Interviews

A collection of all our Skype, podcast and print interviews

Contently’s Shane Snow: the key to using virtual soap boxes

Shane Snow is a freelance science and business journalist turned entrepreneur. In this interview with EuroScientist, he tells the story of how he co-founded Contently, a company initially created to help companies and brands to produce editorial and multimedia content telling their story. He also explains how the its business subsequently evolved into a technology company by incorporating the latest web tracking and analytics technologies to effectively distribute its content over the internet. Snow discusses the challenges of creating suitable content to help raise the profile of science, making a distinction between content that is promotional in nature and more critical journalistic content. Read more [...]

Emmanuelle Charpentier: the strings attached to CRISPR/Cas9 success

Finding reliable funding in the course of a scientific career is difficult, even for the best scientists, says Emmanuelle Charpentier, head of regulation and infection biology at the Max-Planck-Institut in Berlin, Germany. Better known for her work on developing the CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing technique, she calls for an informed debate on the implications of her work and wishes to avoid giving into the media buzz without more in-depth reflection. In this first of a two-part series, Charpentiers shares her perspective in an authentic way. Read more [...]

Emmanuelle Charpentier: European research funding could do with less red tape

In the second instalment of a two-part series, Emmanuelle Charpentier, head of regulation and infection biology at the Max-Planck-Institut in Berlin, Germany, gives her opinion on the challenges in obtaining research funding in the current system in Europe. She also shares her views on how mobility can be hampered by bureaucracy. Finally, she points to the limited coherence for scientists pursuing a research career in Europe. Clearly, many efforts have yet to be made to improve the condition of scientists in Europe. Read more [...]

Thomas Landrain: short-circuiting research

In this interview with EuroScientist, Thomas Landrain explains the story of La Paillasse, the open lab he founded in Paris six years ago. He has since developed a platform aiming to do open science by involving academics from across disciplines, engineers, designers and artists as well as curious citizens from around the world. The idea is to cut out the intermediaries and create a much more open way of doing research, enabling to fast-prototype solutions to scientific problems. Read more [...]

Gemma Milne: Fast-tracking research through cross-fertilisation

Science:Disrupt aims to bring people together, encouraging them to mix ideas and share their dreams, by organising events and stimulating discussions using articles and podcasts. Mixing people of various background is designed to facilitate cross-fertilisation of ideas from different disciplines and geographies and stimulate collaborative co-creation in science. In this interview with Euroscientist, Science:Disrupt co-founder Gemma Milne, explains how she was inspired by this type of multidisciplinary emulation already taking place in the tech start-up scene. Read more [...]

Hans Wigzell: let the researchers free from bureaucrats

Changing the environment in which scientists evolve requires considerable cultural changes. In this exclusive interview, EuroScientist talks to Hans Wigzell, one of the most influential scientists in Europe and former president of the Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden. Although he recognises the necessity of bureaucrats in research institutions, he denounces their intervention as micromanagers of research. He also shares his views on what is required to, literally, let scientists free from bureaucrats. The solution he advocates involves strong leadership in research to remove the need for bureaucratic rules. Read more [...]

Claude de Loupy: the era of hyperlocal news

We are soon to benefit from the availability of hyperlocal news. News about the local sports team, our local weather, average prices of houses in our locality, etc. This is the perfect illustration of how technology will serve the needs of citizens in a way that was never possible before. Today, most news report are relevant to entire regions or nations, or have an international dimension. But news that are only relevant to the locality where people live are too costly to produce via traditional means, using journalists. Instead, Claude de Loupy, CEO of French startup Syllabs, explains how robots capable of writing hyperlocal news report by making sense of automated wheather, sports and other automated data reports, are already available. Read more [...]

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: 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 Luxembourg. 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 [...]

Data Journalism Awards celebrate evidence-based questioning in our society

Data journalism has the potential to make reporting on scientific activities and innovation more accountable to society. In this article and podcast, EuroScientist covers the 2016 Data Journalism Award, recently held in Vienna, Austria. Find out more about the winning entries from Spain, Peru and the USA. In these projects, data analysis has helped uncover the varying cost of medicines across borders, the environmental and social impact of commodity mining and the extend of privacy loss due to US surveillance planes, respectively. These examples show how data journalism has the potential to bring scientific analysis to the practice of journalism, ultimately leading to more accountability and transparency in society. Read more [...]

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Aude Lapprand: a manifesto for involving citizens in science

In this interview with EuroScientist, Aude Lapprand presents the work of the Sciences Citoyennes Foundation, based in Paris, France. The organisation, which questions who should be responsible for choices made in science and how best to make science more democratic, to be discussed at the 7th Living Knowledge conference in June, in Dublin, Ireland. One of the solutions proposed relates to citizen convention where lay people are briefed to debate controversial topics in science. Read more [...]