All posts by Constanze Böttcher

Constanze has been covering a broad range of science topics, inlcuding life sciences, geosciences, technology and science policy, for almost 10 years. With a background in marine science, she has a passion for writing about what science can tell us about the natural world. She also likes exploring science’s role within society. Her outlets include German quality online and print media as well as EuroScientist.

Do we need a European Innovation Council?

As plans are underway to establish yet another instrument to support innovation in Europe, dubbed the European Innovation Council (EIC), entrepreneurs and research-based organisations have questioned the proposal. The determination that Research, Innovation and Science Commissioner Carlos Moedas has shown in developing the concept, begs for further questioning concerning the details of the implementation of the proposed EIC. In this article, EuroScientist investigates whether those closely involved in innovation believe EIC is a good idea. Read more [...]
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Research and education budgets in shambles in Denmark and Finland

Recent changes in the political landscape in Northern Europe have brought some new policies that are less supportive of science and education than previously. This is a major shift for Denmark and Finland, which have until now invested 3% of GPD in research and development. Time will tell whether such research and education cuts are a mere bleep on these countries record, or whether they will bear long-term consequences. Read more [...]
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Trans-fats: health time bomb by regulatory omission

Although several European countries, starting with Denmark, have started a battle against trans-fats in process food, the European Commission is dragging its feet to regulate on the matter. As food-related matters are about to take centre stage during Christmas and other end-of-the-year celebrations, EuroScientist looks at what is happening behind the scenes. As more and more stakeholders in the food sector are gradually signing up to reducing the use of partially hydrogenated plant oils in their products, the delays in taking regulatory action appear to be attributable to more than mere bureaucratic inertia. Read more [...]
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Can academics entering politics bring more evidence into policy

In Greece and Spain, a new generation of left-wing academics has now entered polictics. They claim to reinvent the way policy is shaped by relying both on evidence and on meeting the need of citizens. However, the way in which the results of academic research are actually taken into account in policy making is not straightforward. So are they likely to rely more than their predecessors on evicence-based policy? Read more [...]
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Does Science 2.0 foster greater academic freedom?

Academic freedom, which confers scientists some autonomy on how they wish to conduct research and to teach has been gradually eroded as research has increasingly become more of an industry, managed like a business. Now, there is some hope that some of the biases introduced in this process could soon be alleviated thanks to open science. But it may be too soon to realise what the actual implications are. Read more [...]
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Text and data mining freedom at stakes in copyright reform

Text and data mining (TDM) techniques are increasingly used by researchers to explore the tremendous amount of scholarly publications. By automating this type of search, scientists can have an edge over competing teams. Yet, new copyright legislation due to be discussed later on this year in Europe, could hamper their work. Read more [...]
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Data sharing shifts scientific culture

Reproducibility of research is at the heart of science. However, old habits die hard. And the custom of making all data fully available so that others can reproduce them is not yet fully ingrained in scientists' modus operandi. Some likely changes that may encourage data sharing include the introduction of training modules on good sharing practice and the practice of crediting the author of the original data set used in new work. These could go a long way towards unlocking the reproducibility challenge. Read more [...]
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Work-life balance on hold, for the love of science

A flavour of the life of some scientists working in extreme conditions shows how work-life balance is heavily tilted towards work. Yet, there are ways to preserve a sense of down time and enjoy the extreme beauty of these remote places. Above all this sort of human experience will make scientists involved stronger and better equipped to face future life and career challenges. Read more [...]
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