Speaker biographies & Abstracts

Biographies of the speakers participating in Building Bridges 2021 plenary conference and the abstracts for their corresponding sessions will be posted in this section as they become available. Delegates are encouraged to return to this section during the weeks prior to the conference.

Professor Dr. Sierd Cloetingh

AFFILIATION:
Utrecht University, Department of Earth Sciences

Read more

LINK TO WEBPAGES: http://www.ae-info.org/ae/Member/Cloetingh_Sierd
https://www.uu.nl/staff/SAPLCloetingh

BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE
Sierd Cloetingh is Utrecht University Distinguished Professor. His research field is Earth Sciences. He published more than 367 papers in international peer-reviewed journals (Scopus: 16,732 citations, h-index 72) and has been promotor of close to 80 PhD students of 18 different nationalities.

Currently he serves as President of the Academia Europaea, Member of the Board of SAPEA (Scientific Advice for Policy by European Academies) and Chair Regional Coordinating Committee of the International Lithosphere Program. Past functions include President of the Association for European Cooperation in Science & Technology (COST), Membership of the Scientific Council (2009-2015) and Vice-President of the European Research Council (ERC), President of the European Geophysical Society (1998-2000), President of the International Lithosphere Program (ILP), Distinguished Professor of the Royal Netherlands Academy for Arts and Sciences (KNAW, 2006-2015), Editor-in-Chief of the international journal «Global and Planetary Change» and Chairman of the TOPO-EUROPE collaborative research program.

Sierd Cloetingh received honorary doctorates from five European universities and numerous medals and awards. He is member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Sciences, the Royal Norwegian Academy, the Royal Danish Academy, the German national Academy for Technical Sciences (acatech), the Heidelberg Academy, the Bavarian Academy of Sciences and honorary member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. He was distinguished in 2006 as Chevalier de Legion d’Honneur and in 2014 as Knight of the Royal Order of the Netherlands Lion for his contributions to science and European scientific cooperation in research and education.

Professor Mara Dierssen

AFFILIATION:
Group Leader at the Center for Genomic Regulation, Barcelona

Read more

LINK TO WEBPAGE: https://www.ae-info.org/ae/Member/Dierssen_Mara
https://www.crg.eu/en/programmes-groups/dierssen-lab

TITLE OF PRESENTATION: The mysteries of memory: how it is stored (the engram) and how it is retrieved (the ecphory). How to erase, manipulate or cure memory loss

ABSTRACT OF PRESENTATION:
How much storage capacity has the human brain? How is the information encoded so that it is «storable»? Do we also “learn” to forget? Why are scents or music so powerful to bring forth such vivid memories? And how do these processes get altered in cognitive and neurodegenerative disorders?  We still do not have the answer to those questions. However, powerful new tools to probe and manipulate memory function at the cell and neuronal circuit level allows us explore how memory traces are formed and ‘reawaken’ and provides an exciting avenue for answering questions about learning and memory, and also testing new strategies to treat cognitive pathology leading to memory loss, like in Alzheimer’s disease, or to intrusive and involuntary recollection and re-experiencing trauma, such as post-traumatic stress disorder.

BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE:
Professor Mara Dierssen is MD, PhD from the University of Cantabria (1989). She directs the Cellular and Systems Neurobiology laboratory at the Center for Genomic Regulation and is associate researcher of the Hospital del Mar Research Institute, where she promoted the creation of a translational research program to study new therapeutic approaches in intellectual disability. Her main current scientific interests are focused on the study of the neurobiological mechanisms underlying memory and learning and their alteration in complex diseases (polygenic and multifactorial) and in the development and application of this knowledge to the field of clinical practice.

Professor Dr. (h c mult) Donald B. Dingwell OC ONL

AFFILIATION:
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet

Read more

LINK TO WEBPAGE:
https://www.mineralogie.geowissenschaften.uni-muenchen.de/personen/head/index.html

TITLE OF PRESENTATION: Volcanism in the Earth system. Experimental approaches.

