Working toward excellent science means creating the conditions where scientists can flourish. Policies must recognize the breadth of scientific work and the various markers of success that can be used to identify excellence. Policies must recognize that scientists are diverse people: citizens, parents, and community members defined by more than their work. Creating the conditions in which science can flourish means fostering conditions in which scientists feel stable rather than precarious, included rather than excluded, free to pursue topics that are controversial or unpopular and also free from pressures to monetize their work or produce for production’s sake only. The working group on Science policy works towards raising awareness among academia and policy makers about these issues as well as towards improving the conditions under which young researchers can flourish, be excellent and thereby contribute to future scientific progress.