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Seminar: Science in society – roles and positions in the next era

What is the role of science and academia in a world, where existential challenges – like climate change – need to be solved, the role of scientific knowledge is questioned, learning needs to become life long and where competition but also possibilities are global? How to maximise universities’ societal impact without compromising in high-level science and education?

Welcome to discuss these questions in ÅAU’s unique Science in Society-seminar on January 24th at 13.00–15.30 in aud. Armelt in Arken. We will be lead to these topics by exceptional guest speakers, foremost experts within academia’s societal impact:

  • Keynote Wiljan van den Akker, Utrecht University, Vice-Rector of Research, expert on societal impact and productive interactions in society.
    • Wiljan van den Akker got his PhD in Modern Literature at Utrecht University in 1985 and was appointed full-professor of Modern Dutch Literature in 1987. He taught in Berlin (at the Freie Universität), Köln, Paris and Lille. He was a Senior Fulbright Scholar at UCBerkeley. From 1996 till 2003 he chaired the Board of the Dutch National Endowment for the Humanities (NWO) in The Hague and represented The Netherlands in the Standing Committee for the Humanities of the European Science Foundation-ESF in Strassbourg. From 1993 till 2003 he was the Director of the Research Institute for History and Culture, after which he became Director of Research at the Royal Academy of Sciences (KNAW). He became Distinguished Faculty Professor of Poetry in 2003. From 2006 till 2014 he was Dean of Humanities at Utrecht University. Presently he is Vice-Rector for Research and Director of the Centre for Humanities. His field of research is Modern Western Poetry. He is also a published poet and novelist. Together with Jack Spaapen he recently published the LERU-Position Paper: “Productive Interactions: Societal Impact of Academic Research in the Knowledge Society”.
  • Rose-Marie Barbeau, Research Impact Manager, University of Glasgow.
    • Rose-Marie Barbeau is Research Impact Manager for the University of Glasgow in the UK. In addition to coordinating the University’s impact submission to the Research Excellence Framework, since 2012 her primary focus has been to encourage and support a change in the institution’s research culture and activity, ensuring that researchers at all levels are able to understand, articulate and plan for the potential impacts of their work. She is a Co-Investigator on the Horizon 2020-funded ACCOMPLISSH consortium assessing impact support mechanisms from social sciences and humanities research in Europe, and was a lead presenter on FutureLearn’s first MOOC on impact (Research Impact: Making a Difference), which was followed by 1500+ learners in 120 countries. She holds a Master’s in International Policy Studies and a BA (Hons) in French Linguistics and Literature. Rose-Marie has over 25 years’ experience in communications, including 10 in the international development sector.
  • Rainer Kattel, UCL, Deputy Director, Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose.
    • Rainer Kattel is professor and deputy director at Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose, UCL. He received his education from University of Tartu, Estonia, and University of Marburg, Germany, studying philosophy, political philosophy, classics and public administration. He has published extensively on innovation policy, its governance and specific management issues. His research interests include also public sector innovation, predictive governance and financialization. His recent books include The Elgar Handbook of Alternative Theories of Economic Development (edited with Erik Reinert and Jayati Gosh; Elgar, 2016), Financial Regulations in the European Union (edited with Jan Kregel and Mario Tonveronachi; Routledge, 2016), Innovation Bureaucracy (with Wolfgang Drechsler and Erkki Karo; Yale, forthcoming in 2019), and a special section on mission-oriented innovation policy in Industrial and Corporate Change(edited with Mariana Mazzucato). In 2013, he received Estonia’s National Science Award for his work on innovation policy.
  • Riitta Pyykkö, Vice-Rector for Education, University of Turku.
    • Riitta Pyykkö is Vice-Rector of the University of Turku, Finland. In this capacity, she is responsible for academic affairs, as well as quality management. She has had a long career teaching at the university level and conducting research as a professor of Russian Studies. She has also been active in the development of higher education as, e.g. a national coordinator for the Finnish Bologna implementation in 2002-2005 and a member of the Finnish Bologna Promoters’/Experts’ Team in 2006-2013 and several other national working groups and projects. In 2017 she prepared for the Ministry of Education and Culture a report on the Finnish national language reserve and its development needs (www.minedu.fi/en/multilingualism). From 2004 she was a member, and from 2008 until 2014, the Chair of the Finnish national quality assurance agency FINHEEC. In 2015-2016 she was chairing a Nordic working group for quality in higher education, appointed by the Nordic Council of Ministers, and continues to be a member of the group. From 2017 a member of the Register Committee of EQAR. She has participated in several European evaluations and reviews as a member or chairperson of the evaluation panel.

The seminar is a kick-off event for the work on ÅAU’s new strategy in 2019, and at the same time, a conclusion of the work on societal impact that has been carried out together with Demos Helsinki in 2018. The seminar will be live-streamed here: https://www.abo.fi/scienceinsociety/.

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