ABSTRACT OF PRESENTATION:
The property of terrestrial planets to possess internal temperatures sufficient for local melting of the mantle and crustal silicates yields volcanism (past and present) as a near universal feature of rocky planets. On earth, volcanism is a major conduit of chemical and thermal exchange of the deep interior with the geospheres of the Earth System (e.g., lithosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, cryosphere, anthroposphere & technosphere). Two major scenarios of volcanically driven exchange are (1) submarine basaltic volcanism and seafloor alteration and 2) subaerial explosive rhyolite volcanism. The former is a major influence on the Earth system through the hydrosphere, whereas the latter is a major influence on the Earth System through the atmosphere. Earth history has been continually impacted on a global scale by volcanism and without it the Earth would be unrecognisable as a dead planet. Understanding these processes requires, in addition to careful field observations and monitoring, and numerical models, a deterministic and mechanistic approach involving laboratory experiments under volcanic conditions. This young experimental field has had a major impact on our understanding of volcanism and its impact in the Earth system.

BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE:
Donald B. Dingwell is Chair in Mineralogy and Petrology and a founding member of the Center for Advanced Studies of the Ludwig-Maximilian-University of Munich. He is also Gutenberg Research Scholar at University of Mainz and distinguished visiting Professor at Xiamen University, China.
He has published ca. 500 papers on geomaterials, magmas and volcanism. His approach is fundamentally experimental and materials-based. His current research spans the structure and dynamics of silicate melts, the mechanistic interpretation of volcano monitoring and magma kinematics and the quantification of the role of volcanism in the Earth System.
He has received numerous scientific awards, medals and fellowships – most notably the Bunsen (EGU), Day (GSA), Hess (AGU), Holmes (EGU), Peacock (MAC) and Werner (DMG) Medals. He holds honorary degrees from UCL, Alberta and UNAM, is a member of the Royal Society of Canada, Academia Europaea, acatech, the Leopoldina, the Royal Society (London), the Order of Merit of Germany, an Officer of the Order of Canada, and a member of the Order of Newfoundland and Labrador. He has been President of the European Geoscience Union (EGU) and the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth´s Interior (IAVCEI), vice-President of the Academia Europaea and was the 3rd and last Secretary-General of the European Research Council.

Dr. Kostas Glinos

AFFILIATION:
European Commission

Read more

LINK TO WEBPAGE: https://ec.europa.eu/info/research-and-innovation/strategy/strategy-2020-2024/our-digital-future/open-science_en

BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE:
Kostas works at the European Commission, where he leads the unit in charge of Open Science in the directorate general for Research & Innovation since 1 June 2019.
From 2014 to 2019 he led the unit responsible for EU international cooperation policy in STI and for relations with European Economic Area countries, Switzerland, Russia, Western Balkans, Turkey, all of Asia, Australia and New Zealand.
Kostas has been developing EU policy and managing R&D programmes in the area of Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) in Brussels since 1992. Policy areas he has dealt with include open science and innovation, collaboration in research, industry-academia interaction, the governance of research commons, public-private partnerships, science diplomacy and international cooperation policy at bilateral and bi-regional level. At various points in time he has been responsible for funding programmes in future and emerging technologies, cyber-physical systems, ICT research infrastructure and big research data. In the academic year 2017-2018 Kostas was a visiting Fellow at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore where he taught regionalism in Europe and in Southeast Asia.
Before joining the Commission Kostas worked in the chemical industry in the USA and Belgium, lectured at the University and carried out research in Greece. He holds a PhD in engineering from the University of Massachusetts and an Advanced Professional Certificate in investment management from Drexel University in the USA.

Assistant Professor Dr Arild Husby

AFFILIATION:
Uppsala University

Read more

LINK TO WEBPAGE: https://www.ieg.uu.se/evolutionary-biology/husby-lab/husby-people/

BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE:
Husby is currently an assistant professor in evolutionary biology at Uppsala University. He did his PhD at the University of Edinburgh and has since worked at the University of Helsinki and Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). His main research interest is in understanding the genetic basis of complex traits in natural populations, focussing on phenotypic plasticity in particular.

