Previous Fora / 2003

Active participation of the young generation: past and future perspectives

Christine Heller del Riego (Spain)

"Active participation of the young generation: past and future perspectives"


In 1999, the UNESCO-ICSU World Conference on Science called for measures to facilitate the access of young scientists to careers in science, as well as to enhance their involvement in science policymaking. The first step towards promoting the role of young scientists was to gather 145 young scientists from 57 countries at the International Forum for Young Scientists (IFYS), a satellite event of the Conference. An important outcome of this meeting was a commitment from UNESCO to establish a permanent structure for young scientists.

The last four years, young scientists have been getting organised in various associations - Euroscience, the Marie Curie Fellowship Association (MCFA), Eurodoc and PI-Net - and have achieved clearer visibility through the following activities:

  • The creation of diverse communication channels between young scientists;
  • The preparation of policy papers through survey studies and workshops;
  • The organisation of international conferences of young scientists with support from different international institutions, such as the European Forum for Young Scientists in Gdansk (Poland) in 2000;
  • Participation of young scientist in the international science policy events, such as the Euroscience Conference "New Science and Technology based Professions in Europe" in Bischenberg (France) in 2002.

Important events scheduled for 2004 are:

  • The Early Stage Research Mobility Conference in Lisbon (Portugal) next February, that is a joint project of Euroscience, the MCFA, Eurodoc and PI-Net;
  • The Euroscience Career Programme during the Euroscience Open Forum in Stockholm (Sweden) in August.

We are here today to announce the establishment of the World Academy of Young Scientists -WAYS - in the spirit of the 1999 International Forum for Young Scientists. The proposed mission statement for WAYS is: a permanent global network for the young scientific community that provides regular input into decision-making on science and technology. Through its different activities it seeks practical and effective solutions in the development of science to achieve a more humane and civilized world.

Finally, as a concrete point of action we propose that WAYS policy papers be distributed amongst all national parliaments and international science policy institutions.


World Science Day, WSF, Budapest
Monday 10 November 2003
(Dr Christine Heller del Riego, PhD)