Annual Report 2021

A year of exceptional life science research, training, service, industry collaboration, and integration of European life science research.

Leading the dialogue on societal challenges

EMBL hosts international forums to share information and ideas on pressing global challenges, contributing to shaping effective solutions.

An artistic impression of a virus in the centre, surrounded by elements relating to the COVID-19 pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic exposed the inextricable links between individual health and the health of those around us. An EMBL conference brought together experts from different fields together to review current knowledge on SARS-CoV-2 and discuss the role ahead for scientists. Credit: Aleksandra Krolik/EMBL

The COVID-19 pandemic showed once again the inextricable links between individual health and the health of those around us. It also demanded nurturing and encouraging dialogue at political, institutional, and scientific levels in Europe and worldwide. Not surprisingly, EMBL stepped in to provide avenues for dialogue on wider issues beyond just the current pandemic.

Colourful illustrations of various plants, animals, and outline of a human chest with internal organs.
Human, animal, and ecosystem health are intricately connected; we can only be as healthy as the world around us. The 22nd EMBL Science & Society Conference explored the One Health approach, which advocates for greater cross-sectoral collaboration and communication across the human-animal-environment interface. Credit: Aleksandra Krolik/EMBL

Two years after the first identification of COVID-19 cases in late 2019, EMBL once again brought together experts from different fields to present the current knowledge on SARS-CoV-2 molecular biology and epidemiology, as well as strategies and approaches towards developing anti-infectives and vaccines. The result of this international conference was a wider discussion on guarding against future pandemics.

Similarly, EMBL hosted its 22nd annual Science & Society conference, which addressed One Health and its myriad aspects, such as antimicrobial resistance, environmental science, food safety, and zoonotic disease. The conference explored how to harness the potential of One Health research and gave researchers the opportunity to consider new networks and collaborations that incorporate partners like NGOs, industries, and governments.

“EMBL is uniquely placed to create a bridge between ‘Science & Society’, and our conference on One Health gave us a fantastic opportunity to do just that.”

 – Lucia von Bredow, EMBL Bioethics Manager and Science & Society Lead

Graphic representation with mix of molecules, dna representation and other biologic symbols

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