News from the European Academies' Science Advisory Council (EASAC)

Environment & Climate
Commentary on science-based European recovery post COVID-19, video interview on COVID-19 and Alternative Medicine, virtual Council Meeting, new President and "Packaging Plastics“ publication

The European Academies' Science Advisory Council (EASAC) has just published “How can science help to guide the European Union’s green recovery after COVID-19?” (available here), a commentary that addresses possible implications and outcomes of the crisis.

EASAC's work on COVID-19 also includes an interview with Dan Larhammar, President of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, on alternative medicine in the current pandemic. You can watch it here:

As reported by its Secretariat, in the last months EASAC has been heavily affected by the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, and due to the crisis the upcoming EASAC Council Meeting on 29 May 2020 will be held online for the first time since EASAC's founding.

Still, IAP's regional network for Europe has a lot of news to share - most notably it recently welcomed its new president, Christina Moberg.

We live in a more and more complex world, so policy decisions are becoming more and more complex. We also have a lot of uncertainty and ambiguity in decisions to make. That makes scientific evidence more and more important. Policymakers have to take other aspects into account as well, but scientific evidence is extremely important.

(...) EASAC’s biggest strength here certainly is that we are and must remain truly independent from financial and industrial interests. And that we have access to the expertise of the Academies of Science within the EU and Norway, Switzerland and the UK

Christina Moberg said in a Q&A published on EASAC’s website.

EASAC’s new report “Packaging Plastics in the Circular Economy” shows that fundamental and systemic reforms are required along the whole value chain, in order to slow and reverse damage to the environment, biodiversity and ultimately risks to human health. EASAC warns that current efforts to resolve the plastics crisis are ineffective and misleading. Policymakers and industry must address conflicts in the whole system, from production to end-of-life. “Reducing the leakage of millions of tons of plastic waste into the marine, terrestrial and freshwater environments is incompatible with banking on continued growth in the use of plastics”, says Michael Norton, EASAC’s Environment Programme Director.