 

Professor Dr. Eva Kondorosi

AFFILIATION:
Biological Research Centre, Szeged

Read more

LINK TO WEBPAGE: http://group.szbk.u-szeged.hu/kondorosi/index.html

BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE:
Eva Kondorosi was born in Budapest, graduated (Biology) and received her PhD (Genetics) at the L. Eötvös University in Budapest. She was postdoc at the Max Planck Institute (Köln) and visiting scholar at the Sussex, Harvard, and Cornell Universities. She was a research director at the CNRS Institut des Science Végétales, then director of the BAYGEN Institute in Hungary. Currently she directs the Symbiosis and Functional Genomics Unit at the Biological Research Centre in Szeged.

Her primary research field is Rhizobium-legume symbiosis, symbiotic nitrogen fixation with recent focus on plant-controlled differentiation of bacteria. Her current work led to the production of several highly potent antimicrobial peptides of plant origin, which are powerful novel antimicrobial drugs to be used in medicine and agriculture. Her expertise is very broad in the fields of microbiology, plant development biology, cell cycle control, bacterial and host communication, molecular biology, genetics, biochemistry, and omics.

For her original discoveries she received several prestigious awards including the Balzan Prize, the Széchenyi Prize and the prize of the International Society for Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions. She is full member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, a foreign associate of the National Academy of Sciences (USA), and member of the following institutions or bodies: Academia Europaea (also member of its Board of Trustees), the European Molecular Biology Organization, the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, the French Academy of Agriculture and the European Academy of Microbiology. She was member of the ERC Scientific Council (2013-2018), Vice President of the European Research Council and Life Science domain coordinator (2017-2018) and was a member of the UN Secretary General’s Scientific Advisory Board and the Board of Directors of the International Society for Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions (until 2016). Currently she is a member of the Group of Chief Scientific Advisors of the European Commission.

Professor Dr. Rebecca Lawrence

AFFILIATION:
F1000

Read more

LINK TO WEBPAGE: https://f1000research.com

BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE:
Rebecca Lawrence is Managing Director of F1000 Research Ltd. She was responsible for the launch of F1000Research in 2013 and has subsequently led the initiative behind the launches of many funder- and institution-based publishing platforms partnering with the European Commission, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Wellcome and others, that aim to provide a new trajectory in the way scientific findings and data are communicated.

She was a member of the European Commission’s Open Science Policy Platform, chairing their work on next-generation indicators and their integrated advice: OSPP-REC, and Editor of their final report. She is also a member of the US National Academies (NASEM) Committee on Advanced and Automated Workflows. She has been co-Chair of many working groups on data and peer review, including for Research Data Alliance (RDA) and ORCID, and is an Advisory Board member for DORA (San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment). She has worked in STM publishing for over 20 years, is an Associate of the Royal College of Music, and holds a PhD in Pharmacology.

Professor Marja Makarow

AFFILIATION:
University of Helsinki

Read more

LINK TO WEBPAGE: https://www.ae-info.org/ae/Member/Makarow_Marja

BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE:
Marja Makarow is President-elect of Academia Europaea. She is Professor Emerita of Applied Biochemistry and Molecular Biology of the University of Helsinki and a cell biologist. She has supervised 19 PhD students to degree and supported 50 more as Director of the largest national Life Science graduate school. Her past positions are Director of Biocenter Finland (2016-2021), Vice-President of the Finnish Research Council – Academy of Finland (2012-2026), Chief Executive of the European Science Foundation ESF (2008-2012) and Vice-President for Research of the University of Helsinki (2003-2007). Her former functions include Member of the Advisory Board of the European Innovation Council EIC and of the Governing Board of the European Institute for Innovation and Technology EIT, Starting Grant Programme Chair of the European Research Council ERC, and Chair of the Board of Nordforsk, responsible for cross-border research collaboration between the five Nordic countries. Marja Makarow advised the EC Commissionaire of Research in the European Research Area Board ERAB and the Finnish Government in the Prime Minister’s Research and Innovation Council. She serves on the Boards of the University of Geneva and the University of the Arts Helsinki, and is member of the Academic Advisory Councils of the Heidelberg University and the Slovakian Academy of Science. She chaired and vice-chaired the Founding Boards of the Tampere University and Aalto University, launched in 2010 and 2019, respectively. Marja Makarow chaired till recently the Board of Technology Academy Finland that awards the global one M€ Millennium Technology Prize for ground-breaking research-based innovations. She has carried out evaluations of research quality and impact at all levels, from individual grants to universities’ research quality and national research and innovation systems. She is member of Academia Europaea since 2009, Chevalier de l’Ordre de Legion d’Honneur, France, and Commander of the Order of the White Lion, Finland. She is Doctor H.C. of Tampere University and Aalto University.

