Public Release: 

EMBO and EMBL to host anniversary science and policy meeting


HEIDELBERG, 30 June 2014 - Scientists, politicians and policy makers will meet at the EMBL Advanced Training Centre in Heidelberg, Germany, on Wednesday 2 July and Thursday 3 July for the EMBO-EMBL Anniversary Science and Policy Meeting. The event will feature scientific talks from researchers, the participation of European science ministers, and sessions on policy issues such as excellence and inclusion.

Robert-Jan Smits, Director-General, Research & Innovation, for the European Commission, a speaker at the meeting, remarked: "EMBO and EMBL have shown that when Europe combines its forces by bringing together its best talents, it can lead the world in science and innovation. For this reason, it is good to meet and celebrate the success of these organizations. The anniversary of EMBO and EMBL also provides an excellent occasion to look ahead and to discuss ways to further strengthen Europe's position in the field of the life sciences."

2014 is the 50th anniversary of EMBO, the 45th anniversary of the European Molecular Biology Conference, the intergovernmental organization that supports EMBO, and the 40th anniversary of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory.

Georg Schütte, State Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, Germany, remarked: "EMBO and EMBL have always been trend setters. They provide scope for unconventional thoughts and new ideas. It is the young investigators who develop and implement these novel concepts. Their wealth of ideas is the capital on which European research and prosperity are based. Many former EMBL researchers are now directors of internationally renowned research institutions in Europe and dispersed this philosophy of EMBL and EMBO across Europe. Germany is proud to be the host of these extraordinary institutions."

"We are all striving to support and promote excellence in the life sciences but we have to be acutely aware that it must be inclusive and take into consideration diversity," said Helga Nowotny, ERA Council Forum, Austria, a speaker at the event. "Among the topics at the meeting will be some of the considerations posed by excellence."

Nobel laureate Ada Yonath, Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel, and Elizabeth Murchison, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom will be among the speakers on Wednesday 2 July. Marc Heppener, European Space Agency, will present on Thursday 3 July. Science ministers from three European countries will participate in a panel discussion on the first day of the meeting.

On Wednesday 2 July, a ScienceTree will be unveiled in a public ceremony. Over the years, renowned European scientists from 27 countries, including three Nobel laureates, have contributed to the project (see The ScienceTree symbolizes the unity of the life sciences in Europe.

The meeting is open to the press. If you would like to register for this event, please contact Yvonne Kaul, EMBO Press Officer;; M: + 49 6221 8891 111.

The full programme of the meeting is available at


About EMBO

EMBO is an organization of more than 1600 leading researchers that promotes excellence in the life sciences. The major goals of the organization are to support talented researchers at all stages of their careers, stimulate the exchange of scientific information, and help build a European research environment where scientists can achieve their best work.

EMBO helps young scientists to advance their research, promote their international reputations and ensure their mobility. Courses, workshops, conferences and scientific journals disseminate the latest research and offer training in techniques to maintain high standards of excellence in research practice. EMBO helps to shape science and research policy by seeking input and feedback from our community and by following closely the trends in science in Europe.

About EMBC

The European Molecular Biology Conference (EMBC), founded in 1969, is an inter-governmental organization comprising 27 Member States including most of the European Union and some of the neighbouring countries. The EMBC provides a framework for European co-operation in the field of molecular biology and closely related research areas.

About EMBL

EMBL is Europe's flagship laboratory for the life sciences, with more than 80 independent groups covering the spectrum of molecular biology. EMBL is international, innovative and interdisciplinary - its 1700 employees, from many nations, operate across five sites: the main laboratory in Heidelberg, and outstations in Grenoble; Hamburg; Hinxton, near Cambridge (the European Bioinformatics Institute), and Monterotondo, near Rome. Founded in 1974, EMBL is an inter-governmental organisation funded by public research monies from its member states. The cornerstones of EMBL's mission are: to perform basic research in molecular biology; to train scientists, students and visitors at all levels; to offer vital services to scientists in the member states; to develop new instruments and methods in the life sciences and actively engage in technology transfer activities, and to integrate European life science research. Around 190 students are enrolled in EMBL's International PhD programme. Additionally, the Laboratory offers a platform for dialogue with the general public through various science communication activities such as lecture series, visitor programmes and the dissemination of scientific achievements.

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