Baltic cooperation

Monday, 05 April 2021 16:18

Baltic Conferences on Intellectual Cooperation

The tradition of holding the Baltic Conferences on Intellectual Cooperation appears to be a heritage left by the International Institute on Intellectual Cooperation (replaced by UNESCO) set up by the League of Nations. In the decade before the Second World War (since 1935), regular congresses of intellectuals of the Baltic States were organized by the Institute of Intellectual Cooperation (Paris) at the League of Nations. Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, as well as Finland, took part at these congresses and occasionally Sweden and Denmark attended, too.

The Intellectual conferences were resumed in 1999 by the Latvian Academy of Sciences. These conferences started their numbering from 7 (In the 1930's six Conferences on Intellectual Cooperation have been held). Nowadays the Baltic Conferences on Intellectual Cooperation take place every second year alternately in Riga (1999), Tallinn (2001), Vilnius (2003), Helsinki (2005), Riga (2007) and Vilnius (2010). Nowadays the academies of sciences have become the main attraction point in organizing these events. Quite naturally the academies wish to believe that the tradition of holding conferences on intellectual cooperation will remain a privilege of the academies of sciences in the future.

The 1999 Conference took place at the time when the Baltic states were gradually moving towards accession to the European Union (EU) and with the concept of the Baltic region as a building bloc of the New Europe, the conference concentrated on two key issues: historic aspects and future perspectives for the cooperation of Baltic States and protection of intellectual values and science through mutual cooperation of legislators, governments, mass media and scientists. Quoting Stradins, president of the Latvian Academy of Sciences: "The academies of sciences bear a special mission and special responsibility of motivating and maintaining the unity of our Baltic States, and taking care that intellectual values are honoured in the region". The Conference saw the participation of representatives of the Baltic States, Finland, Sweden and Norway. The unofficial white-red-yellow flag of the Baltic (each stripe coming from the flags of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, respectively) was exhibited to the participants.

In 2001, the 8th Baltic Conference on Intellectual Cooperation took place in Tallinn, and at this conference three subjects were taken to the foreground: the message to the world aimed at raising the awareness about the historical experience of the Baltic States, research strategies in small countries, and the humanities during the past decade. It was distinguished by a wider representation of the countries around the Baltic Sea.

In 2003 (10 June), the 9th conference took place in Vilnius, with the theme was "Globalization, Europe and National Identity". A lot of attention was given to the science and culture of small countries. The Conference was organized by the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences and was attended by participants from as many as eight Baltic countries.

In 2005, the 10th Baltic Conference on Intellectual Cooperation took place in Helsinki, with the theme „The Baltic: Past, Present and Future". The four conference sessions dealt with history and politics, the Baltic Sea as a body of water and scientific collaboration around the Baltic Sea.  The conference was organized by the Finnish Academy of Science and Letters

In 2007 (9-10 October), the 11th Baltic Conference on Intellectual Cooperation took place in Riga, with the theme "Academic Views on the National Development Strategies of the Baltic States". It was organized by the Latvian Academy of Sciences, and assembled the delegations the Estonian Academy of Sciences and the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences, as well as the Finnish Academy of Science and Letters, the Delegation of the Finnish Academies of Science and Letters and the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. The Conference plenary speakers highlighted all dimensions of sustainable development: environmental, social and economic, whereat the latter was primarily related to the energy sector, which is vitally essential for the three Baltic States. Further, the conference discussed the ways how academia could contribute to closer collaboration between scientists of our countries in the frames of European Commission research programs and to collaborative research within the programs realized by various European research organizations. The 11th BCIC (2007) passed two resolutions dealing with the advancement of science and scientific cooperation: (1) Resolution on Baltic Energy Issues, (2) Resolution on the advancement of science and the humanities in the Baltic countries.

In 2010 (4-5 November), the 12th Baltic Conference on Intellectual Cooperation took place in Vilnius. The theme of the conference was "Science and Society" and it was organized by the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences. The delegates of the three Baltic academies of sciences, the Federation of all European Academies of Sciences, ALLEA, and the Finnish Academy of Science and Letters met in Vilnius. The conference deliberated on a wide range of topics and passed a resolution setting the targets to be followed by the academies: (1) to influence policymaking with the best scientific advice; (2) to engage in an open dialogue with various interest groups over sensitive and controversial issues, as cloning, genetic modification, etc.); (3) to educate the public through informal means and to strengthen the science communication skills of the academies' members and (4) to encourage young people to pursue careers in science The Conference included the customary awarding of the Medals of the Baltic Academies of Sciences. The Conference adopted a Resolution on strengthening the advisory role of science in policy-making and policy evaluation that set out the following targets:

To influence policymaking with the best scientific advice;

To engage in an open dialogue with various interest groups over sensitive and controversial issues (cloning, genetic modification, nanotechnology, techno-ethics and bioethics, environment, social engineering, etc.);

To educate the public through informal means and to strengthen the science communication skills of the academies' members;

To encourage young people to pursue careers in science.

