What can a conference like this one bring to you? Those among our readers who have a sweet tooth will agree that such events can be compared to the cherry on the cake of academic life. Once every two years, it is time to enjoy a stimulating flow of discussions. Participants are guaranteed to have fruitful encounters with other people from various horizons. They may not be like-minded but, at least, share similar concerns about European science, policy or science communication. This is what ESOF 2014 is about!
The most popular Danish cultural export in recent times is arguably the TV series Borgen. Outlining the intricacies of the mechanisms of democracy, the series follows Prime Minister Birgitte Nyborg in her rise and fallout from power. Scientific themes are pervading the series because science remains at the heart of many societal issues debated by politicians prior to translating decisions into policies that ultimately will affect citizens. Issues at stakes in the series range from the environment, with green power production, to agriculture, with intensive pigs farming.
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The Incredible Shrinking Man is a speculative project that investigates the implications of downsizing the human species to better address the demands on the Earth. It has been a long established trend for people to grow taller. As a direct result we need more resources, more food, more energy and more space. At the dawn of agriculture about 10,000 years ago, an estimated 5 million people lived on Earth.
One of the world’s youngest nations, Kosovo, has been trying in vain to lure top researchers in its diaspora back to the war-torn country of just over two million. Its €600,000 fund (about US$829,000) aims to rebuild research and teaching capacity Read more […]
The Macedonian government has launched a Fund for Innovation and Technology Development, aimed at boosting R&D activity at small and medium-sized businesses. The fund is financed by a loan from the World Bank to the tune of €8 million over the Read more […]
Academics love to measure things. But how well do they react to being measured? In the UK, that question has been thrown into sharp focus by the Research Excellence Framework, dubbed REF. It is a massive exercise, in which every university in the land has been invited, to prove the quality of the research it undertakes.
A new science law that would pave the way for more research funding for Kosovo’s scientists suffered a blow two weeks ago (20 February) when the parliamentary committee on finance sent it back to the ministry because of “big budgetary implications that Read more […]
The scientists’ group Euroscience, the European Research Council and the League of European Research Universities have renewed efforts in the face of funding fears. Scientists and university groups have launched a late push against cuts to the Commission’s plans for Horizon 2020, ahead of a meeting of EU leaders that could seal the next seven-year budget for research. They have made fresh pleas urging decision makers to secure a budget of at least €80 billion for Horizon 2020.
Peter Tindemans, secretary general of grassroots scientists’ group EuroScience, shares his views on the forthcoming battle of the budget for Horizon 2020. Should cut be imposed on the initial budget plan, they should be made in a considerate manner, by avoiding duplication of effort and ensuring that the funding schemes are run in a leaner way.
Four years in the making, the World Bank-led project responding to the Western Balkans science ministers’ 2009 plea for aid to integrate their countries’ scientific efforts is expected soon to result in concrete new research funds, networks of excellence, Read more […]
The European Council, the European Parliament, the Council of Ministers, the European Commission, have all gone out of their way to stress that Europe can only find the path to recovery if it keeps investing in education, research and innovation.