Multidisciplinarity yields economies of scale at the new EU structural biology hub

In Europe, complex fields of research such as structural biology are implementing the only solution available to large fields of research as a means to ensure their survival in such financially constrained times. They are integrating the infrastructure of expertise, technology platforms and education to further the frontiers of science.

Can Science Define our Identity?

Philosophers and social scientists have been hampered by inability to define what is meant by “identity”. This is because they have been unable to clarify the term “sameness” on which the definition depends. As a result, specialists in the humanities have taken very different approaches to understanding “identity”. This has resulted in widespread confusion, even chaos, in its application. Science is now able to determine precisely what is meant by “sameness” in the individual and in the group. It can, therefore, define identity objectively and succinctly at these levels. The article asks why there appears to be reluctance to accept the new paradigm.

Applied mathematicians in the service of pressing global issues

Nowadays there is a diffuse border between pure and applied mathematics. The pure mathematician – an atypical scientist inclined toward the abstract – – is capable of switching at any time to the role of applied mathematician in order to address and solve the pressing global issues that threaten humanity. From assisting manned space missions to modelling the processes of ice melting or the spread of an epidemic, the applied mathematician’s contributions are crucial for humankind. The confidence we have in the truths of applied mathematics, which – within the philosophy of science – is part of the so-called Wigner’s puzzle, is a kind of evolutionary feature of the discipline.

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!