Interviews

A collection of all our Skype, podcast and print interviews

William Gunn: When technology shifts the academic balance

William Gunn is head of academic outreach for Mendeley. He views social networks as the skeleton which supports the flesh and muscle of more substantial online and offline interactions. In this exclusive interview to EuroScientist, he shares his views on how technology is influencing the research pace. I also talks about how social networks have facilitated increased collaborations in research, thus responding to the funders' requirements to produce research with the highest impact. Read more [...]

Mary Phillips: The academic evaluation conundrum

Mary Phillips has worked as an academic in biomedical sciences at Oxford University, UK, as a funder with the Wellcome Trust, in London, and as director of research planning for University College London. Find out her unique perspective on the limitations of the existing evaluation systems, be it for academic institutions or individual scientists. In this exclusive interview with the EuroScientist, she shares the lessons learned from her various positions related to academia. Read more [...]

Mark Walport: 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 [...]

Jean-Pierre Bourguignon: new no-nonsense ERC President

Jean-Pierre Bourguignon has just been nominated President of the ERC. He shares his vision for his new role with EuroScientist, in his first official interview after being nominated. He talks about his motivation to accept the ERC nomination, and shares his views on the challenges associated with his new job. He also talks about his ambition to further the development of an international scientific perspective at the highest level. In addition, he talks about how the notion of excellence can be used as a criterion to allocate funding. Finally, he also shares his perspective on innovation and his long term ambition in his new position. Read more [...]

Jean-Pierre Bourguignon: five question to the new ERC president

Jean-Pierre Bourguignon has just been nominated president of the European Research Council (ERC). He gives his first exclusive interview as ERC president to EuroScientist. Find out about his ambitions in this new role as well as issues related to research in Europe. When asked about what areas of the ERC he wants to improve, he explains that the the Council is about frontier research, which funds new ideas, completely non-traditional ways of looking at science, and thus requires grant committees to take risks when allocating funding. He shares his views on the role that ERC has to play, among other similar funding bodies, to encourage the next generation of young people to embark on a scientific career in Europe. He talks about the potential threats to Europe, should the next generation of scientists not become a reality. Read more [...]

Carl Johan Sundberg: Career choices in and out of academia

In an exclusive interview to a special issue of EuroScientist, Carl Johan Sundberg, who is professor of physiology and pharmacology and the head of the bioentrepreneurship unit at the Karolinska Institute, shares his views on European science career paths. The greatest challenge today is that most researchers are moving from contract to contract. He sees the need for universities to introduce complementary skills training into PhD courses to ensure that scientists are ready to face their future responsibilities in and out of academia. Don't miss other articles of the special issue on European science career paths on Tuesday 10th December! Read more [...]

Matt Black: electronic music, under the influence of science

The electronic/hip hop dance music scene may not be an obvious place for a biochemistry graduate from Oxford University, in the UK. But that’s exactly what has happened to Matt Black, member of the Coldcut music duo alongside long-term accomplice Jonathan More. In an interview with the Euroscientist Editor, Sabine Louët, Black explains how this scientific background has influenced his career choices, and his views of the world. Read more [...]

Varvara Trachana: Innovative and competitive researchers: a must for society

In Greece, we have this unique and bizarre problem of the 750 faculty members hired but not appointed, and therefore being held as ‘academic hostages’. This situation is, unfortunately, taking place at the same time as the higher education and research systems are being subjected to attacks. We believe that in the difficult times that Greece and the rest of the south of Europe are facing, young, talented, innovative, highly-skilled and competitive researchers are the workforce society needs most. Varvara Trachana 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 [...]

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 [...]

Christian Fonnesbech: Gaming calls upon science to enhance players’ experience

In an exclusive interview, Christian Fonnesbech, creative director at Investigate North tells the Euroscientist about the importance of science in his multimedia, social games.He has been involved in creating emotional narratives for the social media generation for over a decade. In this interview, he shares his views on education, while sharing his vision regarding the importance of science in gaming. Read more [...]

Ilaria Capua: Pervasive meritocracy, a must for Italian research

Ilaria Capua, recently elected Member of the Italian Parliament, under the umbrella of the Civic Choice movement, talks to EuroScientist about the kind of reforms that are needed to ensure a sustainable future to Italian research. Prior to her appointment, she has had a successful career as a prominent virologist involved, in particular, in research in H5N1. Read more [...]