At the end of 2021, while people are still trying to get a grip on the new variants, it was hard to look ahead to what 2022 would bring – accelerating climate change, biodiversity loss, or even more.
A year ago, vaccine drives against COVID-19 were just beginning. Now, not only were vaccines made and brought to the public in a record-breaking time, but more effective drugs, treatment and diagnosis methods are in the pipeline. Yet human beings, as a community of shared destiny, understand more than ever that to renew the future, we should work together amid challenges.
To tackle these challenges, scientists need to engage in broader and better collaboration with government and business, and this synergy will lead to effective solutions based on rigorous research. In addition, the public should be provided with proper science education for a better understanding of science spirits and knowledge. Finally, an open and inclusive innovation ecosystem with robust academic guidance is critical to cultivating the next generation of scientists, and to inculcating them the spirit of science that has characterized our own efforts. We firmly believe that a greater level of shared endeavors will be seen in the years to come.
Despite the challenges, WLA is proud that we’ve made meaningful achievements towards the goals of the Association in the past year, both in the promotion of basic science and the development of young scientists. Another successful WLA Forum (WLF), held last month, was impactful in the sharing and dissemination of new knowledge, ideas and frontiers. In particular, we’ve initiated “Zero Carbon” series sessions where global experts came together to discuss and reflect on advanced carbon technologies, carbon governance strategies and most importantly, the solutions to climate change as well as carbon literacy.
Moreover, we launched the Open Science: Build an Open Innovation Ecosystem Initiative and call for the openness in thought and communication as it provides a way to a better future – it builds trust among scientists and enhances interaction among scientists all over the world, from different countries, different academic backgrounds, and different fields of science. In the coming year, WLA Labs is about to create new opportunities for the career advancement of young scientists, while the WLA Prize will empower more fundamental research for better science.
In the very last month of 2021, it is with great sadness and heavy hearts that we bid farewell to Prof. Richard Lerner, a true friend and loved one of ours. Prof. Lerner was Co-Founder of the WLA, and his passion for science and the development of youth will be a lasting legacy that encourages us to keep moving forward.
As we leave 2021 behind, though we cannot know what next year will hold for us, we will always find ways to bounce back and thrive in our path to scientific discovery.
On behalf of all WLA members and staff, we wish you and your loved ones a healthy, prosperous and collaborative 2022.
Happy New Year!
December 31, 2021
World Laureates Association