Dr. Gemma Modinos

AFFILIATION:
King’s College London

Read more

LINK TO WEBPAGE: https://modinoslab.com/
https://www.kcl.ac.uk/people/dr-gemma-modinos

BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE:
Dr Gemma Modinos is a Reader in Neuroscience & Mental Health and a Wellcome Trust & Royal Society Sir Henry Dale Fellow at King’s College London (UK). She completed a BSc in Psychology and an MSc in Applied Neurosciences in Barcelona (Spain). She then moved to The Netherlands to complete a PhD in Neuroscience (Cum Laude) at the University of Groningen. Dr Modinos then joined King’s College London as a post-doc, where she started her own lab in 2017, focussed on understanding the neurobiology of psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia. Dr Modinos has received several international awards for her work, including the 2020 British Association of Psychopharmacology Senior Non-Clinical Award and the 2019 Schizophrenia International Research Society Rising Star Award.

Dr Modinos is also the Chair of the Young Academy of Europe, a pan-European network of outstanding young scholars for science advice, networking, advocacy, and scientific exchange. YAE members are experts and leaders in their respective fields, who seek to provide a ‘younger’ perspective about the future of science and academia in Europe.

Professor Michael Murphy

AFFILIATION:
President of the European University Association

Read more

LINK TO WEBPAGE: https://eua.eu/about/board.html

BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE:
Michael Murphy graduated in Medicine from University College Cork in 1976. Following postgraduate medical training in Dublin and in Clinical Pharmacology at the Royal Postgraduate Medical School in London, he received his doctorate from the National University of Ireland in 1984. Dr. Murphy spent a decade on the Faculties of Pharmacology, Physiology and Medicine at The University of Chicago before returning to Cork as Professor of Clinical Pharmacology and later as Dean of Medicine. An expert on drug therapy for cardiovascular disease, he led several international clinical trials of interventions to reduce cardiovascular mortality.
A past President of University College Cork, Ireland (2007-17), he has been active in many academic organisations in Europe and the United States and has served as Vice-Chancellor of the National University of Ireland, Chair of the Health Research Board of Ireland, Chair of the Irish Universities Association and Chair of the Permanent Working Group (PWG) of European Hospital Doctors.

Professor Roger Penrose MAE

AFFILIATION:
Professor (emeritus) of Mathematics at the University of Oxford, U.K.

Read more

LINK TO WEBPAGE: https://penroseinstitute.com/about/roger-penrose/

TITLE OF PRESENTATION: Upside-Down: Revolutions in Physics, Old and New

ABSTRACT OF PRESENTATION:
The Copernican revolution tuned upside-down the prevailing view about the motions of the Earth and Sun, but it took Galileo’s dynamical understandings to explain why we do not feel the Earth’s motion, as in a carriage drawn by rapidly moving horses. The work of Kepler and Newton further refined this dynamics, but the speed of light, as explained by Maxwell’s 19th century electromagnetism seemed to pose a paradox, only finally resolved in the 20th century by Einstein’s special and general theories of relativity. Yet that latter theory (GR) led to the seeming catastrophe of singularities in large-scale gravitational collapse

That same century gave us quantum mechanics (QM) for the physics of the small, and a common view is that, when correctly applied to GR, singularities would not arise. However, there are strong reasons to x-expect that this cannot suffice, and should be turned upside down, for GR to resolve inherent problems in QM, again turning upside down current viewpoints relating quantum measurement to conscious experience.

