Costas Fotakis: Investing in blue sky research helps to create long-term wealth

EuroScientist talks to Costas Fotakis, who is the former research minister for the Syriza leftist government of Alexis Tsipras, in Greece. He has been involved in designing the science policy of the Syriza party, which is competing in forthcoming national elections on Sunday 20th September 2015. In this exclusive interview to EuroScientist, he shares his view on how to build research capabilities in Greece. Read more [...]

Time to recognise the influence of gender on research outcomes

The League of European Research Universities, LERU , launches today, 16th September 2015, a new report showing how Gendered Research and Innovation (GRI) can foster new knowledge and solutions to global challenges. And such challenges are not minor. Indeed, research failing to account for sex and gender specificities can put lives at risk and be costly. Gendered Innovations in Science, Health & Medicine, Engineering, and Environment is a US/EU initiative whose goal is to explore how gender analysis can open doors to discovery. Meanwhile, international, collaborations supported by the European Commission and the US National Science Foundation developed state-of-the art methods for sex and gender research. Read more [...]

Why do self-made women rely on mentors?

The title of this article may sound like a self-help book. Yet, mentoring takes place spontaneously as part of the scientific process. Indeed, the concept of mentoring is as old as science itself as mentoring plays a very important role in the hierarchic scientific system. There, scientists are recommended by reputation. Yet evaluation procedures designed to be neutral are sometimes still overshadowed by the influence of the so-called “old boys' networks”. So what needs to happen? Read more [...]

A final plea to save Portuguese science

A group representing various research centres in Portugal met, on 27th July 2015, the recently appointed president of the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT), Maria Arménia Carrondo. This was a plea to reverse the latest round of budget cuts to research centres. Unfortunately, the meeting did not produce positive results. Meanwhile, a report by an international panel that evaluated FCT’s policy and functioning in quite a eulogistic manner, also failed to address this issue of budget cuts in detail. So what needs to happen? Read more [...]

Summer is upon us: time for reflection for EuroScientist readers

Are some of your feeling the heat already? Summer is finally upon us. Time to unwind for some. Or to tackle the things on their 'to do' list that have been put on the long finger, until now. As part of this transition period, we invite you to take a step back, and conduct a personal reflection combined with some introspection about your day-to-day lives. Once this analysis has been done, we would like to invite you to get back to us with some suggestions concerning what you would like to read in EuroScientist in the future. Read more [...]

Noa Haim: everyone can play designer!

Noa Haim is a designer and an architect based in The Netherlands. She is the founder of the Collective Paper Aesthetics initiative, to create participatory construction toys. Her idea is to let anybody become a designer, thanks to simple shapes that can be assembled at will. In this opinion piece she reveals her philosophy at the interface between science and art. She shows how anybody can become an designer with no prior training—perhaps one of the best introduction to engineering and architecture the next generation could have. Read more [...]

Open Science

Open Science: never have terms been interpreted in so many different ways by so many different people. The diversity of perspectives on this matter reflects the evolving nature of what research has become. These reflections led to the idea of this EuroScientist special issue together with early stage discussions with scholarly publishing experts, and journalistic investigations about what to expect from an ever opening science. Read more [...]

Thoughtful debate is losing ground over appearance

Science may be opening up, but there are still areas that researchers would like to see remain private. Indeed, under the auspices of open science, scientists are increasingly expected to present a virtual projection of who they are. Appearance has gained an unprecedented level of importance. Scientists who do not play along open themselves to being mistreated or misunderstood. Living in a world of social media network means that scientists’ every utterance is recorded, dissected and analysed. Unfortunately, researchers have come to this game unprepared and without the type of training that politicians typically benefit from. Nobel Laureate Tim Hunt has had a bitter experience in this new era. Read more [...]

A new kind of science: research in the age of big data

What is unique about research in the era of Science 2.0? For one, it opens up important new methods of discovery. But the potential gains offered by technology can only be fully realised if research becomes open. This requires scientists to share more than ever before. And this calls for a system where all contributions, down to the most minute, are given proper credit. Welcome to the era of the fourth paradigm of research! Read more [...]

The day when science is truly open

One day, we can imagine that science will truly be open. Before we reach that stage, however, a number of issues have to be tackled. Particularly, when it comes to transparency, more suitable evaluation giving adequate credit for researchers involved in contributing to all aspects of the scientific process, most of which were unaccounted for until now, and optimum use of the availability of very large sets of data. Ultimately, life as a scientist in the era of web 2.0 is bound to change beyond recognition. Read more [...]

European science conversations by the community, for the community