Knowledge-based! The Academy's major aims for the coming years

6 January 2021

Every four years, the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences ('the Academy') sets out its priorities in a Strategic Agenda. In that document, it focuses on its various tasks: those of an outstanding learned society and meeting place for researchers from all disciplines, those of an advisor to the Dutch government, and those of a research organisation made up of research institutes that are of national and international importance.

The Dutch Minister of Education, Culture and Science, Ingrid van Engelshoven, received the Strategic Agenda during a celebratory meeting on Zoom.

The four major aims set out in the Agenda are urgent ones in these times of COVID-19, but will remain important even after the crisis:

  • To promote outstanding research: the Academy is a venue where top researchers from the entire spectrum of research can exchange knowledge and share it publicly. The Academy’s institutes are leaders that constantly respond to international developments;
  • To support young researchers so as to make science future-proof;
  • To nourish and enrich debate within society, with alternative forms of advice, contributions to public debate, and activities for a broad target group;
  • To promote international cooperation and to strengthen the position of the Netherlands in international scientific endeavour, among other things through more 'science diplomacy'.

During the presentation (in Dutch), these major aims were voiced by, respectively, Nobel Prize winner Ben Feringa, PhD candidate Tibisay Sankatsing Nava, Helga de Valk (Director of the Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDI)), and Eveline Crone, Vice President of the European Research Council.