

The meeting took place in Tallinn on Amsterdam on 27 June 2018. It was hosted by Tarmo Soomere, president of the Estonian Academy of Sciences. Representatives from 12 member countries of ESAF took part, discussing topics at the interface between science, policy, society and politics. The meeting was attended by Keith Sequira, senior advisor and member of the Cabinet of Commissioner Moedas, Janusz Bujnicki,  member of the SAM Group of Chief Scientific Advisors to the European Commission and Johannes Klumpers and Iphigenia Pottaki, both from the SAM–unit.

Maarja Kruusma, professor of biorobotics and member of the Estonian Academy of Sciences, gave a presentation titled ‘IT technology and society in Estonia: the lessons learned and et to come?’. She explained that Estonia has had the relative advantage of starting from scratch when designing innovative digital services for Estonian civilians, as opposed to digitizing existing ‘analog’ services and legacy systems. The presentation was followed by a lively discussion on topics such as trust and the digital divide.

Johannes Klumpers, Head of SAM Unit, gave an introduction of the new topic of SAM: ‘Making sense of science under conditions of complexity and uncertainty’. Contributions of ESAF in the form of an collection of best practices are welcome.

This collection of best practices will also be used for a reflective practice-session at ESAF-5. Members were invited to send in cases.

Group photo in Tallinn, June 2018