YAF began collaborating with the Swiss Young Network for Science Policy and Diplomacy

The first workshop was organised in Bern on May 3 2024

This spring, Young Academy Finland has begun collaborating with the SYNESPOD (Swiss Young Network for Science Policy and Diplomacy) network. SYNESPOD is a project that aims to establish a platform for science policy and diplomacy through partnerships with different institutions. 

Young Academy Finland shares the goals set by the project: to build the capacity of early-career researchers to contribute to science policy and to increase the capacity, visibility and impact of early-career researchers in science for policy and diplomacy.

Two of our members attended the SYNESPOD workshops this season. Assistant Professor in Materials and Mechanical Engineering, Ashish Ganvir (University of Turku) attended a one-day workshop “Science-Policy Interface for Scientists: An (Inter)national Perspective” in Bern in May. He found this experience extremely enlightening.

“Most important thing I learned was how ignorant I have been towards our role as scientists in policy making. We have an extremely crucial role to play”, says professor Ganvir.

Veera Ehrlén presented Young Academy Finland’s activities in Geneva in June.

In June, another workshop with a similar theme was organized in Geneva. YAF was represented by postdoctoral researcher in Media and communication studies Veera Ehrlén (University of Jyväskylä) who gave a presentation on science for policy activities already implemented by Young Academy Finland. The Swiss participants were impressed by YAF’s achievements, and Ehrlén was mutually impressed by the benefits networking has brought to the Swiss Young Academy.

“The SYNESPOD network has provided the Swiss Young Academy more chances to organise and participate in different kinds of events that connect policy makers with academics, and they seem to have established a regular flow of communication with the Swiss Academies, with the European and Global Young Academies as well as local organisations such as Reatch and foraus. I think this is an example we could learn from.”

She says she also learned more general things about science advice.

“I learned about the importance of mutual trust in science advice and how relationships and networks contribute to building trust. I also learned about the importance of long-term thinking, supporting mechanisms and facilitation in science advice.”

Young Academy Finland looks forward to further collaboration and mutual learning to build structures for science policy and diplomacy.