When privacy-bound research pays for open science

Thanks to the growing uberisation of science, opportunities to participate in world class research could soon no longer be limited to researchers in well-funded labs. According to an opinion piece by Barend Mons, professor at the Leiden University Medical Centre, The Netherlands, technology has now made it possible to distribute part of the interpretation of scientific results across a geographically widespread work force, to include scientists from developing countries. In the first of a two-part contribution, he also envisions that a new business model allocating free access to those who share, and charging a premium to those who don’t, could soon disrupt research and innovation and further open science.

Free Greek science from political hampering

If we use scientific excellence as a judging criterion, Greece is one of the richest European countries. However, in this opinion piece, John Ioannidis, shares his views on the real brakes standing in the way of further developing Greek research. This professor of medicine, health research and policy, and statistics at Stanford University, and former professor at the University of Ioannina School of Medicine in Greece, is better known for his work showing that most published research findings are false. Here, Ioannidis gives a frank account of the reality of how Greek politics does not give Greek research the best possible chance of blossoming.

Costas Fotakis: Investing in blue sky research helps to create long-term wealth

EuroScientist talks to Costas Fotakis, who is the former research minister for the Syriza leftist government of Alexis Tsipras, in Greece. He has been involved in designing the science policy of the Syriza party, which is competing in forthcoming national elections on Sunday 20th September 2015. In this exclusive interview to EuroScientist, he shares his view on how to build research capabilities in Greece.

A final plea to save Portuguese science

A group representing various research centres in Portugal met, on 27th July 2015, the recently appointed president of the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT), Maria Arménia Carrondo. This was a plea to reverse the latest round of budget cuts to research centres. Unfortunately, the meeting did not produce positive results. Meanwhile, a report by an international panel that evaluated FCT’s policy and functioning in quite a eulogistic manner, also failed to address this issue of budget cuts in detail. So what needs to happen?

Does Science 2.0 foster greater academic freedom?

Academic freedom, which confers scientists some autonomy on how they wish to conduct research and to teach has been gradually eroded as research has increasingly become more of an industry, managed like a business. Now, there is some hope that some of the biases introduced in this process could soon be alleviated thanks to open science. But it may be too soon to realise what the actual implications are.

Should PhDs accept to have a mere student status?

Some of the rights and benefits of being considered as an employee could soon be swept from under the feet of many Dutch PhDs. A new proposal by Dutch Labour Party Minister Jet Bussemaker has reignited a long term debate on the subject. The move, backed by universities, is considered by researchers’ organisations as depriving PhDs of many rights and benefits. This shows that for every step forward in helping the working conditions of scientists —among others, through the introduction, ten years ago, of the European Charter for Researchers— it is only too easy to slide backwards, according to an opinion piece by Eurodoc president, John Peacock.