Free to Think: Attacks on Scholars, Scientists threaten Societies Everywhere

Scholars at Risk’s latest Free to Think 2019 report describes the contours of a global phenomenon of attacks on higher education that impacts scientists everywhere. These attacks hamper scientific progress across the globe and challenge everyone’s right to think and share ideas. Given the gravity of this phenomenon, the report sets out tangible actions stakeholders including students, universities, faculty, and scientific associations can take to respond.

How to give credit to scientists for their involvement in collecting, curating and publishing data & samples

Stemming from initial discussions by the Research Data Alliance Interest Group: Sharing Rewards and Credit, this session was developed to explore the problems and solutions around crediting scientists for sharing their data and other research outputs. Accordingly, we gathered together a group of experts to hear about their experiences in policy-making and metrics, and discuss some possible next steps.

Greek scientists part of a larger problem; economic crisis and Greek reality

Youth unemployment has been characterised a historic event by the global community. In developed countries around the world, young people experience the effects: extreme limited working opportunities, inability to economically sustain themselves, poor working conditions, low wages, internal and external migration, and mental health issues. Greece is experiencing this phenomenon since the onset of the economic crisis in the country in 2007. This article illustrates key findings from European agencies, government authority reports, and local NGO surveys.

The “Lost Generation” of European Scientists: How can we make the system more sustainable?

The “Lost Generation” refers to the growing cohort of senior post-doctoral researchers and other scientists who, after completing short-term contracts and temporary positions, find themselves excluded from research careers due to the lack of opportunities for permanent research positions. This cohort must contend with a ‘game’ whose rules no longer apply in today’s overcrowded and hyper-competitive research environment. Often, the difficulty in obtaining a full-time research position is further exacerbated by geographical, social, and familial constraints, and a lack of transferable skills that would enable a career switch. The loss of these highly trained individuals to our research institutions and to industry creates instability and represents an inefficient use of human talent and financial resources. Although the problem is not new, it is a critical issue and more needs to be done to address the needs of this cohort. Our goal is to launch a discussion with all relevant stakeholders toward actionable ideas to these systemic problems.

How do we get young scientists to communicate science?

In the words of one of the 2017 PhD European Young Researcher Award winners, a scientist’s life often means “no fixed working hours, being switched on always, and yet getting paid only when you have a grant or a scholarship.” This opinion piece by Satyajit Rout from Editage, a science communication services company that supports researchers and institutions drive real-world scientific impact, delves into the challenges facing young scientists and suggests what could be done to change the status quo.