CITATION:
Roger Penrose has conducted outstanding research in pure mathematics and theoretical physics for more than 60 years. He is most widely acclaimed for his work on singularities, such as black holes, which he proved can arise from the gravitational collapse of massive, dying stars. He has also made important contributions that explore possible connections between physics and consciousness, and set these out in best-selling books such as The Emperor’s New Mind (1989).

Roger Penrose revolutionised the mathematical tools that we use to analyse the properties of spacetime. Previously, work on the curved geometry of general relativity had been confined to configurations with sufficiently high symmetry for Einstein’s equations to be soluble explicitly, and by investigating small perturbations away from their symmetry. His more radical approach instead concentrated just on the topology of the space, or at most its conformal structure, since it is the latter — as determined by the lay of the lightcones — that determines the trajectories of lightlike geodesics, and hence their causal relationships. The importance of Penrose’s epoch-making paper «Gravitational collapse and space-time singularities» was not only its result (roughly that if an object such as a dying star implodes beyond a certain point, then nothing can prevent the gravitational field getting so strong as to form some kind of singularity). It also showed a way to obtain similarly general conclusions in other contexts, notably that of the cosmological Big Bang, which he dealt with in collaboration with Stephen Hawking.

Roger invented twistor theory, a key tool in quantum theory. He proposed the cosmic censorship hypothesis — an idea of how the effects of the unpredictability of singularities are ‘hidden’ from us. Even his recreations have been creative: his discovery of a non-periodic form of tiling — Penrose tiling — has since been observed experimentally in quasicrystals.

He has (with the possible exception of Hawking, for whom he was a mentor and collaborator) done more than anyone since Einstein, to deepen our understanding of space, time, and gravity. Moreover, alongside these ‘core’ efforts he has, throughout his long career, displayed exceptionally wide-ranging originality and intellectual energy; through his books and lectures he has been an immense cultural stimulus. He has already received many honours, but his wide-ranging and sustained career has the kind of breadth and impact renders him an especially distinguished recipient of the Erasmus Medal

OTHER BIOS.:
https://biography.yourdictionary.com/roger-penrose
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roger_Penrose

Professor Ole H Petersen

AFFILIATION:
Cardiff University

 

Read more

LINK TO WEBPAGE: https://www.ae-info.org/ae/Member/Petersen_Ole
https://www.cardiff.ac.uk/people/view/81251-petersen-ole

TITLE OF PRESENTATION: Science, Scientific Publishing and Scientific Advice for Policy: 50 years of personal experiences

ABSTRACT OF PRESENTATION
Science, scientific publishing and scientific advice are three different, but of course closely interconnected, activities. In the more than 50 years I have been an active publishing scientist, they have all undergone major transformations. My own field of biomedical science has been radically transformed from a mostly organ-based ‘black box’ approach to a mechanistic science based on molecular biology and biophysics, with dramatically increased opportunities for translation into clinical practice. The results have been impressive and have markedly increased the healthy, active life span. Science funding has increased enormously in many parts of the world, but scientific activity is now more heavily concentrated in a relatively small number of affluent countries than it was 50 years ago and in these countries it is still the case that the most influential and well-funded scientists are predominantly white and male. Publishing and reading published papers have also been completely changed with a vastly increased volume and speed of transmission as well as Open Access. In spite of the truly remarkable search engines and the improved readability of papers in the leading journals, it has become ever more difficult to keep up with the rapidly expanding literature. A vastly increased number of review journals and many more conferences have not been able to solve this problem. Evaluation of scientific work by metrics, although widely regarded as unsound, is nevertheless a stark reality in many parts of the world. Scientific advice to inform policy decisions has also changed dramatically during my scientific life, from being largely secret and based on opinions of individuals hand-picked by government to an institutionally-based activity with evidence and conclusions openly published (at least in the case of the European Union). In my lecture, I’ll try to draw all these trends together into as coherent a picture as possible, based on my personal experiences as a Professorial Principal Investigator in several different European universities, editor of several journals, member (and also President, Vice-President, Secretary General) of many academies, academic societies and funding bodies as well as, in the last 5 years, my involvement in the European Scientific Advice Mechanism.

BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE:
Ole Petersen CBE FRS is one of the Founding Members of Academia Europaea. He succeeded the Nobel Laureate Sir Martin Evans FRS, as Director of the School of Biosciences at Cardiff University in 2010, completing his 5-year term in 2015. He continues at Cardiff University as Professor of Biosciences and Director of Academia Europaea’s Cardiff University Knowledge Hub. Before joining Cardiff University, Petersen was George Holt Professor of Physiology at the University of Liverpool for 28 years. Petersen discovered ion channels in epithelial cells and their critical role in controlling secretion (Nature 1982-1989). He discovered local calcium signals and intracellular calcium tunnels in exocrine gland cells (Cell 1990-1997) and, more recently, unraveled the molecular events in the development of the often fatal human disease Acute Pancreatitis (AP) (PNAS 2000-2013). He has very recently developed a new evidence-based theory for the initiation of AP, involving necrotic amplification loops between three different cell types (Physiol Rev 2021). His current h-index is 101 (Google Scholar) or 86 (Web of Science). Petersen is a Fellow of the Royal Society (Vice-President 2005-2006), a Member of the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina (Leopoldina Lecture 2012) and Fellow/Member of five other European Academies. In 2021, he was elected one of the thirty inaugural members worldwide of the International Union of Physiological Sciences’ (IUPS) Academy of Physiology. Petersen was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) by Queen Elizabeth II in 2008 ‘for services to science’. He chaired the Biological Sciences Panel in the UK Government’s 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF2014) and has served as Secretary-General of IUPS, European Executive Editor of the American Physiological Society’s flagship journal Physiological Reviews and Chair of an ERC Grant Panel. In 2020, he became Editor-in-Chief of the American Physiological Society’s new Open Access journal Function. Petersen has received several prizes for his research on the physiology and pathophysiology of the pancreas, including the NOVO Nordisk Foundation’s Jacobaeus Prize, the Czech Science Academy’s Purkyne Medal and, in 2018, the American Physiological Society’s highest honour, the Walter B Cannon Memorial Lecture Award. In October 2021, he will deliver the first Sir Michael Berridge Memorial Lecture at the FASEB conference on ‘Calcium and Cell Function’.

Professor Quentin Skinner

AFFILIATION:
Queen Mary University of London

Read more

LINK TO WEBPAGE: https://www.ae-info.org/ae/Member/Skinner_Quentin
http://www.history.qmul.ac.uk/staff/skinnerq.html

TITLE OF PRESENTATION: A bridge between art and philosophy: the case of Thomas Hobbes

ABSTRACT OF PRESENTATION:
Thomas Hobbes was exceptionally interested in the visual representation of philosophical ideas. His two major works of political theory – his De cive of 1642 and his Leviathan of 1651 – both contain elaborate engraved frontispieces that summarise his arguments about the rights and duties of citizens and states. These are important works of art in themselves, and offer one of the most celebrated instances in the Anglophone tradition of an attempt to build a bridge between art and philosophy. The lecture traces the visual sources of Hobbes’s two images and illustrates the development of Hobbes’s ideas by comparing them. With his Leviathan frontispiece, Hobbes finally attempts to picture his distinctive conception of the state as a fictional person, as well as the reciprocal relationship between protection and obedience.

BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE:
Quentin Skinner is the Barber Beaumont Professor of the Humanities at Queen Mary University of London. He was a Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton between 1974 and 1979, and Regius Professor of History at the University of Cambridge between 1996 and 2008. He is a Fellow of the British Academy, a foreign member of many other national academies, and has been the recipient of numerous honorary degrees. His scholarship is available in more than two dozen languages, and has won him many awards, including a Balzan Prize in 2006. He has been a Fellow of the Academia Europaea since 1989. He is the author of fifteen books on Renaissance and modern intellectual history, and his two-volume study, The Foundations of Modern Political Thought, was listed by the Times Literary Supplement in 1996 as one of the hundred most influential books published since World War II.

