Heightened multi-lateral collaboration fever as Brexit mitigating strategy

Too much is at stakes in European science for people managing research—particularly in the UK—to leave it up to politicians to determine their future. Brexit or no Brexit, there are signs that further integration of the UK scientific activities into the European research fabric is underway. Indeed, universities across the UK are establishing new partnership deals in education and research with European and Commonwealth universities. Whether this move will allow UK research institutions to remain attractive to European collaborators remains to be seen. Read more [...]
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Slumber science

Our biological clock made the news headlines, recently. Earlier this month, the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine was awarded to a trio of American scientists – Jeffrey C. Hall, Michael Rosbash, Michael W. Young – for their work on the topic. The announcement has, thus, triggered a renewed interest for our sleep patterns. Read more [...]
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Fake news: unobservant audiences are easily swayed

Fake news is everywhere. Science-related pseudo facts have taken over the gossip sites and social media. And we are only at the beginning of an uphill battle to set the record straight. In this contribution, Melissa Hoover, shares her investigation on how people's response to fake news makes it easier for such inaccurate stories to propagate at a rate that is way more important than fact-based news. And here is why... Read more [...]
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The importance of accurate online medical information and what you can do about it

It is common for people to search for health information online. Indeed over 60% do so per year, and only 2% of them will use sites requiring payment. Searches range from specific questions about drugs and procedures, to how to interpret test results. More than half state that the information they found influenced a medical decision, and over a third don’t follow up their internet searches by consulting a doctor. The accuracy of free online medical information is therefore pretty important for public health. Of the competing free sources online, traffic to Wikipedia’s heath content is the highest (with only the American NIH coming close). And it’s not only the general public. Unsurprisingly, Wikipedia’s medical pages are used by 95% of medical students, but also over by half of practicing clinicians. Read more [...]
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Barcelona attacks: Twelve of our own kind

Many public statements condemning the recent attacks in Barcelona—which saw a van trample over people in La Ramblas on a crowded summer evening—aim to disregard the terrorists by classifying them as “mere murderers”, “crude criminals” or other similar insults. The following analogy may sound harsh, however it seems to me that this strategy is as mistaken. And it is equally dangerous to one that brands a man who murders his wife as someone mentally disturbed. In both cases the goal is to reduce the perpetrator to a condition of irrationality. And in doing so refusing to comprehend the complex structure of radicalisation. Read more [...]
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Summer time: reflect, recharge and reconnect

2017, so far, has been an amazing year at EuroScientist as we are getting even more connected to our community of readers every day. For now, we hope that you will have time to reflect on your own life and recharge your batteries, during the summer. This could also be an opportunity to reconnect with the rest of our community by continuing to share and exchange through EuroScientist's comments boxes and social media networks or via the Homo scientificus europaeus community blog. We look forward to engaging with you again in September. Read more [...]
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Spain, the European exception: ‘economic miracle’ & scientific suicide

Six years ago, the Spanish parliament approved Law 14/2011, known as the Science Law, aiming to modernise and harmonise different aspects of scientific activity in Spain, by a virtually unanimous vote. Today, Spanish scientists are still waiting for the law to be fully implemented; more than three and half years after the deadline for implementation has passed.In this article, the 5s6s Platform, a grassroots movement of Spanish scientists, including about 400 tenured scientists working in OPIs,  supported by another >1300 scientists working in different Spanish Universities and other research institutions,  denounces this untenable situation and requests that the Government finally implements the law. Read more [...]
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Scientific Evidence about vaccines and the EU Court

A controversial European Union court decision about vaccines raises two interesting scientific questions: How do scientists decide whether vaccines can cause conditions such as autism or multiple sclerosis? And how certain can they be when they make their conclusions? Recently news outlets ran headlines saying that the highest court of the European Union ruled, “Vaccines can be blamed for illnesses without proof” or “without scientific evidence.” But the EU court decision is a bit more complex than the headlines claim. In this piece of investigative journalism, Vanessa Schipani examines the case. Read more [...]
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ECSJ2017: Science Communication 5.0

EuroScientist is delighted to be able to share some of the discussions which took part during the 4th European Conference for Science Journalists in Copenhagen between 26th and 30th June 2017. They touched upon the evolving nature of science communication, how scientists are engaging with the public and issues related to evidence-based policy making. We would like to invite you to comment on individual articles using the dialogue box below each of the articles to continue the conversation. Read more [...]
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Scientific advice for politics: The European way

Politics is not an exact science: moral choices, traditions, communication and many other aspects play important roles. But working on politics without caring for scientific evidence is almost certainly a recipe for failure. In the last few years, the European Union has struggled to find its own, formal model for conveying scholarly knowledge in its policies. After a tangledattempt to concentrate this task into a single Chief Scientific Advisor (CSA), the Commission opted in 2015 for a much more complex Scientific Advisory Mechanism (SAM). The High Level Group at the top of the mechanism was appointed in November 2015. The seven prominent scholars that form the committee discuss their first year and a half of work in a debate at the European Conference for Science Journalists, taking place in June in Copenhagen, Denmark. Read more [...]
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Can more positive climate change reporting boost young readers’ interest?

Human activity is threatening our climate at an unprecedented rate, yet the media is failing to engage young people in this crucial topic. Participants of the 4th European Conference for Science Journalists (ECSJ2017) will discuss solutions to this problem during a session on 'Climate: facts, figures and future'. Read more [...]
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European science conversations by the community, for the community