All posts by Vanessa Schipani

With degrees in zoology, philosophy and the history and philosophy of science and clips from outlets in the United States, Iceland, Germany and Japan, Vanessa walks the line between science writer and philosopher. A polymath at heart, she publishes articles about a spectrum of disciplines, from quantum physics to cognitive science, but has a penchant for writing about what philosophy and biology can tell us about life. She's also worked as a photographer and written poetry and fiction.

Scientific Evidence about vaccines and the EU Court

A controversial European Union court decision about vaccines raises two interesting scientific questions: How do scientists decide whether vaccines can cause conditions such as autism or multiple sclerosis? And how certain can they be when they make their conclusions? Recently news outlets ran headlines saying that the highest court of the European Union ruled, “Vaccines can be blamed for illnesses without proof” or “without scientific evidence.” But the EU court decision is a bit more complex than the headlines claim. In this piece of investigative journalism, Vanessa Schipani examines the case. Read more [...]
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Gender bias: a ladder made for men

Gender bias, whether conscious or unconscious affects women at each level of academia. In this exploratory piece, EuroScientist explore the factors driving such bias and looks for solutions to remedy them. Find out more by reading the view of experts from across Europe and decide for yourself about the type of interventions that have been implemented to fight gender bias. Read more [...]
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The day when science is truly open

One day, we can imagine that science will truly be open. Before we reach that stage, however, a number of issues have to be tackled. Particularly, when it comes to transparency, more suitable evaluation giving adequate credit for researchers involved in contributing to all aspects of the scientific process, most of which were unaccounted for until now, and optimum use of the availability of very large sets of data. Ultimately, life as a scientist in the era of web 2.0 is bound to change beyond recognition. Read more [...]
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Minding Replication, Mending Publication

With replication issues pervading neuroscience and psychology, journals in these fields aim to change the incentive structure of academic publishing. Under what they have dubbed 'pre-registration', editors expect scientists to register a detailed methodology before conducting their study. This approach, designed to remove biases and encourage replication, has since been adopted by journals that span the life and social sciences. But fray not, pre-registration leaves room for exploratory science. Read more [...]
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The science of sleep, the sleep of scientists

Sleep. We all need it. From working long hours in the lab or field, researchers often get much less sleep than the average person requires. Conducting research into the twilight hours is prevalent in all fields of science, from life science to particle physics. But the cognitively demanding tasks of conducting experiments and analysing data require a clear mind. So how do scientists manage their research—let alone their personal lives—with little rest? Here, a few scientists share lessons about sleep they have learned from their life and work. Read more [...]
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When real science falls short in Hollywood

Portraying the lives of famous scientists for the big screen is a challenge very few directors manage without tweaking the truth for dramatic effect. Is such creative license justified by the need to convey the achievements of illustrious minds to those unfamiliar with science? Find out in this EuroScientist article exploring the mysteries of Hollywood. Read more [...]
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Ebola preparedness starts with dispelling fear

In an attempt to dispel any fear of the unknown surrounding ebola, EuroScientist analyse the many facets of the current outbreak based on the opinion of a broad range of experts. Above all, we look at whether European countries are sufficiently prepared to make adequate policy decisions that will help end this outbreak and prevent future ones. Read more [...]
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Science funding angst: is rhetoric masking what is really at stake?

Some worry basic science will get left in the dust once changes in the new European Commission are set in stone. But before we fret in the wrong direction, should we stop to think about what terms like 'basic,' 'applied,' 'innovation' and 'society' translate to in reality? With all arrows pointing to the need for economic growth, many have begun to wonder how changes in the new European Commission will affect the balance between basic and applied research. But scholars in Science and Technology Studies (STS)— a field that investigates the relationships between scientific knowledge, technological systems and society— say that this linguistic dichotomy of 'basic' versus 'applied' research masks the real issues at stake. Read more [...]
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