All posts by Luca Tancredi Barone

Luca is an Italian science journalist based in Barcelona, Spain. He has extensive experience working for magazines, newspapers and radio. He also currently works in the communication team of the Institute for Research in BIomedicine. He writes for different media in English, Spanish and Italian.

Sheila Jasanoff: framing research with citizens’ perspectives

In this interview, Sheila Jasanoff, expert of the 'science of looking at science' from Harvard Kennedy School, warns that regulatory bodies alone cannot take decisions on thorny contemporary scientific issues, such as how to regulate the CRISPR gene editing technology, without involving society at large. She explains how the first order of framing research with society's input is crucial for the future of science before even framing the problems to solve in scientific terms. This approach also implies putting oneself in the shoes of the people objecting to the results of scientific research. Read more [...]

Max Schrems interview: rebooting the culture of privacy in Europe

This week, the Austrian supreme court referred the question of the admissibility of a worldwide or European-wide class action against Facebook, initiated in Austria, to Europe’s top court in Luxemburg. In a podcast recorded in June 2016, Max Schrems, who led the class action, shares his view with EuroScientist on how best to protect the privacy of European citizens. Schrems previously became famous for another privacy protection challenge against Facebook's European headquarter in Ireland. As a result of his legal battle, the US-EU Safe Harbour Privacy Principles were deemed inadequate. Further, the Irish high court is expected to legislate in February 2017 on another challenge directed at the temporary replacement of the Safe Harbour rule. Read more [...]

June Andrews: policy support for dementia needs to be adequate

A better management of chronic illnesses such as dementia can be done by harnessing technological solutions. But this kind of innovative support cannot be used unless it respects the rights of people affected by the disease. In contrast, those close to dementia patients have a responsibility to adopt preventive steps to manage the disease. But this can only happen once governments implement adequate level of support. In this exclusive EuroScientist interview, June Andrews, director of the Dementia Services Development Centre at the University of Stirling, in Scotland, UK, analyses the potential and the drawbacks of innovation for the 50 million people worldwide affected by this condition. Read more [...]

New Spanish state research agency born before national elections

The existing Spanish government, in its last meeting in December 2015, gave the green light to a long-awaited State Research Agency, Agencia Estatal de Investigación, which has been created three years later than planned. The term of its governing body will be three years in order not to coincide with the legislature length. All parties criticised this last-minute decisions. Furthermore, commentators pointed to issues arising in Spanish research, due to the huge budget cuts imposed on research, during the People's Party's previous term in office. Read more [...]

Alessandro Vespignani: open data is key to preserve nature of science

Physicist Alessandro Vespignani is one of the main experts in networks and statistical and numerical simulations. He shares his views in this exclusive podcast in EuroScientist on how the era of Big Data requires scientists to adapt their approach to replicating such data. Specifically, he believes that we have to update the idea of replication, or better, the idea of how to verify or falsify an experiment. Read more [...]

Thierry Zomahoun podcast: Africa is looking for its Einsteins

Africa is at the tipping point, as it needs enough scientists to carve its place as a global player. That’s according to Thierry Zomahoun, a development economist who is CEO of the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences. In this podcast interview, he tells EuroScientist about the urgent need to train a critical mass of bright scientists with mathematical skills so that they can become critical thinkers and problem solvers to address the African development challenges. Read more [...]

Cedric Villani interview: 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. Read more [...]

We, humans, fantastic “karaoke singers”

“We are all singing somebody else’s songs.” With this image, Mark Pagel, evolutionary biologist at the University of Reading, UK, describes how difficult it is to be innovators. “We are followers, not innovators.” He is the author of a book on the subject called ‘Wired for Culture. The Natural History of Human Cooperation.’ Read more [...]

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. Read more [...]