The General Assembly of the Estonian Academy of Sciences held in Tallinn on 25th September 2019 re-elected Professor Tarmo Soomere as President of the Academy until 7th December 2024.
Before voting procedure a brief overview about the term of the Presidency in 2014-2019 and vision for 2020-2024 was delivered by President Tarmo Soomere.
The role of the Academy, said President, lies in consolidation of scientists and making their voice heard. The Academy is becoming as main science adviser to the State. Writing the Academy into the Coalition Agreement is a big achievement, said the President. He continued: ministries and other institutions of the Republic of Estonia are interested in scientific support provided by the Academy.
After the results of the election were announced, President said that the General Assembly today demonstrated revival of a strong belief that the Academy is needed. He noted that the Academy has to make a clear choice between the roles of lobbyist and science adviser. The one who makes lobby cannot be heard as adviser, said the president.
Speaking about future perspectives Professor Soomere stressed the need for continuity of the present course. Science advise could grow up, become adults, said the President. We have received signals from our Government and politicians that the Academy is already now performing the role of the Chief Scientist in Estonia.
More attention should be paid to the general education, said the President. It is essential to provide support to teachers and students. There is need to explain why one or another subject or topic in the curriculum is important. Creating interest towards these subjects is crucial. Achievements and discoveries of the Estonian scientists and researchers need to be taken more actively to the people.
A new media channel introducing Estonian science to Estonian people is needed. 2000 papers yearly published by the Estonian researchers could be interpreted into 200 articles targeted to a wider audience.
The General Assembly also elected three new foreign members: Computer scientist Margus Veanes, Geneticist Svante Pääbo and Linquist Raimo Raag. New foreign members elected will strengthen Academy and help to make Estonia bigger, said President.