Policy

Top level research policy issues that affect the way science is being organised and funded

Enough with counter-intuitive cryptic physics theories

Science progresses through discussions and debates. Sometimes accepted notions are too well-established to be open to questioning. In this personal view, Helmut Tributsch, emeritus professor of physical chemistry, formerly at the Freie Universitat Berlin, Germany, challenges the notion that physics theories, such as quantum scale phenomena, obey counter-intuitive laws. Instead, he claims that introducing a definite and irreversible direction for the passing of time, would make our theoretical interpretation of physical phenomena more logical and resolve many unsolved questions pertaining to our understanding of the world surround us and the universe. Read more [...]
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Top Trumped: what does the US election mean for science and Europe?

Donald Trump’s imminent arrival at the White House has blown a cold wind through the scientific community. In this article, Arran Frood, investigates the likely impact the Trump presidency could have on research in Europe. He also explores how a likely change in science policy in the US may result in a shift of the centre of gravity of research, particularly in certain disciplines. Finally, there could be some consequences for the mobility and career of scientists themselves. Read more [...]
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Open governance enhances the value of land use policy software

moja global is a collaboration among governments to develop software informing land use policies. It is also designed to estimate greenhouse gas emissions from the land sector. Thanks to its open governance structure, funders, developers and users, have their say in the development of the software. The private sector is rapidly adjusting to this opportunity to gain value from the process. According to an opinion piece by Guy Janssen, interim director at moja global, this should, in turn, inspire governments to explore how open governance can create a vituous circle leading to a similar multiplier effect for the common good. Read more [...]
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Self-organised scientific crowds to remedy research bureaucracy

In an era where research bureaucracy is the biggest burden bestowed upon scientists, some are seeking practical solutions. Inspired by the science of complex networks, new ways of harnessing the wisdom of the scientific community are emerging. This leads to new decision-making mechanisms to allocated the limited amount of resources, which is bypassing the biggest plague affecting the research endeavour. Michele Catanzaro investigates out-of-the-box solutions to this bureaucratic conundrum for Euroscientist. Read more [...]
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The controversial art of research management

The parachuting of a politician with no research experience into the coveted top position at INRA, France's national institute for agricultural research, last summer did not go down very well with the scientific community in the country. This raises the question of whether research institutions should be managed by professional research manger without first-hand experience of research? This issue keeps arising in discussions across European academic institutions. And it is unlikely to go away any time soon. Fiona Dunlevy investigates for EuroScientist. Read more [...]
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Data Journalism Awards celebrate evidence-based questioning in our society

Data journalism has the potential to make reporting on scientific activities and innovation more accountable to society. In this article and podcast, EuroScientist covers the 2016 Data Journalism Award, recently held in Vienna, Austria. Find out more about the winning entries from Spain, Peru and the USA. In these projects, data analysis has helped uncover the varying cost of medicines across borders, the environmental and social impact of commodity mining and the extend of privacy loss due to US surveillance planes, respectively. These examples show how data journalism has the potential to bring scientific analysis to the practice of journalism, ultimately leading to more accountability and transparency in society. Read more [...]
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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. Read more [...]
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Is Europe doing enough for refugee scientists?

Migration issues are high on the political agenda. Forced mass migration of people is an issue that will not go away and one that global citizens must address. The research community should play its part, according to this opinion piece from representatives of the Global Young Academy published this week in EuroScientist. Read more [...]
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How citizens’ feedback can shape health research

Experts will discuss the latest research on healthy populations at the forthcoming EuroScience Open Forum event to be held in July 2016 in Manchester. The trouble is, until recently, often people who may be impacted by health research did not have a say in it. Several session organisers share their views on the new avenues that are explored to improve the link between health research and citizens. Read more [...]
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Human nature thwarts wellness

As Easter is looming, some of us already know that eating large amounts of chocolate eggs will be too much of a temptation to resist. This Easter chocolate binge is symptomatic of our approach to health. And to preventing chronic diseases that may affect us later in life. Until we actually see the damage done by such often irresponsible behaviour, we are not going to change. Clearly, we are our own worst enemies, when it comes to keeping ourselves in good health and taking preventative steps. Read more [...]
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More and better data for greater health

Data is the currency of today’s digital economy. Collected, analysed and moved across the globe, personal data has acquired enormous economic significance, with the value of European citizens’ personal data on track to reach €1 trillion per year by 2020. If we want to better understand, manage, and prevent chronic diseases, then more and better data is vital. In particular, policy makers need data to inform their healthcare decisions and initiatives. Read more [...]
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Webinar: one EU, one science

The Marie Curie Alumni Association, in collaboration with EuroScientist, will be hosting a round table about overcoming EU countries' inequalities in science in the European Research Area. Please join this webinar and learn more about what needs to be done to counter the imbalance in the research system in Europe. The debate will be focused on the present differences in funding within European countries and within Europe. Read more [...]
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