Speech forensics: when Hollywood seldom mirrors real-life court cases

Actors of the justice system often bestow very high importance to forensic evidence, which is sometimes misguided. In this piece of investigative journalism, EuroScientist looks at the case of speech forensics, in which charlatanism, the lack of regulations and controversies within the scientific community sometimes act together to the detriment of justice. Further validations of the methods used in speech forensics have yet to be established so that they become as reliable as DNA profile or fingerprint testing. Until then, experts warn, caution is in order. Read more [...]

Data Journalism Awards celebrate evidence-based questioning in our society

Data journalism has the potential to make reporting on scientific activities and innovation more accountable to society. In this article and podcast, EuroScientist covers the 2016 Data Journalism Award, recently held in Vienna, Austria. Find out more about the winning entries from Spain, Peru and the USA. In these projects, data analysis has helped uncover the varying cost of medicines across borders, the environmental and social impact of commodity mining and the extend of privacy loss due to US surveillance planes, respectively. These examples show how data journalism has the potential to bring scientific analysis to the practice of journalism, ultimately leading to more accountability and transparency in society. Read more [...]

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Journeys towards Ecotopia 2121

On the occasion of the anniversary of Thomas More’s book Utopia, another book Ecotopia 2121, is due to be released exactly 500 years afterwards. In a fascinating opinion piece, Alan Marshall, an environmental sociologist, and author of Ecotopia 2121, outlines a green vision for the future of 100 cities around the word, by focusing on the example of Leuven, Belgium, where Utopia was first printed. Read more [...]

Robo Sapiens: a new legal person on the horizon?

The legal implications of the consequences of the actions of robots endowed with artificial intelligence are currently the object of discussion at the European Parliament. In this opinion piece, Orsolya Zara, legal and policy advisor to an MEP at the European Parliament, in Brussels, provides some insights into changes pertaining to robots liability that may need to be implemented in civil law. Read more [...]

Do we need a European Innovation Council?

As plans are underway to establish yet another instrument to support innovation in Europe, dubbed the European Innovation Council (EIC), entrepreneurs and research-based organisations have questioned the proposal. The determination that Research, Innovation and Science Commissioner Carlos Moedas has shown in developing the concept, begs for further questioning concerning the details of the implementation of the proposed EIC. In this article, EuroScientist investigates whether those closely involved in innovation believe EIC is a good idea. Read more [...]

In praise of solitude in science

Solitude often holds negative connotations. Yet, it is not necessarily a bad thing for scientists. Particularly in an hyper-connected work environment, where team collaboration and instant communications sometimes act like a smokescreen to hide the deep meaning of what scientists individual journey entails. In this deep personal reflection, Francisco Azuaje, senior researcher at the Luxembourg Institute of Health, helps us look at the true benefit of solitude in science. Read more [...]

Does mobility boost early scientific careers?

Young scientists are expected to change country and jobs every few years on average to get a chance to progress their academic career. Mobility in science stems from a long tradition. It is favoured for bringing very enriching experiences. But post docs and their scientific work do not always benefit from mobility. Here, EuroScientist looks into how being on the move every few years affects the life of researchers and looks at ways of enhancing work/life balance. Read more [...]

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RRI: New buzzword or vision of modern science policy?

Science has the power to transform societies. It has the power to help tackle the challenges Europe is facing. Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) aims to reconcile the need for research to operate autonomously against a backdrop of society transformed by scientific discoveries and technical inventions. Thanks to RRI, we are getting one step closer to finding practical solutions to facilitate the dialogue between scientists and all those concerned, including citizens. Read more [...]

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RRI training by showcases

RRI has an air of deja vu, as the concepts behind RRI could transform the way that the research and innovation processes work, and bring their results much closer to what our fellow citizens really want and need. European funded project RRI Tools is rolling out a series of training workshops across Europe. In this opinion piece, Steve Miller, professor of science communication at University College London, UK, shares the lessons learned from previously tested approaches implemented by the UK EPSRC research council.Read more [...]

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Aude Lapprand interview: a manifesto for involving citizens in science

In this interview with EuroScientist, Aude Lapprand presents the work of the Sciences Citoyennes Foundation, based in Paris, France. The organisation, which questions who should be responsible for choices made in science and how best to make science more democratic, to be discussed at the 7th Living Knowledge conference in June, in Dublin, Ireland. One of the solutions proposed relates to citizen convention where lay people are briefed to debate controversial topics in science. Read more [...]

European science conversations by the community, for the community