A gender scholar’s visit to ESOF 2018: she came, she saw, she ranted

In this theory-informed auto-ethnographic account, I relate my experience of participating in the EuroScience Open Forum Conference 2018 (ESOF). Gender equality was certainly on the agenda at ESOF, however, I argue that the manner in which gender equality was addressed at the conference is not only problematic but potentially counter-productive to the intended purpose of promoting women in research careers. If we keep 1) essentialising a presumed lack of confidence to women, 2) omitting men’s role in the reproduction of gender hierarchies in research from equality discussions, and 3) excluding gender scholars’ expertise from gender equality debates, I fear that women’s equal participation in academic research and leadership will remain a distant prospect in the future still. Read more [...]

Greek scientists part of a larger problem; economic crisis and Greek reality

Youth unemployment has been characterised a historic event by the global community. In developed countries around the world, young people experience the effects: extreme limited working opportunities, inability to economically sustain themselves, poor working conditions, low wages, internal and external migration, and mental health issues. Greece is experiencing this phenomenon since the onset of the economic crisis in the country in 2007. This article illustrates key findings from European agencies, government authority reports, and local NGO surveys. Read more [...]

How ’Crowdsourcing’ involves experts and patients to define research missions: Broken Bone, anyone?

What if patients and clinical experts could spark and define the direction of multidisciplinary science projects without knowing the scientific literature? The Ludwig Boltzmann Gesellschaft (LBG) — a Austrian research organisation located in Vienna Read more [...]

Archaeological heritage vulnerable to climate change

Climate change poses a threat to archaeological heritage. However, archaeological heritage seldom appears in the IPCC-reports on climate change. There is an urgent need to connect archaeology with this phenomenon, according to scientists, as rising sea levels and the increase of extreme weather events pose a real threat. Measures have to be taken to protect vulnerable sites, which often are situated in coastal areas. The general public can help, as various projects along Europe’s coast show. Read more [...]

Researchers Associations beyond borders: how many computations to design an interactive constellation?

In the rapidly evolving global research enterprise, new scientific and societal challenges require multidisciplinary approaches and the involvement of a higher and diverse number of stakeholders. Accordingly, researchers are increasingly required to work across disciplines, sectors and institutions at regional, national and international levels. Researchers associations are an invaluable resource to support researchers along their career development and to foster researchers communities. How many combinations could be imagined to bring together researchers associations and to foster researcher's networking beyond national and discipline borders? The session aims at collecting input as a basis for a strategy on how to systematise the collaboration between important actors in the field of research career development. Read more [...]

The “Lost Generation” of European Scientists: How can we make the system more sustainable?

The `Lost Generation´ refers to the growing cohort of senior post-doctoral researchers and other scientists who, after completing short-term contracts and temporary positions, find themselves excluded from research careers due to the lack of opportunities for permanent research positions. This cohort must contend with a ‘game’ whose rules no longer apply in today’s overcrowded and hyper-competitive research environment. Often, the difficulty in obtaining a full-time research position is further exacerbated by geographical, social, and familial constraints, and a lack of transferable skills that would enable a career switch. The loss of these highly trained individuals to our research institutions and to industry creates instability and represents an inefficient use of human talent and financial resources. Although the problem is not new, it is a critical issue and more needs to be done to address the needs of this cohort. Our goal is to launch a discussion with all relevant stakeholders toward actionable ideas to these systemic problems. Read more [...]

How do we get young scientists to communicate science?

In the words of one of the 2017 PhD European Young Researcher Award winners, a scientist’s life often means “no fixed working hours, being switched on always, and yet getting paid only when you have a grant or a scholarship.” This opinion piece by Satyajit Rout from Editage, a science communication services company that supports researchers and institutions drive real-world scientific impact, delves into the challenges facing young scientists and suggests what could be done to change the status quo. Read more [...]

Can public opinion shape the future of genome editing research?

Newer genome editing technologies, such as CRISPR-Cas, are revolutionising scientific research and bringing about a myriad of potential applications in many fields. For science and technology to progress timely and efficiently, the societal debate must move forward at the same pace to help guide the direction of scientific research and to frame policy-making decisions. As this technology progresses, what will be the key questions to address as the public is engaged in these conversations? This article hints at some of them while a comprehensive list will be discussed at ESOF dilemma café session on Friday 13th –participate to find out! Read more [...]

European science conversations by the community, for the community