Marie Curie: Inspiring millions, advancing European science

She received two Nobel Prizes, has served as an inspirational figure to countless women (and men) in science, and has a Continent-wide fellowship program named after her to promote the brightest scientific minds and innovations. The Marie Curie Fellowships, administered by the EU, are so prestigious that recipients regularly gush about its virtue as a career game-changer. Only 8% of applicants receive fellowships each year, but this low rate of acceptance does not deter scholars; on the contrary, says Jordi Curell Gotor, who oversees the Marie Curie Fellowships as Director Lifelong learning, higher education and international affairs, DG Education and Culture, European Commission. The number of applications continues to rise annually. So far, 50,000 researchers from 120 nations have received these prestigious grants since the program’s inception in 1996.

Jean-Patrick Connerade: Science meets poetry, with a Danish flavour

Jean-Patrick Connerade, is emeritus professor of physics at Imperial College London, UK, and the president of the European Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters (EASAL). He is also a poet in his own right, writing in French, under the pen name of Chaunes. To many, science would seem the very opposite of poetry, being born of reason and rational deduction, whereas a poem appears as the fruit of imagination. Amongst all literary forms, poetry is the one most likely to be associated with the irrational. This could perhaps explain the hidden tension which has driven so many scientists, from Omar Khayyam to Robert Oppenheimer and from William Hamilton to Marie Curie to write poetry.

Science meets poetry 3

What mysterious forces bring Science and Poetry together? Why did William Hamilton, Tycho Brahe and Marie Curie all write verse? How is it that Omar Khayyam wrote a treatise on algebra and why was Percy Bysshe Shelley fascinated by chemistry? To the contrary, why did Mary Shelley dream up the tale of Frankenstein? Poets from all over Europe gather at each EuroScience Open Forum ESOF to consider the complex relationship between Science and Poetry

The emerging trends of Nobel Prizes in science

This article reviews the Nobel history since inception which shows that the Prizes in science conferred on individuals in the first 50 years are shifting to the Prizes being shared. It is,in part, because the science has become more complex, collaborative, expansive, and expensive. With the critical need for teamwork to tackle Big Science, we recommend that the policy of “no more than three” sharing the Prize be loosened on case by case basis and the nomination be made open for scientific organisations. We also suggest concrete steps for improving the gender gap among the Nobel Laureates. This necessitates proactive nominations of Nobel worthy work done by women and making structural changes in Nobel committees toward better gender ratio. Finally, our analysis shows that the U.S. is emerging as a Nobel Super Power leading to a divide not only with European countries but the world at large.