Professor Quentin Skinner

AFFILIATION:
Queen Mary University of London

Read more

LINK TO WEBPAGE: https://www.ae-info.org/ae/Member/Skinner_Quentin
http://www.history.qmul.ac.uk/staff/skinnerq.html

TITLE OF PRESENTATION: How should we think about freedom?

ABSTRACT OF PRESENTATION:
Freedom is usually defined in negative terms as absence of restraint or interference, but I argue that this orthodoxy is in need of qualification and perhaps abandonment. I begin by noting that, because the concept of interference is such a complex one, there has been much dispute about the conditions under which it may be legitimate to claim that someone’s liberty has been infringed. But my chief concern is with those who challenge the core belief that agents may be said to enjoy liberty unless they are restrained or prevented from acting. Some of these critics doubt whether liberty is best defined as an absence at all, and instead attempt to connect the idea with specific patterns of moral behaviour. But other critics — on whom I end by focusing — agree that liberty is best understood in negative terms, while arguing that it basically consists not in absence of interference but rather in the elimination of broader conditions of arbitrary domination and dependence. The lecture concludes by noting some implications of this view for the conduct of democratic government.

BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE:
Quentin Skinner is the Barber Beaumont Professor of the Humanities at Queen Mary University of London. He was a Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton between 1974 and 1979, and Regius Professor of History at the University of Cambridge between 1996 and 2008. He is a Fellow of the British Academy, a foreign member of many other national academies, and has been the recipient of numerous honorary degrees. His scholarship is available in more than two dozen languages, and has won him many awards, including a Balzan Prize in 2006. He has been a Fellow of the Academia Europaea since 1989. He is the author of fifteen books on Renaissance and modern intellectual history, and his two-volume study, The Foundations of Modern Political Thought, was listed by the Times Literary Supplement in 1996 as one of the hundred most influential books published since World War II.

 

Professor Dr. Moniek Tromp

AFFILIATION:
University of Groningen, Vice-Chair Young Academy Europe

Read more

LINK TO WEBPAGE: https://www.rug.nl/staff/moniek.tromp/

BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE:
Moniek Tromp is currently full professor, the Chair of Materials Chemistry, at the Zernike Institute at the University of Groningen, The Netherlands. Her research focusses on the development and application of operando spectroscopy techniques in catalysis and materials research, incl. fuel cells, batteries, photochemistry, as well as arts, with a focus on X-ray spectroscopy techniques. Application of the techniques to fundamentally or industrially interesting catalytic processes and materials has been pursued, providing unprecedented insights in catalysts properties and reaction mechanisms and leading to novel and improved materials and processes.
She has been awarded prestigious fellowships/awards like the EPSRC Advanced Research Fellowship, NWO VIDI and the NWO Athena prize. She is active in numerous science advisory and review panels of large research facilities and universities internationally, part of a European Science Strategy team for large facilities, has published over 100 papers in high profile journals and given over 80 invited lectures worldwide.
Moniek Tromp is board member of the Dutch Research Council (NWO-Domain Science) and of the Dutch Network of Women Professors (LNVH). Moniek Tromp is vice-chair of the Young Academy Europe and the Young Academies Science Advice Structure (which will be a full partner in the next SAPEA project within the EU Science Advice Mechanism).

Professor Susan Trumbore, PhD

AFFILIATION:
Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry

Read more

LINK TO WEBPAGE:
https://www.bgc-jena.mpg.de/bgp/index.php/SusanTrumbore/SusanTrumbore

