All posts by Francesco Sylos Labini

Francesco Sylos is specialised in cosmology, astrophysics and complex systems and is a founder and editor of the blog Return on Academic ReSearch (ROARS) dedicated to Italian Science Policy.

For the sake of Italian science and culture

Italian scientific research and university systems are in a dramatic position. The poisonous fruit of the recently approved university reform—referred to as the Gelmini law— assisted by the actions of successive governments, are reaching their goal: downsizing the university system and introducing a political control, never attempted before, on basic research. Now a vast movement of researchers across Europe is organising a series of initiatives during the autumn with the aim of bringing research and innovation to the public attention and at the centre of governments’ action. Read more [...]

Evaluation: dogma of excellence replaced by scientific diversity

The current dogma says that the largest part of available research funds must be assigned only to the best scientists. This way, researchers are put in competition with each other . Only a small fraction will be able to obtain the research funds needed to fully develop their own scientific projects. There is a fundamental flaw in this strategy. If some competition is good for public research, it is clear that there is a threshold beyond which competition creates more adverse than positive effects. Read more [...]

Francesco Sylos Labini: Two cultural and economic growth factors: basic and curiosity-driven research

Today, ROARS is one the most important Italian forum for discussion on research and higher education policy. Its members believe that basic research and curiosity-driven research—in its broader meaning including humanities and social sciences—is an essential element for the development of the cultural and economic growth of a country. One of their co-founders and editor, Francesco Sylos Labini will take part to the forthcoming event entitled 'homo scientificus Europaeus: seeking a sustainable future for European science,' which is due to be held at the Ateneu of Barcelona, Spain, on 8 November 2013 at 12.30. Read more [...]