We are living through very puzzling times. Times where the unexpected, the counter-intuitive and the irrational make headlines day after day. In this new world order, some remnants of old models of governance are re-emerging. These are entered on top-down governance, sometimes stretched to the point of generating strongly nationalist and authoritarian regimes. Yet, new governance models are needed. Scientists, with the March for Science due to take place on 22nd April 2017, give a strong signal, that bottom-up input into policy is needed. Unlike any time ever before, technology makes it easy for people in power to consult citizens on how their lives should be governed. Meanwhile, the input of the humanities and deeper philosophical questioning could help us inform future policy decisions. The trouble is that the mechanisms for such bottom-up governance have not yet been fully elucidated. To contribute to discussions on this issue, it is now time for EuroScientist and HSE community members to step in. Read more [...]This post was viewed 2,504 times.
EuroScientist publishes in exclusivity the Brussels Declaration on ethics & principles for science & society policy-making, launched on 17th February 2017 at the AAAS meeting. This document outlines a set of 20 principles related to the ethics and the mechanisms through which scientific evidence is taken into account as part of the policy making process for issues relevant to science and society. This declaration proposes a dramatic shift in the way scientific evidence informs policy. It suggests integrating the views of practitioners in relevant fields, thus instilling a bottom-up approach to the policy making process. This is in sharp contrast with the existing top down policy making principles. Find out more in this op-ed written exclusively for EuroScientist by some of the authors of the Brussels Declaration. Read more [...]This post was viewed 1,340 times.
A large number of major European organisations in the area of science, research, innovation and higher education have written an Open Letter to European Prime Ministers, ministers responsible for those same areas, as well as the President of the European Council and of the European Commission, and Commissioner Carlos Moedas for Research and Innovation to express their concern about recent developments in the US. Read more [...]This post was viewed 251 times.
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 [...]This post was viewed 436 times.
Funding research effectively is a demanding exercise. Young scientists gathered in Bratislava in July 2016 published a wish list for a definite overhaul of the funding system. The key to the change is to empower researchers. The proposals will be annexed to the conclusions of the EU Competitiveness Council of research and innovation ministers and tabled for adoption at the Competitiveness Council on 29 November 2016 in Brussels. Read more [...]This post was viewed 346 times.
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 [...]This post was viewed 525 times.
Recent changes in the political landscape in Northern Europe have brought some new policies that are less supportive of science and education than previously. This is a major shift for Denmark and Finland, which have until now invested 3% of GPD in research and development. Time will tell whether such research and education cuts are a mere bleep on these countries record, or whether they will bear long-term consequences. Read more [...]This post was viewed 3,217 times.
In Greece and Spain, a new generation of left-wing academics has now entered polictics. They claim to reinvent the way policy is shaped by relying both on evidence and on meeting the need of citizens. However, the way in which the results of academic research are actually taken into account in policy making is not straightforward. So are they likely to rely more than their predecessors on evicence-based policy? Read more [...]This post was viewed 244 times.
The huge public funds made available for scientific research after the second World War, were expected to lead to industrial development, economic growth and a general improvement of living standards. Yet, this model has been questioned for a few year. Everywhere in the world, revisiting the social contract between science and society is becoming urgent; it is time to adapt such contract to the realities of the 21st century. Read more [...]This post was viewed 411 times.
Responsible research and Innovation, or RRI, may not be well understood by some. Yet, what it means is: science policy should explicitly include society. It stems from the fact that resistance to technical progress has always existed, particularly when such new technology is disruptive. Those who, in the XIXth century, did not agree and contested the value of such progress were accused of adopting romantic attitudes, or of being irrational. Read more [...]This post was viewed 123 times.
Resilience—the ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change—is a useful concept for understanding the dynamics of ecosystems. Indeed, all complex systems are evolutionary. They constantly co-evolve and interact in ways which are difficult—if not impossible—to predict with absolute certainty. This is also true of the European Innovation ecosystem. Unfortunately, the notion of resilience is not often used in policy making, according to the High Level Group on Innovation Policy Management. Read more [...]This post was viewed 18 times.
Some worry basic science will get left in the dust once changes in the new European Commission are set in stone. But before we fret in the wrong direction, should we stop to think about what terms like 'basic,' 'applied,' 'innovation' and 'society' translate to in reality? With all arrows pointing to the need for economic growth, many have begun to wonder how changes in the new European Commission will affect the balance between basic and applied research. But scholars in Science and Technology Studies (STS)— a field that investigates the relationships between scientific knowledge, technological systems and society— say that this linguistic dichotomy of 'basic' versus 'applied' research masks the real issues at stake. Read more [...]This post was viewed 19 times.