Science in society

How scientific choices need to be made, bearing in mind the effect it could have to society

Archaeological heritage vulnerable to climate change

Climate change poses a threat to archaeological heritage. However, archaeological heritage seldom appears in the IPCC-reports on climate change. There is an urgent need to connect archaeology with this phenomenon, according to scientists, as rising sea levels and the increase of extreme weather events pose a real threat. Measures have to be taken to protect vulnerable sites, which often are situated in coastal areas. The general public can help, as various projects along Europe’s coast show. Read more [...]

Researchers Associations beyond borders: how many computations to design an interactive constellation?

In the rapidly evolving global research enterprise, new scientific and societal challenges require multidisciplinary approaches and the involvement of a higher and diverse number of stakeholders. Accordingly, researchers are increasingly required to work across disciplines, sectors and institutions at regional, national and international levels. Researchers associations are an invaluable resource to support researchers along their career development and to foster researchers communities. How many combinations could be imagined to bring together researchers associations and to foster researcher's networking beyond national and discipline borders? The session aims at collecting input as a basis for a strategy on how to systematise the collaboration between important actors in the field of research career development. Read more [...]

Environmental impact of transportation on Europe: view of science and industry

Climate change is a fact and all of us should be concerned about it. One of the main causes of climate change is the human-caused environmental impact, especially in developed countries like Europe or North America. A number of European companies and institutions are determined to give an example to the whole world and stop the increase of emissions produced on the continent. Transport accounts for a fourth of global CO2 emissions and it is one of the few industrial sectors where pollutant emissions are still growing. Our generation has a chance to stop this trend and build a better future for our children. Read more [...]

Displaced Migrants in Higher Education: Findings from a study on Pathways and Support

In January 2018 the University of Manchester and MCAA launched a survey on the practices and attitudes in higher education institutions with regard to displaced students and academics. The aim of the survey was to identify the best practices to integrate displaced students and academics into higher education institutions. Together with previous work, the current study highlights the need to raise awareness among researchers and institutions about the various existing practices adopted in Europe to integrate displaced students and academics. Read more [...]

All good things come to an end

The Cambridge Analytics scandal has shown that the work of scientists is not neutral. The work of psychologists who designed the questionnaire aimed at profiling Facebook users might have been stellar work in its own right, within the standards of the field.  But the way the answers to the questionnaire were later used for the purpose of influencing the political choices of the Facebook users who took the questionnaire, is--to say the least--questionable. This scandal is a case in point to show that there is no better time to continue the dialogue of the role of scientists in society. After 5 years working as Editor of EuroScientist, I would like to announce that I am now moving on to pastures new. Read more [...]

Trusting science in an age of distrust

The trend against Experts and a public loss of trust in science have recently made headlines. For example, they translated as tweets questioning man-made climate change by the current US president. Or statements such as ‘I think that the people of this country have had enough of experts’ by Bristish politician Michael Gove during the Brexit campaign. But is such a shift in public attitudes towards science actually taking place? And if so, who exactly has lost trust in whom? In this opinion piece, the results of three national surveys on public perception and trust in science from Germany, Sweden and Switzerland are outlined and give us some answers. It makes for some fascinating reading! Read more [...]

Shrinking the digital divide

Computers and digital technologies are being incorporated into all aspects of life. Yet not everyone is able to seamlessly use the web, computers, tablets, smart-phones, electronic ticket machines and even some digital-based home appliances. This is particularly true for those who experience disability, literacy, digital literacy or ageing-related barriers to accessing information and communication technologies (ICT). We need to ensure that all of us are able to operate these digital technologies or we will exclude those who cannot from all these aspects of our life. Now, a new initiative, called Global Public Inclusive Infrastructure, seeks to set up an open development community to solve this problem. Read more [...]

Shawn Jensen: GDPR is about giving citizens control over personal data

In this exclusive interview with Shawn Jensen, CEO of data privacy company Profila, EuroScientist editor finds out about the implications of the regulations for citizens and for researchers. Part of the discussion discusses the ins and out of giving consent, in an era where any organisations holding data is required to ensure that individual data is used appropriately. Read more [...]