EASAC strengthens its governance and elects three new Vice-Presidents

Press Release

25 November 2023 – At its Council meeting, EASAC has elected three new Vice-Presidents for a term of three years. Their research interests serendipitously sit across all three of EASAC’s Programmes.

  • Professor Birgitta Henriques-Normark, KVA, Sweden (Biosciences and Public Health)
  • Professor Brian Norton, RIA, Ireland (Energy)
  • Professor Lise Øvreås, DNVA, Norway (Environment)

„In this period of multiple challenges and changes, now more than ever, it is important to have strong scientific ambassadors, more, and more diverse advocates for EASAC and for the value of science in general”, says Prof. Wim van Saarloos, EASAC’s President. “The newly elected Vice-Presidents bring valuable expertise and ideas to EASAC’s board, and I look forward to working with them.”

Prof. Lise Øvreås: “EASAC is a very important voice for independent science advice in Europe, and science advice is essential input for policymakers in their effort to make sound decisions on different matters related to biosciences, health, energy and climate change.”

Prof. Brian Norton: “Maintaining relevance in a rapidly changing world is important for a scientific organization like EASAC. Effective communication will be key to maintaining our relevance as providers of scientific policy advice, this is what we will work for.”  

Prof. Birgitta Henriques-Normark: “The current turbulent world that we are living in with many different crises ongoing at the same time, and discussions about alternative facts underline the importance of providing independent science-based advice on important challenges which is the mission of EASAC.”

Short Biographies:

Prof. Birgitta Henriques-Normark
Birgitta Henriques-Normark is professor and senior consultant physician in clinical microbiology at Karolinska Institutet and Karolinska University Hospital. Her research focuses on respiratory tract infections, especially pneumococcal diseases. The approach is translational, going from basic mechanisms of pathogenesis to epidemiological and clinical studies. New antimicrobial therapies and novel vaccine candidates are being identified.  She has had several leadership appointments at the Swedish Institute for Infectious Disease Control, and at Karolinska Institutet, such as Vice dean for recruitments, and academic Vice President for research.  She is an elected member of the European Academy and Microbiology (EAM), American Academy of Microbiology (AAM), European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO), and is part of the Nobel assembly at Karolinska Institutet. Since July 2022, she is the President of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

Prof. Lise Øvreås
Professor Lise Øvreås is President of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters and a professor at the University of Bergen (UiB), Norway. Her field is geomicrobiology at the department of biological sciences, UiB. Her main interest is development of molecular methods for use in microbial molecular ecology studies. Additional interest includes studies of microbial diversity and ecology along environmental gradient and extreme environments such as Deep Ocean, Arctic ice (sea ice, glacial ice and pingos), Arctic permafrost soils, cave ecosystems and high saline environments. From 2019 – 2021 she was the director of Ocean Sustainability Bergen at UiB, with focus a special focus on bringing the Universities into the on SDG 14 appointed by UN and International Association of Universities (IAU).

Prof. Brian Norton
Professor Norton is a Member of the Royal Irish Academy and a Fellow of the Irish Academy of Engineering. Principal, City Campus, Technological University Dublin, he has made significant contributions to the development of solar energy technologies particularly in the context of energy in buildings. He is author of over 200 research papers in major international learned journals with over 8000 citations with a h-index of 47.  He is Vice-President and Treasurer of the European Sustainable Energy innovation Alliance and board member of the International Energy Research Centre. He is a Fellow of the Energy Institute and Engineers Ireland, a Chartered Engineer (both in Ireland and the UK) and Fellow, Higher Education Academy. Professor Norton is immediate past President of Dublin Institute of Technology and he also holds honorary chairs at universities in the UK, China and USA.


Sabine Froning
Communication Adviser
+49 1520872700

About the European Academies’ Science Advisory Council (EASAC)
EASAC is formed by the national science academies of the EU Member States, Norway, Switzerland and United Kingdom, to collaborate in giving advice to European policymakers. EASAC provides a means for the collective voice of European science to be heard. Through EASAC, the academies work together to provide independent, evidence-based advice to those who make or influence European policies within the European institutions. www.easac.eu

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