All posts by EuroScientist

Sabine Louët is the Editor of the Euroscientist since 2013. You are welcome to contact Sabine, should you have any suggestions for articles or if you are interested in writing a guest post for this magazine.

The Internet of toys: The digital lives of young children

Communication technology is a daily reality for many young children in the form of internet-connected toys and devices. Although these offer real benefits for children, they also present hidden risks, notably relating to privacy. To better understand the challenges presented by toys and devices for children aged 0–8 years, the European Cooperation in Science & Technology (COST) programme initiated an Action to develop an interdisciplinary network for researchers to share information and knowledge: The Digital Literacy and Multimodal Practices of Young Children (DigiLitEY). Outcomes of this COST ACTION are presented at the 4th European Conference for Science Journalists (ECSJ). Read more [...]
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Unbiased reporting can help call time on pseudoscience

In July 2013, a 21-year-old man died of leukaemia in the Spanish city of Valencia. Mario chose to dismiss his doctor’s advice, turned to a so-called expert in 'natural and orthomolecular medicine' and abandoned chemotherapy, choosing instead to fight his illness with alternative medicine. Mario was not, as some might conclude, an uneducated young man who did not know better. He was studying to become a physicist, but even this background did not prevent his believing a charlatan's claims. Tragedies like this beg the question: What can journalism do to better encourage trust in scientific evidence? The 4th European Conference for Science Journalists hel on 26 to 30 June 2017 aimed to answer such questions in a series of sessions that examine the roles of policymakers, citizens, scientists, and science journalists in making scientific facts great again. Read more [...]
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Holding on to lies! Unlocking the cognitive mechanism behind misinformation

Five years ago, the World Economic Forum declared that the spread of misinformation through social media was one of the greatest global risks to our future and prosperity. At that time, the future scale of the threat was still unclear, even to media experts. However, for anybody with the slightest doubt about how rapidly social networks are changing news consumption and its effects, last year was eye-opening and overwhelming. Misinformation and fake news have influenced every major voting process and strengthened science-denial movements — consider how ubiquitous anti-vaccine and climate change scepticism propaganda is. But what are the consequences and the remedies to this? On the 29th of June, this and other questions are the subject of discussion in the 'Science journalism in a post-truth world’ session of the 4th European Conference for Science Journalists (ECSJ2017). Read more [...]
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A Call for a New Theology for the Modern Age

We cannot go into the future carrying with us the fellow traveller of ancient religions. The time has come for a new form of theology, which is in line with our mathematical understanding of the world. In this opinion piece, mathematician and author Chris Ransford, takes us by the hand on the path to reinventing a new way of looking at God and religion, taking into account our current understanding of the mathematical world to analysis the concept of God. Read more [...]
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Watch for disingenuous initiatives among the guises of Spanish research activism

When it comes to science diplomacy and grassroots research movements, beware of disingenuous initiatives that increase the gap between perception and reality warns Amaya Moro-Martín, who is the founder of Spanish activist group Investigación Digna and an astrophysicist currently working in Baltimore, Maryland, USA. In this opinion piece, she explains how the Spanish government has created a network of seemingly grassroots scientific associations to serve its branding needs, without serving the interests of Spanish scientists on the ground. Read more [...]
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Scientific integrity: dropping points

Scientific integrity has become a major issue in scientific research. The debate about scientific fraud, plagiarism, and other forms of scientific misconduct has its origin in some highly publicised cases of eminent scientists accused of publishing fake data. These observations raise many questions. One of the known misconducts is the deliberate dropping of data points, acknowledged by 15% of scientists surveyed in recently published integrity studies asking them about their behaviour in the previous three years. This misconduct originates in a wrong understanding of what scientific knowledge is, and how it is progressively constructed, argues Michel Morange, director of the Centre Cavaillès for History and Philosophy of Sciences at the Ecole normale supérieure, Paris, France. Read more [...]
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Post-Brexit plans on funding and mobility

On the 8th May 2017, one of the arm of the British scientific establishment, the Royal Institution, has opened its famous lecture theatre to a debate about Brexit. Brexit is not about extricating the UK from the European scientific endeavour. And Brexit does not bring to an end many important aspects of the integrated European scientific projects. Today, it is not obvious, however, which strategies the UK--and the other EU 27 countries--could adopt to sustain as much as possible international collaborations and mobility. In this opinion piece, representatives of EuroScience argue that scientists need to raise their voices to guarantee their future and the future of our societies. Should all negotiation fail and the UK ends up with weakened relations with the EU 27, the authors argue, it remains to be seen whether the UK plan to strengthen relations and collaborations with the US, the Commonwealth and East-Asia will be an adequate substitute. Read more [...]
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A pan-European Scientists’ Community Promoting an Open Science in an Open World

The 2nd Homo scientificus europaeus Meeting will be organized at the Ateneu Barcelones on 16 May 2017. Its aim is to foster the creation of a large pan-European community of citizen-scientists supporting the new social contract between science and society. In the morning, representatives of grassroots associations and organisers of March-for-Science from across Europe will discuss national initiatives. They will lead to discussions about their convergence. The afternoon will focus on the concept of Science Open to Society and will feature scientists from Barcelona. The meeting, which will be streamed live on the internet to ensure a broad reach. It will conclude with a general debate on how to proceed for promoting an Open Science in an Open World. Read more [...]
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