The Secretariat of the European Academies Science Advisory Council (EASAC) will move from the Royal Society in London to the German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina at the beginning of April. EASAC is the association of National Science Academies of the member states of the European Union (EU).
EASAC provides science-based policy advice for institutions and decision-makers within the EU. It aims at building science into EU policy by providing independent expert advice about the scientific aspects of important public policy issues. EASAC works primarily in the science areas of Energy, Biosciences and Environment, as these have a major impact on the lives of EU citizens.
The current Chairman of EASAC, Prof. Volker ter Meulen, who is also a past President of the Leopoldina, said: "The influence of EASAC, as a body which provides high-quality science-based policy advice to policy-makers and society in the EU, continues to increase. The decision to move the EASAC Secretariat to the Leopoldina is an honour for Germany as a location of science - and for the Leopoldina it is a great commitment."
Since its foundation in 2001 EASAC has substantially expanded its work and increased the number of policy advice reports and statements it publishes per year. In 2009 EASAC has produced an 'Infrastructure Strategy for Europe's Electricity Supply' and reports on 'Healthcare-Associated Infections', 'Drug-resistant Tuberculosis', and 'Ecosystem Services and Biodiversity'. 2010 will see the publication of a study on climate change and infectious diseases, on the situation of groundwater in the southern member states of the EU, on synthetic biology and on the interface between science and policy-making. The work of EASAC is funded through contributions of its member academies and project-specific funding of academic bodies like the Inter-Academy Panel (IAP), a global association of science academies.
The President of the Royal Society, Lord Rees of Ludlow, said about the move of the EASAC Secretariat: "The Royal Society has been proud to host the European Science Academies Advisory Council for the last nine years, during which time, the Academies of the European Union have produced a large number of significant studies on areas of relevance to European policy, from infectious diseases to biodiversity to European electricity supply. As we hand over the Secretariat of EASAC to our friends at the Leopoldina, I wish them every success in taking forward this coalition of academies; I am confident that the support of Leopoldina will see EASAC go from strength to strength."