Category Archives: News

SAPEA Symposium: ‘The future of science advice in Europe’

This SAPEA Symposium is a one-day event on 13 November in Helsinki and brings together leading practitioners and scholars to reflect on emerging trends, weak signals, and promising opportunities for developing next-generation science advice capabilities.

The focus will be on both EU-level and national level science advice. The event will also provide useful input to Finland from around Europe as Finland develops its next-generation science advice capabilities.

Venue: National Museum of Finland (Kansallismuseo), Mannerheimintie 34, Helsinki.

For more information and registration, please visit:

New SAM opinion ‘Scientific Advice to European Policy in a Complex world’ published

The Group of Chief Scientific Advisors seventh scientific opinion, ‘Scientific Advice to European Policy in a Complex World’, was delivered to Commissioner Moedas during their 19th plenary meeting on 24 September in Brussels. It was published and presented to the public during the European Commission’s Research and Innovation days conference by Professor Pearl Dykstra, Deputy Chair of the group.

ESAF members , amongst other experts across Europe, have contributed to this opinion by sharing insights into their work as policy advisors to their respective governments. They did this not only through providing several case studies and lessons learnt, but also through discussing these lessons in various sessions at the Joint ESAF/INGSA meeting of last June.

Please find the opinion as well as the corresponding scoping paper (previously entitled ‘Making Sense of Science under Conditions of Complexity and Uncertainty’) through the link below.

‘Scientific Advice to European Policy in a Complex world’

CASBS Stanford call for applications

Call for applications for a fellowship year at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (CASBS) at Stanford University.

CASBS offers fellowship years for academics and professionals who wish to deepen their knowledge and work on (personal) projects within the field of behavioral sciences. Most fellows are renowned scientists and scholars who hold a university position, but each year CASBS also reserves places for one or more policy fellows, that is, professionals working in the field of science based policy advise. Online applications will be accepted at the Center’s website through November 1, 2019.

More information about the center can be found in the attached fact sheet and on

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.

The minutes of the closed ESAF 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