This title is inspired by the words of Dr. Susan McCouch. She refers to the willing of people to change mindsets in the face of greater evil, that often seem so far away that only in its proximity they re-consider beliefs. The topic treated in this discussion Read more […]
Sugar is one of the next targets of health policy makers in Europe. It features as one of the ingredients in the latest food reformulation roadmap, just published by the European Commission. This ingredient has crept up in European diets unprecedented levels. As a result it could have serious consequences for the heath of European citizens, reflected in the increase of diseases such as type 2 diabetes. Today, sugar has become very political. And the debate rages on between those concerned for public health and those in favour of preserving consumer choice, avoiding nanny states interventions and protecting the food industry’s market share.
Our democracies have bugs, lack user-friendly features and under-perform. Above all, they are in need of major upgrades. Political and economic systems are failing us because they are structured vertically through top-down hierarchies. Instead we need to adopt a new economic system, driven by principles related to “act local, think global” philosophy. In this stimulating opinion piece, Lorenzo Fioramonti, director of the Centre for the Study of Governance Innovation, in South Africa, shares his vision about creating a highly integrated horizontal economic system.
Amaya Moro Martín reacts to the FCT head resignation a couple of weeks ago and the recent death of former Portuguese science minister José Mariano Gago. She places this crisis in European research into the wider Southern European research context. She shares her unease about the collective apathy surrounding such austerity measures against research. She believes, if we don’t plant the seeds of research and innovation now, we are unlikely to reap the benefits at all.
We would also like the HSE blog to become active: any scientist sharing such feeling is invited to take some of her/his time to post comments or to submit text giving evidence of this growing unease
The severe floods that hit Balkan countries this month, said to be worst in 100 years, have not spared research infrastructure. On May 14th, the research center at the Institute of Vegetable Crops in Smederevska Palanka, in Serbia, started evacuating Read more […]
I want to learn what makes scientists tick. And what is important in their lives. I found some answers at the Agricultural Genetics Institute, in Hanoi, Vietnam. This is the first of a documentary series, called One World One Lab, featuring scientists from eight different countries around the world. This video is a window into the research world, which is not about complex research data. Instead, it is about culture, street life, religion and all the strange and tasty foods.
It’s been great watching the open access (OA) debate slowly but completely transform over the last two years. Back when I started writing about OA, the big question was still whether or not the world should go that route at all. At times it has felt like a long, hard road from there to here, but we now live in a world where the US and UK governments have both officially declared their support for universal OA, and Europe’s Horizon 2020 research program will mandate OA, while the European Research Council strongly supports OA. The “whether to do OA” debate is over.
In Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) a hive fails to thrive but the bee keepers don’t find the carcasses of their yellow and black striped friends.
Despite a largely negative response from EU agriculture ministers to proposals to allow individual countries make their own decisions on the cultivation of GM crops, it seems certain that the battle over GM will be won or lost in the hearts and minds of EU citizens. It is their opinions on GM which influence local and national policy, which in turn, feeds into the European debate.
The Scientist’s web survey of the Best Places to Work in Academia this year must certainly have added another feather to the cap of European science. Of the International Institutions making the top ten, five were European.
Can scientists be held responsible when they fail to predict a natural disaster?