TITLE OF PRESENTATION: The Amazon and Global Change

ABSTRACT OF PRESENTATION:
Tropical forests process more carbon, water and energy, and are more diverse than any other terrestrial ecosystem. The Amazon Basin contains the largest continuous tropical forest in the world and plays a key role in global climate and atmospheric chemistry. Amazon tropical forests and soils contain ~260 Pg of C that is potentially vulnerable to land use and climate change, and they are major natural source of the greenhouse gases methane and nitrous oxide. Tropical forests are the largest global source of volatile organic compounds and the local atmosphere provides a unique natural laboratory for understanding how these compounds are chemically processed and linked to the formation and evolution of aerosols, clouds and precipitation. Despite its acknowledged importance for global atmospheric composition and climate, this key tropical region has remained a gap in global observation networks. It is also a large gap in our understanding as in a warming world it is not clear what will happen to Amazon forests. In this talk I will highlight results from two important regions – seasonally dry forests in the ‘arc of deforestation’ and wetter forests of the central Amazon to address questions of the role these forests play in carbon and energy balance, and how these functions are being affected by land use and climate change.
BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE:
Susan Trumbore leads the Processes Department at the Max-Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, and is an Honorary Professor at the Friedrich Schiller University in Jena, Germany as well as Professor (20%) of Earth System Science at the University of California, Irvine. Trumbore uses radiocarbon to trace the timescales associated with the flow of carbon through terrestrial ecosystems, including efforts to understand soil organic matter persistence and plant allocation. She leads the ERC funded project 14Constraint that aims to improve the use of radiocarbon as a test for global carbon cycle models. Trumbore has a long-standing interest in biosphere-atmosphere exchange and the role of disturbances in altering those fluxes. Current large international collaborations include the Amazon Tall Tower Observatory (ATTO) Project in central Amazonia and the Tanguro Project in Mato Grosso, Brazil. She is also a co-speaker for the German Collaborative Research Program AquaDiva that studies the critical zone in central Germany. She is the editor-in-chief of the new open access journal AGU Advancesesearch and education.

Professor Marian Verhelst

AFFILIATION: Scientific director of imec and head of a research team at the MICAS laboratories (MICro-electronics And Sensors) of the Department of Electrical Engineering, KU Leuven, Belgium

Read more

LINK TO WEBPAGE: https://www.esat.kuleuven.be/micas/index.php/marian-verhelst

TITLE OF PRESENTATION: Pursuing tech sovereignty for the EU? A researcher’s perspective on how to join forces with local industry, policymakers and general public

ABSTRACT OF PRESENTATION
In this talk, we will start from the current situation in the domain of chip processing, where saw a major shortage and critical dependence on Asia in the past year. We will analyze how it got to this point, and see what can be done towards the future to avoid similar situations in this field and others. This will be discussed from the standpoint of an academic actor in the field, with a strong recommendation to reply on better networks across academia and policymakers, academia and industry sector organizations and even academia and the general public. This will be illustrated with initiative taken at the Belgian level over the past years. We will end with recommendations for other academics and researchers to go the same route.

BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE
Prof. Verhelst is working in microelectronics and chip design, pioneer in custom AI processors, and is head of a research team at the MICAS laboratories (MICro-electronics And Sensors) of the Elec-trical Engineering Department of KU Leuven, Belgium. For her successes in research, she received numerous awards, prizes, fellowships, and grants including the Laureate of the National Academy of Science and Arts in Belgium, ERC Starting Grant, Fellow of the European Laboratory for Learning and Intelligent Systems (ELLIS), an IEEE distinguished lectureship, and grants from industry (e.g. Intel, Qualcomm, Huawei, Nokia). Verhelst has been involved in various organizations and activities, e.g. for the enhancement of science literacy and a larger uptake of STEM studies as member of the Flemish STEM platform, and to improve possibilities, work-life balance and the science land-scape for early-career researchers as founding member of the Belgian Young Academy, where she served on the Board and as co-president for two years. Verhelst is also passionate about science communication, especially towards young people and girls. She founded the Innovation Lab which develops engineering projects ready to be executed in secondary schools, with currently six projects in its portfolio, having trained over 600 teachers, who have executed the projects with more than 12 thousand students. She also features regularly on popular science TV shows (The body of Coppens) and podcasts (Nerdland), reaching hundreds of thousands viewers/listeners. She was involved in the creation of citizen science portal in Belgium, was chosen in the 2020-2022 Science meets Parliament programme, and initiated and organizes the “Women in circuits” initiative in the IEEE Solid State Circuits Society for mentoring young female chip researchers.