Cedric Villani: Scientists are trained to solve difficult problems

They call him the “Lady Gaga of the mathematicians”. And he does not really mind. French mathematician Cedric Villani has become a bit of a pop icon after obtaining the Fields Medal in 2010. This highly prestigious award is the equivalent of the Nobel Prize for Mathematics; except that it is awarded every four years. And it is only destined to people younger than 40. Incidentally, until now, no woman has won it.

Mark Walport: Scientists need to realise politicians use multiple lenses to look at problems

“Science and technology are absolutely crucial to make the best policy decisions in contemporary societies,” says Sir Mark Walport. He knows what he is talking about. A medical doctor by training, he has since last year taken the position of Chief Scientific Advisor for the UK government. This is a privileged position at the interface between politics and academia.

Italian politicians unable to resolve the country’s problems, let alone scientists’ issues

Italian politicians appear unable to resolve the real problem of this country. I am therefore very sceptical as to how they are going to resolve the problems of scientists. There is a need for an EU-wide policy, susceptible to influence the Italian Government in promoting scientific activities, through the provision of adequate financial support.