The event attracted members from all over Europe. They came at different stages of their career. They work in natural sciences, engineering, and humanities, in both business and academia. This time around the participants had two days to learn, talk and get to know their rights and opportunities in the world of research. The host of the assembly was the Spanish chapter of MCAA which prepared the venue, live broadcasting of the event, and the reception. And all this in the beautiful and ancient halls the University of Salamanca. That great background allowed the guests and members to concentrate on the contents of the event.
The General Assembly on the 24th of March offered the members to get to know the association’s governing. It also presented the new opportunities that MCAA gives to its members. Moreover, all participants were shaping the policies of MCAA by providing ideas in working group sessions. And a poster session brought people together discussing their individual research topics.
On the second day both the members and invited guests enjoyed talks and plenary sessions on the hot topics of the researcher community. Business, innovation, mobility, job security in research, differences, similarities between sciences and humanities, gender equality and public engagement of researchers ignited discussion and criticism on the role of research in the EU.
It is especially good to see that the engagement in the political culture of the European Union and the role of researchers in the society were the strong points of this year’s assembly. Only four years after its consolidation the MCAA navigates towards the complex waters of policy influence in the EU. And with almost nine thousand bright members it can drive the decision making. MCAA can keep the knowledge and provide ideas. And more importantly, it sees the future in a multicultural, cooperative and open-minded way that Marie Curie fellows experience during their fellowship.
It is a great pleasure to see a worthy project taking off and it is an even bigger one to drive that development. The MCAA is a textbook example of such a venture. And its rapid growth despite the young age offers promising prospects for the development of the researcher community in Europe and the rest of the world.