Vaccination levels: holes in the shield

The measles vaccine was invented in the 1960s, and by the 1980s its use was widespread. Decades later, however, the disease persists. Half of the countries in the world do not achieve immunisation rates sufficient to curb the transmission of illnesses such as measles. Similar scenarios apply to the polio and DTP vaccines. Find out more about the actual variying levels of vaccination uptake from around the world. In this piece of data journalism brought by the Civio Foundation, evidence shows that many avoidable diseases could reduce mortality, should countries implement suitable vaccination policies. There is still a long way to go to reduce avoidable death, preventable through vaccination. Read more [...]
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Designing antivirus for nuclear power plants to fend off cyber-terrorism

In 2008, it was the first time that a software virus replicating the automatic process control system of a nuclear facility was recorded. In this opinion piece, Anastasia Tolstaya, an engineer at the Institute for Cyber-Intelligence Systems, Moscow Engineering Physics Institute, in the Russian Federation, explores what can be done to prevent exposing the safety of nuclear plants, in the case of a cyber attack. Finding solutions, she argues, is not trivial. Read more [...]
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Nightmare on Academia Street: an English horror story coming to a campus near you

Any politician that dangles the carrot of a graduate premium on future earnings to justify increases in student fees, interest rates on loans, or adjusting student loan repayment thresholds, should be challenged for gross mis-selling. These are the findings of a recent report by the UK Intergenerational Foundation. In this opinion piece, the author of the report warns of the possible financial implications of postgraduate student loans for the future financial health of students and their career prospects. This phenomenon, particularly acute in the UK, could soon reach other countries in Europe, should they be tempted to follow suit. Read more [...]
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UK scientists’ loss of influence to be felt at home and across Europe

Brexit keeps resounding in the many aspects that its implications may have for European research. In this opinion piece, Thomas König, Austrian social scientist, who was previously scientific advisor to former ERC president Helga Nowotny, examines the consequences of the predicted fall of influence of British scientists on the future of European science. He believes the consequences of Brexit are likely to be felt, not only in UK science itself, but also at the level of pan-European research endeavours, such as ERC-backed activities. This shows that scientists are not sheltered from the vagaries of politics when policies emanating from the popular vote forces them to defend their interests. Read more [...]
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Raising hue and cry against a poet!

Censorship is alive and kicking. Read on about the experience of a French poet, who is also an eminent physicist, writing under the pen name Chaunes. His latest work include poems which refer to both the islamic veil and naked bodies in the same piece. Even tough few people actually read poetry. It appears that commercial online retailers have their own in-built censorship when it comes to such matters. Read more [...]
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Enough with counter-intuitive cryptic physics theories

Science progresses through discussions and debates. Sometimes accepted notions are too well-established to be open to questioning. In this personal view, Helmut Tributsch, emeritus professor of physical chemistry, formerly at the Freie Universitat Berlin, Germany, challenges the notion that physics theories, such as quantum scale phenomena, obey counter-intuitive laws. Instead, he claims that introducing a definite and irreversible direction for the passing of time, would make our theoretical interpretation of physical phenomena more logical and resolve many unsolved questions pertaining to our understanding of the world surround us and the universe. Read more [...]
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Champagne to celebrate the 2017 window on science, policy and society

On the eve of 2017, we raise a glass of champagne--now that scientists better understand what gives it all its flavour--and invite you to engage even more than before with EuroScientist. You may approach us to tell us about how your work is changing as our society and the wider research environment change. Tell us about how you interact with policy makers and with citizens. Tell us about your dreams and your ambitions. And don't forget to share our articles within your wider circles and to comments on the articles we publish. 2017: here we come! Read more [...]
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Top Trumped: what does the US election mean for science and Europe?

Donald Trump’s imminent arrival at the White House has blown a cold wind through the scientific community. In this article, Arran Frood, investigates the likely impact the Trump presidency could have on research in Europe. He also explores how a likely change in science policy in the US may result in a shift of the centre of gravity of research, particularly in certain disciplines. Finally, there could be some consequences for the mobility and career of scientists themselves. Read more [...]
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RRI Implementation

This sponsored issue appears as the RRI Tools project comes to an end. Its findings have been summarised in an excellent final report, which gives an overview of progress, achieved across Europe, in developing practical solutions to implement RRI to date. In this issue, key experts are asked about RRI Implementation, the next step in how RRI might evolve and some of the key lessons from developing RRI to date. Read more [...]
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Science won’t be responsible until citizens get more involved

As the RRI Tools project comes to an end, it has gathered a collection of concrete solutions to engage citizens more closely with the research process. There is still a lot of work to be done to better associate citizens with the scientific process. As part of this special issue on RRI, we have asked experts in the field to take a step back and reflect on the next evolution of the RRI field. This makes for facinating reading. Read more [...]
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European science conversations by the community, for the community