Tommi Himberg to head the newly established Young Academy Finland
The Finnish Academy of Science and Letters is establishing Young Academy Finland (YAF) by means of a million euro donation by the Emil Aaltonen Foundation. Tommi Himberg, a neuroscientist from Aalto University has been selected as chairperson of the new science academy.
The purpose of Young Academy Finland is to promote science highlighting in particular the perspective of young researchers at the early stages of their scientific careers. YAF is the first of its kind in Finland, but young researchers' academies already have an established role in e.g. other Nordic countries. The Finnish Academy of Science and Letters has previously run the Academy Club for Young Scientists, but its activities have been much narrower in scope. Young Academy Finland has more members, engages in a wider variety of activities, and is an independent actor in its opinions.
'The objective of Young Academy Finland is to promote science in Finnish society by highlighting the perspectives of young researchers in discussions on science policy. The younger generation of scientists takes for granted that research is multidisciplinary and international, but university structures and funding instruments are still quite rigid with regard to these,' Tommi Himberg describes.
Young Academy Finland aims to network in Finland and internationally and the have an influence on the direction science policy develops in. YAF aims to promote the use of researched data in political decision-making by building cooperation with Members of Parliament and the Finland's political parties.
'The one-to-one partnership model would have decision-makers and young scientists visit one another's workplaces,' Himberg suggests.
YAF also feels it is important to secure the future of science by motivating young people to take an interest in it. Bringing schools and researchers of different fields together can help in this. Young Academy Finland is in a good position to do so as its members represent different fields of science.
'Work related to establishing Young Academy Finland's activities is exciting because no one knows at this point what form the academy will take once it has been fully established,' Himberg concludes.
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Picture: Ilkka Nissilä