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Science Careers Blog

April 6, 2010

Launch of the Global Young Academy

A new academy honoring outstanding early-career scientists from around the world has just been launched under the auspices of the InterAcademy Panel for International Issues (IAP). In an editorial published this week in Science (subscription required), 6 founding members of the Global Young Academy (GYA) present the new organization. 

Members to the GYA will all be scientists in their mid-thirties, nominated by senior scientists in their country and selected by international peer-review. The GYA will be capped at 200 members and membership will be for just 4 years to prevent the aging of the organization's membership. Currently, the GYA counts more than 100 young scientists from 40 different countries.   

One central aim of the GYA is to spur creation of national young scientist academies that "encourage and empower their members to engage in interdisciplinary research, communicate science to society, and provide advice on national science policies, especially those affecting young scientists," the founding members write in the Editorial. Importantly, the GYA also aims to foster scientific exchange and collaborations between talented young scientists from the developed and developing world.  

But the organization's main motivation is to put more focus on the accomplishments of younger scientists, countering what the editorial writers perceive to be a bias towards older, established scientists. "Senior scientists receive most of the resources available for scientific research, and younger scientists rarely receive societal recognition for their work. This situation is growing worse as life expectancies and retirement ages increase, along with the average age for attaining scientific independence." Perhaps as a consequence, they say, "science is typically not a top career choice." The Global Young Academy is a means of providing some recognition for the best young scientists globally.

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