Sexual harassment’s insidious nature makes it persistent

Examples of men who are really interested beyond professional boundaries in one of their – often clearly younger – female colleagues are widespread. Typically, the men do not want to accept these women’s refusals and start harassing them. Often, the trouble is that the harassment is underhand. One difficulty is that there is a fine line between providing compliments and harassing someone, often due to cultural differences. Although women are mostly affected, men are also victims of sexual harassment.

Mentors, mates or metrics: what are the alternatives to peer review?

You think that scientists, being quite clever people, would be able to agree on the best way to rank each other’s work. Oh no, not any longer. For this article, the EuroScientist asked Science, Cell and Nature as well as eLife and independent commentators to go on the record with their thoughts on how they see the peer review system, as it stands, and what alternatives should be considered.

In praise of incompetence

Incompetence is probably the first of our competencies! Our globalised and technological society generates ‘systemic incompetence.’ These days, we interact with the outside world through a wide set of technological interfaces and tools which we cannot escape and whose detailed modus operandi is largely unknown to us, such as, for example, the search engine Google and the social network Facebook.

The curated Xmas review

The science of Christmas has become one of the most popular angles adopted in recent news stories in the mainstream press. The Euroscientist team has made a selection from the restricted pool of publications available in English, for your greatest entertainment. You will find stories related to Christmas trees, the science of eating, an unconventional study on the disappearance of chocolates in hospital wards, questions regarding the sustainability of Christmas, as well as scientifically accurate versions of the original Christmas story. The last part of this review will, of course, focus on Santa Claus, the man himself, and is superhuman capabilities.

Turkish academics in a bind over conservative policies

Since May 2013, Turkey has seen a wave of protests from part of the population expressing its opposition to conservative government moves imposed on a society that is no longer aligned with its traditional culture. Scientists in international circles expressed concerns about their Turkish colleagues, as reports of police violence and oppression emerged. They wonder how best to support the Turkish scientific community

Is the new French research and education reform going far enough?

The Euroscientist looks into the details of the proposed French reforms on of Universities and Research. Some minor aspects of the law have been widely debated in the public sphere, whereas the in-depth changes it brings to the research and education system have unsettled its stakeholders across the political spectrum. Between past legacy and future needs, the new law appears to have reached the only politically acceptable compromise.

Edito: An evolutionary tale of short versus long-term research vision

The recessionary climate has disturbed research cycles. All the testimonies gathered for this special Euroscientist issue covering research austerity in Southern Europe concur. If we draw a parallel with Nature, we observe that disturbance in seasonal cycles imposed by climate change is responsible for the disappearance of biodiversity. Unlike animal species, however, European scientists have a fantastic ability to adapt to the disruptions in their research environment.

The psychology of Horizon 2020 budget cuts

Resisting a reduced spend on science in Europe may require decision makers to understand the mechanisms that makes them discount future benefits in return for short-term certainty on cost savings. Is it better to invest money now or save it for a rainy day? A dilemma faced by millions of people in the tough economic climate: invest now for an uncertain return in the long-term future, versus saving it for short-term needs.