On 28-29 January 2013 the 13th conference in the series of the Baltic Conferences on Intellectual Cooperation took place in Tallinn. The theme of the conference was "European Research Area and Small Countries". The conference was organized by the Estonian Academy of Sciences. The opening address was given by President of the Academy Richard Villems. The conference papers covered the topics on the European Research Area, global processes in science, role of the national academies of sciences, cooperation among the scientists of the Baltic States, Baltic Sea States and Europe (Baltic studies, role of the diaspora), development of the science in different areas (biodiversity studies, materials science).

The 14th Baltic Conference on Intellectual Cooperation was held in Riga on 20-21 April 2015. The theme of the conference was "Academies of sciences for research and innovation: Past and future". Among the participants at the conference besides Baltic States' scientists were also representatives from Germany (Bärbel Friedrich, Vice President of Leopoldina), Norway (Øivind Andersen, President Union Académique), Poland (Maciej Janowski, Professor, Polish Academy of Sciences) and Slovakia (Dušan Gálik, Scientific Secretary, Slovak Academy of Sciences). The topics discussed at the conference covered issues on policy advice in a world of global challenges accentuating the role of national academies, scholarly cooperation in the humanities through academic networking - in the Baltic region and globally, cooperation of research, technology development and innovation in Baltic Region, Baltic economic growth in cross-temporal comparison: inter-war and restored independence periods, dependence on EU Structural funds in the Baltic Countries et alia.

The 15th Baltic Conference on Intellectual Cooperation "The Future of Teacher Education in the Baltic Region: Towards Research Based Teacher Education" took place in Helsinki, Finland on March 30-31, 2017. The Conference was intended to address views on the present and future of teacher education in each participating country. The main goal was achieved through a presentation by each participating country at each session, followed by an open discussion. All participants were invited to present and change the teacher education experience. The topics covered all areas of teacher education. It provided a forum for science policy discussions on teacher education issues.

The 16th Baltic Conference on Intellectual Co-operation "Genes: from the Past to the Future" was held at the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences on 2-3 May 2019. The conference in Vilnius was mostly focused on biomedical sciences, but it was not limited to them. The presentations of the first day of the conference was focused on the impact of modern genetics and genomics on plant selection, medical practice, and the emergence and development of novel scientific disciplines. The ways of how the latest achievements in genetics and genomics are changing the perception of the history of human populations were demonstrated on the example of Lithuania on the second day of the event.

The 17th Baltic Conference on Intellectual Co-operation “Mathematics for Society” took place at the Estonian Academy of Sciences in Tallinn on 28-29 June 2021. The main theme Mathematics for Society was motivated by massive contribution of many scientists into the analysis of processes during the COVID-19 pandemic and design of the exit strategy of this pandemic. While the efforts of medical experts and life scientists have been widely recognised, the related developments in exact sciences, informatics, and engineering are still to be acknowledged and appreciated.

On 20–21 April 2023, the Presidents of the Academies of Sciences of the Baltic Sea countries, representatives of the European research institutes and academic organizations, as well as specialists of the energy industry, policymakers and entrepreneurs gathered in Riga for the 18th Baltic Conference on Intellectual Cooperation (BCIC). The conference was organized by the Latvian Academy of Sciences (LAS) together with the Estonian and Lithuanian academies of sciences and the cooperation partners in Latvia – JSC Olainfarm and JSC Latvenergo.

Each of the previous conferences was devoted to a single topic, the theme of the 18th BCIC was "Energy for the Future Society". On the eve of the conference, academician Modris Greitāns, Foreign affairs secretary of the Latvian Academy of Sciences, emphasized the topicality of the theme: “The theme of this year's conference is “Energy for the Future Society”. The events what we are witnessing today  have shown that the matter of energy, and especially energy shortage and increase in price, has a huge impact on all groups of society, on their usual way of life and development opportunities. At the conference, the energy issues will be examined from a broad point of view, with scientists, businessmen and politicians discussing both energy production and alternative energy sources, methods of its storage, transmission and supply, as well as efficient and sustainable energy use. Energy is a field where the investments have to be planned very far-sightedly, because their results and benefits are expected only in a long term."

Read 2217 times Last modified on Wednesday, 03 May 2023 12:36
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