Shifting the perspective of sceptical minds

The practice of mindfulness is not yet full recognised by the science community for the benefits it can bring to the well-being and performance of individuals. As such, it constitutes the perfect case study to identify how evidence-base can help in promoting its wider adoption. Find out about how organisations who traditionally would not necessarily have adopted such practice--like universities, investment firms, tech companies,parliaments and the army--have been convinced to pursue this avenue Read more [...]

Evidence-based safety science is nigh

To date, most toxicology tests have not been validated but they are still mandated by regulatory agencies. The question is to find suitable ways of modernising toxicology testing in the 21st century in a structured, consistent, transparent way. In this article, Thomas Hartung, Founder Evidence-Based Toxicology Collaboration (EBTC), at Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, and colleagues, examine what remains to be done to address the mounting pressure exerted on industries and food and drug regulators worldwide to bring their decision-making process up-to-date with modern science. This calls for the use of a rigorous appraisal of the value of past studies under the umbrella of what has been dubbed evidence-based medicine (EBM), to be adapted in toxicology, to guarantee the safety of drug and consumer products. Read more [...]

Scientific foresight, new in the EU Parliament science advice toolkit

Find out how the European Parliament has an in-house mechanism to provide scientific advice, as part of the policy making mechanism. This advice is provided by the Science and Technology Options Assessment (STOA) Panel, which is supported by the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS). Since 1974, STOA has also integrated a foresight activity designed to anticipate the possible long-term unintended consequences of legislation on society. Read more [...]

Free Greek science from political hampering

If we use scientific excellence as a judging criterion, Greece is one of the richest European countries. However, in this opinion piece, John Ioannidis, shares his views on the real brakes standing in the way of further developing Greek research. This professor of medicine, health research and policy, and statistics at Stanford University, and former professor at the University of Ioannina School of Medicine in Greece, is better known for his work showing that most published research findings are false. Here, Ioannidis gives a frank account of the reality of how Greek politics does not give Greek research the best possible chance of blossoming. Read more [...]

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 [...]

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