The logic behind the Stop Vivisection campaign

An anti-vivisection citizen initiative has gathered over 1.2 milion signatures. Despite lengthy debates related to the Directive on the use of animal in research, anti-vivisection campaigner still oppose any use of animals in research. The initiators of the petition, who include some scientists, argue that animal studies cannot predict how humans respond to drugs or chemicals. The move has triggered a strong response from the science community. Yet, some anticipate there could be a better way of dealing with such issues involving greater citizen engagement. Read more [...]

Reviewer anonymity: a hindrance to self-correction in science?

The culture and conditions of the scientific process have evolved in such a way—with greater collaboration and greater competition than ever before--that anonymity no longer serves its purpose. It is therefore time to reflect on the best mechanisms that can be introduced to ensure greater study reproducibility and replicability. Read more [...]

Data sharing shifts scientific culture

Reproducibility of research is at the heart of science. However, old habits die hard. And the custom of making all data fully available so that others can reproduce them is not yet fully ingrained in scientists' modus operandi. Some likely changes that may encourage data sharing include the introduction of training modules on good sharing practice and the practice of crediting the author of the original data set used in new work. These could go a long way towards unlocking the reproducibility challenge. Read more [...]

Alessandro Vespignani: open data is key to preserve nature of science

Physicist Alessandro Vespignani is one of the main experts in networks and statistical and numerical simulations. He shares his views in this exclusive podcast in EuroScientist on how the era of Big Data requires scientists to adapt their approach to replicating such data. Specifically, he believes that we have to update the idea of replication, or better, the idea of how to verify or falsify an experiment. Read more [...]

Minding Replication, Mending Publication

With replication issues pervading neuroscience and psychology, journals in these fields aim to change the incentive structure of academic publishing. Under what they have dubbed 'pre-registration', editors expect scientists to register a detailed methodology before conducting their study. This approach, designed to remove biases and encourage replication, has since been adopted by journals that span the life and social sciences. But fray not, pre-registration leaves room for exploratory science. Read more [...]

Bitterness cannot be avoided, but should not turn into rejection

Amaya Moro Martín reacts to the FCT head resignation a couple of weeks ago and the recent death of former Portuguese science minister José Mariano Gago. She places this crisis in European research into the wider Southern European research context. She shares her unease about the collective apathy surrounding such austerity measures against research. She believes, if we don't plant the seeds of research and innovation now, we are unlikely to reap the benefits at all. Read more [...]

FCT head resigns, amid Portuguese research community survival plea

A new episode in the controversy related to the evaluation of Portuguese research units has recently been played out. The high profile resignation of the president of the Portuguese funding agency FCT in March 2015, is yet another chapter in an unfinished murky business. Now that half of the country’s research units have been earmarked for closure, the science community is attempting to fight back to save the fate of the country’s research talents, built over the past few decades by pouring large amounts of tax payers’ money to create such science expertise. Read more [...]

José Mariano Gago: RIP

The early death of José Mariano Gago saddens the scientific community. A firm believer that scientists should fight to make an impact on finance ministers and prime ministers to be effective, he was a towering figure in debates and developments in European policies for science, technology and innovation. He was a warm man, too, open, hospitable, calm and wise. He will be missed by the community. Read more [...]

Kamila Markram interview: changing the way academics work

In this exclusive interview with EuroScientist, Kamila Markram explains how Frontiers, the open access academic publisher she co-founded is designed to remedy some of the shortcomings of the current academic publishing process. She talks about reinventing peer review by making it possible to exchange views, introducing altmetrics and making science attractive to young minds. She also introduces Loop, a social media network for scientists designed to be integrated wherever scientists are present, in places such as online publications and universities web sites. Read more [...]

European science conversations by the community, for the community