SciencePop

Disseminating science, one quirk at a time. By Sergio Pistoi.

Credit: Tette per la scienza

The big boob persuasion: does it work for science, too?

Could using naked boobs help attract people's attention to science? The Tumblr blog Boobs for Science has just proved it’s no joke. It asks volunteers to send photos of themselves naked or wearing underwear, attaching a scientific statement of their choice. Some pictures are then published together with a concise scientific explanation on the chosen topic. The initiative was born in Italy, where the parent blog Tette per la Scienza has already made a splash and the Facebook page has gathered more than 20,000 fans since late October 2014. Read more [...]
credit: SOHO (ESA & NASA)

Is Astrophysics Ready to Draw a Lesson from Thomas Kuhn?

Strong debates arise as scientific certainty is being questioned. Is the theory on the standard solar system undergoing changes as convergent possibilities are being questioned. Now, Pierre-Marie Robitaille, a chemist and professor of radiology from the University of Ohio, claims that the sun is not gaseous but may consist of liquid metallic hydrogen – a paradigm-shattering attack on the standard solar model that has been established for almost a century now.The problem is that evaluating Robitaille’s arguments requires expertise in very different fields – thermodynamics, astrophysics, for the sun, and condensed matter physics, for the liquid metallic hydrogen. Who has such expertise? Read more [...]
credit Chinmay

Innovation: collaboration creed rather than mobility mantra

When it comes to mobility, Central and Eastern European scientists are among the champions. This has often resulted in an entire generational gap in their country’s scientific community. Now, some of the brainiest Eastern European scientists are doing research in the most dynamic research hubs in Western Europe, the US and Asia. And their home countries are left to pick up the pieces. Read more [...]
credit  Mário Tomé

What does it take for brain drain reversal initiatives to be effective?

After the fall of the iron curtain 25 years ago, many scientists left Eastern Europe. The exodus peaked early in the 1990s. Yet, new emigration flows stemmed from the 2004 EU enlargement to ten countries including the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, and Slovenia. Further emigration arose as Bulgaria and Romania joined the EU in 2007. Read more [...]
credit U.S. Army RDECOM

PhDs seeking more than just student status

The position of doctoral candidates in Europe has rarely been more difficult than it is today; this is especially true for scientists working in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). he past five years have seen many huge changes that have affected the context in which doctoral training is taking place. The first is the inclusion of doctoral training in the Bologna process as a third education cycle. The second is the announcement that the European Commission is aiming to train at least one million more researchers by 2020. The last, but perhaps, the most difficult aspect, is the financial crisis of the past few years; the worst to strike Europe in past 50 years. Read more [...]
credit Hanna Sorensson

Eastern European countries snub neighbours’ science policy

Looking East of an imaginary line going through Berlin and Rome all the way to the Urals creates a broad outline of what Eastern Europe is, in the widest geographical definition. What is striking about this broad region is the number of similarities between different countries, not least in science. And yet it is equally surprising how little these countries exchange good practice. Specifically, scientists and policymakers will talk for hours about problems in their country. But few will have much awareness of how similar problems have been overcome in neighbouring countries. Read more [...]
credit Anya Andreyeva

Russian science oscillating between progress and backlash

Last year, Russia’s president Putin took away all the assets of the Russian Academy of Science . Putin has also created a sort of mega-academy, merging the academies of Sciences, Agricultural Sciences and Medical Sciences. However, its control was not bestowed upon the forward thinking chairman of the RAS, Vladimir Fortov. Instead, it was attributed to one of Putin’s finance manager, creating fierce controversy in the country and abroad. These events have come to disrupt parallel attempts to put Russian science back on the world map. For example, through initiatives such as the creation of a Russian Silicon Valley and the support of a mega-grant programme to reverse the brain drain. Read more [...]
Credit Sanofi Pasteur

Clinical trials Eldorado based on quality, not cost

Central and Eastern Europe is proving very attractive to pharma and biotech companies for clinical trials. Highly motivated patients, well-qualified investigators, speed of trials and quality of data as well as lower costs are frequently listed attractions. All together, the population of Central and Eastern Europe represents greater number of people than that of either the United States or the five largest Western European markets combined. Besides, the region also offers a convenient location—at the heart of Europe—for drug and device industries to carry out clinical trials. This article explore in many details the many reasons that makes life science industry come back over and over again to these territories, which have gained their reputation through a combination of rigour, high education levels and historic legacy. Read more [...]
credit Emiliano

A crowdsourcing approach to innovation

I truly believe that, if people open up, collaborate and work together, they can achieve greater results than anyone working alone. This is why I have co-created Babele, an online crowdsourcing platform for business planning. The concept of Babele was the subject of my MBA thesis in 2009 in Brazil. My research aimed at drawing a roadmap on how to harness collective brainpower to innovate in the area of sustainability for the common good. For example, this could be achieved by developing projects aiming to achieve the triple bottom line of economic prosperity, environmental quality and social equity. Read more [...]
kopia

Creating an inspiring environment for scientists in Poland: Maciej Żylicz podcast interview

Maciej Żylicz is an outstanding Polish molecular biologist with an international career, currently based at the International Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology in Warsaw. He is also president of the Foundation for Polish Science, which is a non-profit funding agency, which is the largest source of science funding in Poland outside of the state budget. In an exclusive podcast interview to EuroScientist, he shares his views on the future of Polish science policy. Read more [...]

European science conversations by the community, for the community