The GM debate in Europe: stalled for good?

This article peers into the history of technology that brought genetically modified organisms before looking into current European attitudes towards GMO food products. It looks at the various stakeholders responses over the years, which have led to the current status quo over approval of new GMO varieties in Europe. And now, the debate appears to be stalled, as the GM products currently in the pipeline are progressing through the system at a snail’s pace .

Looking forward to Christmas

In the West, it’s relatively easy to get caught up in the euphoria of Christmas, isn’t it? Regardless of one’s beliefs in the origins of the Universe and humanity’s place in it, countless millions of us succumb to the fake snow and the artificial sentimentality. The twinkling lights, the shops full cotton polymer resin reindeer, the children’s (and adult toys), chocolate goodies, the interminable loops of festive songs on the radio, the TV shows you just know were recorded in July but have jolly tinsel and baubles nevertheless. Then there are the parties, the lunchtime “Christmas” drinks, Secret Santa, the bustling shopping centres, the ubiquitous sound of a Jingle Bells sample in every muzak track. Oh isn’t it all so wonderful?

Hazardous chemicals crossing borders

Anyone who has stood in line to have their bags, boots and body checked before getting on an aeroplane will know that international borders are well protected. After all, that young mother with her squealing baby could so easily be carrying more than the requisite quantity of fluid in a plastic bottle in her hand luggage. The old gentleman with the walking frame? Who’s to say he hasn’t packed it with old-school sticks of dynamite ready to hijack an autumnal tourist flight packed with mini-breakers. That surly teenager’s personal music player with its incessant “tss, tss, tss” and fragile glass touch screen? It could so easily be converted into a lethal weapon with a sharp blow to the arm of the aircraft seat releasing a shard of sharp glass with which to threaten the crew while they point to the exits and mime putting on an oxygen mask in case of the aircraft losing cabin pressure…

Vikings get ahead in science

Be brave and aggressive, be prepared and be a good merchant. These so called “Viking Laws” are, in a nutshell, the advice of Zsolt Kajocsos, Deputy Director of KFKI, for young researchers who want to be successful in science. In the ESOF session on “Structured doctoral training and postdoctoral mobility” different approaches to university management of high quality academic education, research and innovation in Europe were discussed. Young researchers were encouraged to be strong and learn how to sell themselves and their research despite how their university manages doctoral training.