Future Earth Young Scientists Networking Conference begins in Italy

Photo: ICSU
32 Early Career Scientists meet to discuss the role of science in society.

Science plays a fundamental role in the way society develops. From jobs and growth to investment and competitiveness, research and innovation shape our world. Scientific advice – and the role of scientists in providing evidence – are increasingly important in today’s society. The launch of the Sustainable Development Goals later this year represents a significant opportunity to establish an effective review process informed by excellent science.

During the coming week 32 excellent early career researchers from across the globe will meet at Villa Vigoni, Italy, together with a select group of senior experts to exchange ideas on the role of science in our society.

The third in the series of Future Earth Networking Conferences on Integrated Science, the conference will take a broad multidisciplinary approach to the topic, including aspects of science advice, research evidence, the Sustainable Development Goals, and communicating science. The conference brings together early career researchers from diverse backgrounds with a variety of research expertise, consolidating evidence and insights from different disciplines and approaches.

Convener of the conference, James Wilsdon, Professor of Science & Democracy (SPRU – Science Policy Research Unit), University of Sussex says: 

“Science advice to policy has never been in greater demand, both at a national level and on the big issues of climate change and sustainability that are so high on the international agenda in 2015. I’m delighted to be convening this meeting of early career researchers, drawn from across the natural and social sciences, and from 23 countries. By bringing together tomorrow’s scientific leaders to explore the interface between evidence, policy and sustainability, I hope this meeting can make a small but significant contribution to initiatives such as Future Earth, and to building a more policy-engaged, reflective and interdisciplinary research community.”

An important innovative aspect of Future Earth is the involvement of various stakeholders in the design, carrying out, implementation, and communication of research. This year’s conference is an example of how different branches of the sciences come together to produce knowledge, built around a commitment to engage with early career researchers at all stages of the knowledge development process.

You can follow the conference:

#VillaVigoni2015 // Twitter List of Participants  // Live Document

The live online document will serve to capture the discussions and important themes that emerge, and we invite anyone with an interest to add to the document and post questions for those at the conference.

This conference also forms part of the legacy of the first global conference on science advice to governments held in Auckland New Zealand last August. The conference resulted in the formation of the International Network for Government Science Advice (INGSA), a forum for policy makers, practitioners, academies, and academics to share experience, build capacity and develop theoretical and practical approaches to the use of scientific evidence in informing policy at all levels of government.

The Future Earth Young Scientists Networking Conferences have been conducted by the International Council for Science (ICSU) and the International Social Science Council (ISSC). Since 2013 ISSC and ICSU have held three Future Earth Young Scientist International Networking Conferences at Villa Vigoni, funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG). The aim of the conference series is to build capacity for Future Earth.