Radio Astronomy driving new competences and innovation on the European scale

LOFAR (Low Frequency Array) is the world’s largest and most sensitive low frequency radio telescope. It was designed, built, and is now operated by ASTRON, the Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy. LOFAR’s reach now spans Europe – from Ireland to Poland, with the newest LOFAR antenna station being delivered to Ventspils University of Applied Sciences in Latvia. Here we propose that LOFAR is a prime example of how state-of-the-art facilities leads to the sharing and building of competencies and innovation: it is one of today’s major success stories of research infrastructures on a European scale.

A new era for EuroScientist to adapt to financial constraints

EuroScientist editor has left and this is an occasion for the magazine to make some changes and reinvent itself. While we will not change the goals and the mission of EuroScientist we will focus in the coming months on anticipating the debates at ESOF and debates on FP9. In addition, we will merge the EuroScience Newsletter into EuroScientist. Homo Scientificus Europaeus (HSE) will also be integrated in EuroScientist website in the following weeks. We will also invite new contributions from you whatever you think is useful and valuable for the discussions in the wider science community and beyond that among stakeholders in science and innovation.

Claude de Loupy: the era of hyperlocal news

We are soon to benefit from the availability of hyperlocal news. News about the local sports team, our local weather, average prices of houses in our locality, etc. This is the perfect illustration of how technology will serve the needs of citizens in a way that was never possible before. Today, most news report are relevant to entire regions or nations, or have an international dimension. But news that are only relevant to the locality where people live are too costly to produce via traditional means, using journalists. Instead, Claude de Loupy, CEO of French startup Syllabs, explains how robots capable of writing hyperlocal news report by making sense of automated wheather, sports and other automated data reports, are already available.

Robo Sapiens: a new legal person on the horizon?

The legal implications of the consequences of the actions of robots endowed with artificial intelligence are currently the object of discussion at the European Parliament. In this opinion piece, Orsolya Zara, legal and policy advisor to an MEP at the European Parliament, in Brussels, provides some insights into changes pertaining to robots liability that may need to be implemented in civil law.

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RRI: New buzzword or vision of modern science policy?

Science has the power to transform societies. It has the power to help tackle the challenges Europe is facing. Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) aims to reconcile the need for research to operate autonomously against a backdrop of society transformed by scientific discoveries and technical inventions. Thanks to RRI, we are getting one step closer to finding practical solutions to facilitate the dialogue between scientists and all those concerned, including citizens.

Chronic disease prevention using wearable technology: not that simple

Since the last decade, wearable technology moved from developers’ drawing boards to stores, with barely a whisper of disquiet about data privacy. Yet, the implications for data privacy should not be underestimated. There is growing interest in the potential of wearables to mitigate, treat or prevent chronic conditions which put a strain on health economies–ranging from chronic back pain or physical stress injuries to mental health issues like work-related stress. EuroScientist investigates how the latest regulatory framework could secure people’s privacy as they strive to prevent chronic conditions through wearable technology.

New Spanish state research agency born before national elections

The existing Spanish government, in its last meeting in December 2015, gave the green light to a long-awaited State Research Agency, Agencia Estatal de Investigación, which has been created three years later than planned. The term of its governing body will be three years in order not to coincide with the legislature length. All parties criticised this last-minute decisions. Furthermore, commentators pointed to issues arising in Spanish research, due to the huge budget cuts imposed on research, during the People’s Party’s previous term in office.

A new beginning to tackle the global emergency

“As never before in history, common destiny beckons us to seek a new beginning,” stated the 2000 UNESCO Earth Charter. Today, it is our responsibility to start afresh to tackle global challenges, such as extreme poverty, migratory flows and environmental degradation. Former UNESCO director general,Federico Mayor, calls for the scientific, academic, artistic and intellectual communities to mobilise citizens of the world, so that they adopt the required corrective measures, before we reach a point of no return.

Scientific foresight, new in the EU Parliament science advice toolkit

Find out how the European Parliament has an in-house mechanism to provide scientific advice, as part of the policy making mechanism. This advice is provided by the Science and Technology Options Assessment (STOA) Panel, which is supported by the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS). Since 1974, STOA has also integrated a foresight activity designed to anticipate the possible long-term unintended consequences of legislation on society.