In 2000, Germany became the first country to launch a national Academy of Young Researchers named “Die Junge Akademie”. This spawned a movement that now straddles 45 countries, as more and more countries are in the process of establishing similar scientific bodies. Alongside the national institutions, there are 16 similar bodies around the world including 5 transnational organizations (such as the Global Young Academy, and the Young Academy of Europe). Young Academies aim to support junior scientists and lecturers at a national, regional or global level and to get their voices heard by leaders of the political and academic community, decision-makers, legislative authorities, sponsors, business leaders and media.
The Academy of Young Researchers was established in Hungary under the support of MTA in May 2019. Seven of its total 48 members are citizens of Semmelweis University. Dávid László Tárnoki (associate professor of the Department of Radiology of the Medical Imaging Centre) has been elected to membership at the latest renewal of the Academy this spring. Previously elected members are: Dr. Donát Alpár (senior research fellow at the 1st Department of Pathology and Experimental Cancer Research), dr. Szabolcs Béni (director of the Department of Pharmacognosy), dr. Dorottya Csuka (research fellow at the Department of Internal Medicine and Hematology), dr. Balázs Enyedi (senior lecturer at the Department of Physiology), dr. Zsófia Lázár (senior lecturer of the Department of Pulmonology) and dr. Gergely Toldi (voluntary assistant of the Department of Laboratory Medicine).
FKA aims to increase international visibility as well, university researchers have a significant role in this: dr. Gergely Toldi, the founding member of FKA was a member of the Global Young Academy between 2016 and 2021 and dr. Donát Alpár was elected member of the Young Academy of Europe this year.
Dr. Zsófia Lázár, dr. Donát Alpár, dr. Dorottya Csuka, three researchers of Semmelweis University and FKA members published a three-page article in Nature on 21 June 2021. The article summarizes the benefits of similar academies to young researchers, local scientific communities and society.
“As their financial and legal status and institutional structure greatly varies, our purpose was to introduce the goals, activities and opportunities of national and international academies. Young Academies organize workshops aiming to make citizens aware of recent scientific results and evidence, they promote open access publishing, which is key to strengthen interdisciplinary research and collaborations at both the national and international level – added dr. Dorottya Csuka. Young Academies can also promote scientific careers to the next generations of scholars. Mentoring offered by Young Academies might represent various opportunities to support the career development of young scientists, including science-communication, scientific-writing or grant-writing workshops and seminars for individual advice, counselling or mentoring schemes. These types of mentoring can help early-career researchers to choose an independent career path, regardless of discipline-specific convention, by generating, gathering and sharing knowledge on responsible research practices across all disciplines.
The article published in Nature (Erika Bálint, Dorottya Csuka, Viktória Venglovecz, Gitta Schlosser, Zsófia Lázár, Eszter Gselmann, Donát Alpár, Katalin Solymosi (2021) Six reasons to launch a Young Academy Nature 594, 599-601.) is available here. FKA members also pointed out the importance of this topic. The editors of Nature published an editorial in relation with the topics addressed in FKA’s article.
Montage: Attila Kovács – Semmelweis University (source: Attila Kovács; mta.hu)
Translation: Norbert Lukács