Science Europe

The Scientific Committee for Life, Environmental and Geo Sciences

The Life, Environmental and Geo Sciences Scientific Committee informs and supports Science Europe in science policy activities. The Committee comprises 15 highly-authoritative European academics representing a wide range of research disciplines. It is chaired by Professor Dirk Inzé who is Scientific Director of the Department of Plant Systems Biology, Vlaams Instituut voor Biotechnologie (VIB), Belgium.

The Committee is supported in its work by a dedicated Senior Scientific Officer within the Science Europe Research Affairs Team.

 The remit of the Committee includes:

  • Providing expert opinions on relevant European policies impacting research in Life, Environmental and Geo Sciences (‘Opinion Papers’);
  • Providing independent scientific advice and support for Science Europe’s policy activities, including support for policy statements to the European Institutions and national governments (‘Position Statements’);
  • Participating in ‘horizon scanning’ and monitoring new emerging research developments, in order to provide timely advice to Science Europe Member Organisations and policy-makers.

The Committee's Priorities

Some of the Committee’s 2014 and 2015 priorities in terms of policy topics include:

Career Paths in Multidisciplinary Research

Traditional ways of working in silos hamper the ability to provide integrated data and models. The current rapid progress in data acquisition and analysis requires input from various experts in order to generate knowledge whilst combining different fields. In this context, new challenges emerge in advancing careers. Thus, the Committee is addressing an urgent need for the development of ‘credits’ -  such as publications records or being a speaker at events – for scientists working in large multidisciplinary teams. Moreover, this field requires impact indicators which can demonstrate the added value of joint efforts, and suitable strategies in publishing and authorship.

International Collaboration

Scientific research dedicated to solving global challenges requires collaborative research on an international scale. Therefore, the Committee is analysing opportunities arising from international collaborations and identifying tools that foster the development of multinational and bottom-up collaborative research, by reaching out directly to scientific communities.

Sustainable Management of the Earth’s Resources

Innovation in science and technology can contribute valuable tools and strategies for sustainable management of ecosystems, biodiversity, natural resources, and climate change, whilst facing pressures from the world’s growing population in terms of food security and health. Hence, the Committee is exploring challenges and opportunities in the transition to sustainable development.

Legal Framework on Access to Genetic Resources and Traditional Knowledge

The main instrument for conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity is the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). A supplementary treaty to the CBD, the Nagoya Protocol was approved on behalf of the European Union (EU) in 2014. In addition, the EU adopted Regulation No 511/2014 to implement a legal framework on compliance measures for users from the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits (ABS) Arising from their Utilisation in the Union. In this context, the Committee is analysing challenges and opportunities in implementation of such legal framework. At the same time, the Committee is raising awareness within the scientific community about upcoming framework that will be fully implemented in October 2015.


(20 November 2015) Science Europe has a new President and new Governing Board... read more

(2 November 2015) Science Europe welcomes and supports the ‘Science4Refugees’ initiative that the European Commission recently launched... read more

(30 October 2015) Science Europe Response to the European Commission's Consultation on Simplification in Horizon 2020... read more

(21 September 2015) “The most secure, most affordable and most sustainable energy is that which is never used” says a newly released Opinion Paper by a Science Europe Scientific Committee... read more

(25 August 2015) Science Europe Invites New Thinking on the Future of Joint Programming - New Position Statement by Science Europe 'On the Role and Future of Joint Programming'... read more

(13 July 2015) A new Opinion Paper has been published today by Science Europe’s Scientific Committee for the Social Sciences. The publication, entitled ‘The Need for ‘Diamond Engagement’ around Open Access to High Quality Research Output’, addresses two more


September 2015: 'A Common Scale for Our Common Future: Exergy, a Thermodynamic Metric for Energy': Exergy is the resource of value, the energy available for work; a measure of both the quality and quantity of available energy. Exergy analysis not only tells the truth about energy efficiency, but, in an extended perspective, potentially leads to resource accounting on a global scale: a common scale for our common future.

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