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 [...]

Spring of discontent in the European science community

The new Juncker Commission is attempting to tackle the sluggish economic climate by introducing a punchy new plan. It involves the creation of the European Fund for Strategic Investment to invest in job creation and growth. This initiative has generally been welcome. Except that the proposal involves taking €2.7 billion away from Horizon 2020, the very programme supposed to produce the innovations that would contribute to the growth of the economy. This has triggered uproar in the European science community. This reaction was further compounded by criticism from the European Court of Auditors pointing to the many gaps in the proposed plan. Finally, additional concerns that further funding restrictions could be imposed on the way structural funds are permitted to be used have also emerged, given that research features low on the list of EC priorities. Read more [...]

European Young Researchers Award 2015 Call now open

If you are interested in applying to The European Young Researchers Award (EYRA), read on... It has been awarded by EuroScience to researchers demonstrating outstanding research performance and leadership since 2010. It aims at inspiring early stage researchers to incorporate a European dimension and perspective into their research. The Award is granted each year; in odd years, the prize is dedicated to PhD candidates, and in even years to post-doctoral fellows. The prize-giving-ceremony is held every two years at the EuroScience Open Forum (ESOF) where the two recipients will present their work. Read more [...]

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 [...]

Big Brother has a big brother: the Internet of Things

The Internet of Things is the next evolution of the internet, connecting not just traditional web-enabled devices but also any kind of electrical appliance to the internet. This is typical of new waves of technology; the capabilities are outstripping our ability to fully understand their implications, much less prepare for them, particularly in terms of regulations. Despite numerous report warning of potential invasion to our privacy at an unprecedented level of granularity, little has been done to protect citizens’ right to live their lives without being monitored in every action they take. 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 [...]

European science conversations by the community, for the community