The “Lost Generation” of European Scientists: How can we make the system more sustainable?

The “Lost Generation” refers to the growing cohort of senior post-doctoral researchers and other scientists who, after completing short-term contracts and temporary positions, find themselves excluded from research careers due to the lack of opportunities for permanent research positions. This cohort must contend with a ‘game’ whose rules no longer apply in today’s overcrowded and hyper-competitive research environment. Often, the difficulty in obtaining a full-time research position is further exacerbated by geographical, social, and familial constraints, and a lack of transferable skills that would enable a career switch. The loss of these highly trained individuals to our research institutions and to industry creates instability and represents an inefficient use of human talent and financial resources. Although the problem is not new, it is a critical issue and more needs to be done to address the needs of this cohort. Our goal is to launch a discussion with all relevant stakeholders toward actionable ideas to these systemic problems.

Scientists design new solar cells to capture energy from rain

Scientists from Soochow University in China are working on a solar panel design for an efficient hybrid solar panel. The purpose of their invention is to capture energy from rain as well as traditional solar energy. They hypothesized that their graphene infused solar cells will split raindrops into positive and negative ions. With continued tests, the team hopes to get the solar panels on par with traditional solar panel efficiency. Nonetheless, their current output is fairly close to reaching this milestone. In the near future, solar panels could generate energy rain or shine.