Science together – contributing to citizen science projects around the world

Citizen science (CS) is a freely accessible and meaningful way to explore measure and experiment with the world around you. Also known as community science, crowd science, crowd-sourced science, voluntary monitoring and networked science, the initiative allows the public to engage with, contribute to and conduct scientific research to broadly increase knowledge.

Post-Brexit plans on funding and mobility

On 8th May 2017, one of the arm of the British scientific establishment, the Royal Institution, has opened its famous lecture theatre to a debate about Brexit. Brexit is not about extricating the UK from the European scientific endeavour. And Brexit does not bring to an end many important aspects of the integrated European scientific projects. Today, it is not obvious, however, which strategies the UK–and the other EU 27 countries–could adopt to sustain as much as possible international collaborations and mobility. In this opinion piece, representatives of EuroScience argue that scientists need to raise their voices to guarantee their future and the future of our societies. Should all negotiation fail and the UK ends up with weakened relations with the EU 27, the authors argue, it remains to be seen whether the UK plan to strengthen relations and collaborations with the US, the Commonwealth and East-Asia will be an adequate substitute.

Max Schrems: rebooting the culture of privacy in Europe

This week, the Austrian supreme court referred the question of the admissibility of a worldwide or European-wide class action against Facebook, initiated in Austria, to Europe’s top court in Luxembourg. In a podcast recorded in June 2016, Max Schrems, who led the class action, shares his view with EuroScientist on how best to protect the privacy of European citizens. Schrems previously became famous for another privacy protection challenge against Facebook’s European headquarter in Ireland. As a result of his legal battle, the US-EU Safe Harbour Privacy Principles were deemed inadequate. Further, the Irish high court is expected to legislate in February 2017 on another challenge directed at the temporary replacement of the Safe Harbour rule.

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Innovation has a role to play in chronic diseases prevention

Thanks to advances in technology, the ubiquitous smartphone is not just a way to connect with friends. It also becomes a kind of “doctor in our pocket”. Health apps, wearable sensors and fitness trackers are all contributing towards ‘more and better data’ for monitoring everything from caloric intake to steps taken on a daily basis. If we want to better understand, manage, and prevent chronic diseases, then new technologies and innovations like these are vital.