Data Privacy

We have prepared a selection of article and opinions related to how the digital era is going to change our society, in a way that data privacy will never be the same as ever before. It is no mystery that technology evolves faster than regulations. Yet, this could have some serious consequences for our privacy in our highly connected word. Each one of use leaves a trail of digital breadcrumbs, which is likely to grow over time as more and more every-day objects are connected to the internet. We look at what needs to happen to ensure that the digital world best serves our societies and that our privacy is protected. Read more [...]

Data will never be as private as ever before

The lack of regulatory scrutiny on how our personal data is collected and used is a growing concern. It is not clear which is the most worrying. Having future generations who may not even question being under constant digital scrutiny. Or allowing technology to further develop without implementing the necessary data privacy safety nets; thus failing to create healthy habits for the next generations. Read more [...]

Dirk Helbing: the potential and the perils of Big Data

Big Data is becoming a new paradigm of evidence-based decision making, creating new possibilities to build smarter, more resilient and more efficient cities and societies. In this interview, Dirk Helbing, professor of computational social science at ETH Zurich, Switzerland, explains how to best utilise information for ourselves and our society, and what pitfalls may lie ahead. Read more [...]

Thierry Zomahoun podcast: Africa is looking for its Einsteins

Africa is at the tipping point, as it needs enough scientists to carve its place as a global player. That’s according to Thierry Zomahoun, a development economist who is CEO of the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences. In this podcast interview, he tells EuroScientist about the urgent need to train a critical mass of bright scientists with mathematical skills so that they can become critical thinkers and problem solvers to address the African development challenges. Read more [...]

Women’s rights owe to ethnological studies

International women’s day is only a token reminder of the countless social and human science practitioners who have redressed the balance for women’s status in society. Indeed, 21st century Western women enjoy the fruit of centuries of ethnological and anthropological studies. This opinion piece looks at how successive feminist movements have contributed to the emancipation of women. To do so, they have relied on comparison between the individual rights and sexual freedom of women in remote societies and their own. Read more [...]

Should PhDs accept to have a mere student status?

Some of the rights and benefits of being considered as an employee could soon be swept from under the feet of many Dutch PhDs. A new proposal by Dutch Labour Party Minister Jet Bussemaker has reignited a long term debate on the subject. The move, backed by universities, is considered by researchers’ organisations as depriving PhDs of many rights and benefits. This shows that for every step forward in helping the working conditions of scientists —among others, through the introduction, ten years ago, of the European Charter for Researchers— it is only too easy to slide backwards, according to an opinion piece by Eurodoc president, John Peacock. Read more [...]

Does the European Researchers Charter deserve its birthday cake?

As it nears its tenth anniversary, the European Charter for Researcher has failed to be fully implemented across Europe. This disappointing state of affairs shows that there are still many ways in which the status of researchers in Europe can be improved. Yet, future improvements hinge on such documents having more binding power in the future. Read more [...]

Special Issue February: Trust

There is no better time to revisit trust issues than during a lingering recession. In such period, trust is put to the most stringent test. And those with the decision making power in the publishing industry, the wider economy, politics and policy have yet to improve their relationship to those they are trying to impress, should they finally be awarded the share of the trust they are courting. Read more [...]

The virtual road to recovering trust in academic publishing

The ongoing opposition between the scientific community and science publishers is evolving. The latter have tarnished their reputation on the count of greed and inability to give back to the community. Now, however, grassroots innovators and legacy publishers have started to develop tech-centric solutions to better serve the community. These could soon make a noticeable difference to the scientific process itself and bring tangible benefits to scientists. Time will tell whether the tide will turn and trust between the protagonists will return. Read more [...]

When negative data fails patients by publication omission

Half of all clinical trials never see the light of day. There are regulations in Europe and the US; they are often ignored. But public pressure has begun to push the pharmaceutical industries to make trial data available. However, in a world where industry, clinicians and medical publishers are complicit in not having clinical trials published in full, it may be necessary to give ownership of clinical data back to patients to gain greater transparency and accountability. Read more [...]

Mistrust towards policy-makers, not misplaced

This opinion piece by Ann Cahill, president of the International Press Association Brussels, critiques the public’s ability to hold decision-makers to account via media. The assessment is that the system has broken down, the old world has disappeared giving rise to a deep and unbridgeable divide between the professionals and the citizens, with vested interests manipulating a political class fed on buzz-words, the latest fad, or their own greed for power or wealth. Read more [...]

European science conversations by the community, for the community