Science in society

How scientific choices need to be made, bearing in mind the effect it could have to society

Vaccine successes: facing diseases since the 18th Century

This article has been produced as part of a data journalism initiative called 'Medicamentalia - Vaccines ' brought to you by the Civio Foundation. It outlines some of the successes in vaccination campaigns from governments across the world. It also gives you a historical perspective on the key scientists who have been instrumental in developing vaccines of the past centuries. Find out more, it makes for an insightful reading. Read more [...]
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Anti-vaccines: when the problem is not just a question of resources

“Europe is sending us measles”, says Doctor Eduardo Suárez, director of the immunization programme at the Department of Health of El Salvador. And with good reason. Whilst the Americas declared itself to be free of this disease, outbreaks multiplied in significantly higher-income countries. Almost 26,000 cases were registered in Europe in 2015, far more than the 611 registered across the American continent, the majority of which were in Canada and the United States. Read more [...]
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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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Stick out your tongue!

What scientists know about the microcosmos of your tongue's flora could help keep people healthy. In this opinion piece, genomics expert Toni Gabaldón, explains how crowdsourcing samples of microbes from people's tongue will contribute to advancing our understanding of the flora in our mouth. Read on about this exciting citizen science project. Read more [...]
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Top 10 YouTube science channels to enlighten and entertain

Thanks to YouTube it’s never been easier – or more entertaining – to learn about science. The EuroScientist team has browsed some of YouTube’s most popular and emerging science channels to bring you a list of our their ten favourites. This list is by no means exhaustive, so feel free to share your favourites in the comment box below! Read more [...]
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Noise pollution: give citizens the means to reclaim their peace

Airport runways have the potential to cause long-term noise disturbance for those living in their vicinity. Associated health problems could also affect these neighbours. In the past 14 years, an EU Directive designed to measure the level of environmental noise and mitigate its effects on people's health has been in place. However, its implementation in each Member States has watered down the provisions designed to empower citizens to force further noise reduction measures. EuroScientist investigates what could be done to give citizens living near noisy transport environments the means to get back an acceptable level of peace. Read more [...]
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Journeys towards Ecotopia 2121

On the occasion of the anniversary of Thomas More’s book Utopia, another book Ecotopia 2121, is due to be released exactly 500 years afterwards. In a fascinating opinion piece, Alan Marshall, an environmental sociologist, and author of Ecotopia 2121, outlines a green vision for the future of 100 cities around the word, by focusing on the example of Leuven, Belgium, where Utopia was first printed. Read more [...]
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From Uber to OpenStreetCab: how data shifts the power back to users

Services like Uber are challenging traditional sectors such as the taxi industry. However, they may charge more than traditional taxis at time of high-demand. To counter this phenomenon, data analysis could bring full transparency in relation to taxi pricing by delivering a head-to-head comparison of all available taxis types. In this opinion piece, Anastasios Noulas, lecturer at the Data Science Institute at Lancaster University, UK, and OpenStreetCab co-founder, shares his experience of how data-driven solutions can increase transparency in tech-disrupted industries and ultimately provide better value for policy makers from publicly available data. Read more [...]
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REIsearch: citizen engagement in policy decisions

Over the next five weeks, EuroScientist is exploring new ways of interacting with the wider community of readers via a partnership with the REIsearch project. The idea is to focus the pan-European debate on themes of key importance in the European policy agenda. This week, we will start exploring the theme of chronic diseases. Click on banners on our site to complete a survey to share your perspective on this issue. We will also offer our readers independent coverage related to the topic and invite you to comment below each article. Read more [...]
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Speech forensics: when Hollywood seldom mirrors real-life court cases

Actors of the justice system often bestow very high importance to forensic evidence, which is sometimes misguided. In this piece of investigative journalism, EuroScientist looks at the case of speech forensics, in which charlatanism, the lack of regulations and controversies within the scientific community sometimes act together to the detriment of justice. Further validations of the methods used in speech forensics have yet to be established so that they become as reliable as DNA profile or fingerprint testing. Until then, experts warn, caution is in order. Read more [...]
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The Linux approach to human and ecosystem well-being

Our democracies have bugs, lack user-friendly features and under-perform. Above all, they are in need of major upgrades. Political and economic systems are failing us because they are structured vertically through top-down hierarchies. Instead we need to adopt a new economic system, driven by principles related to “act local, think global" philosophy. In this stimulating opinion piece, Lorenzo Fioramonti, director of the Centre for the Study of Governance Innovation, in South Africa, shares his vision about creating a highly integrated horizontal economic system. Read more [...]
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