Over the past two decades, concerns about the relation between science and society at European and Member State levels have gone through a number of shifts. Previously, science enjoyed a large degree of freedom to pursue curiosity-driven inquiries without facing the scrutiny of democratic accountability. Then, a new social contract pushed the idea that scientific production should be demonstrating that it is beneficial for the public good.
In October last year, Science published a journalistic investigation into quality of peer review in open access journals. The results were sobering. Around 60% of all journals accepted for publication a research paper with the most obvious and basic mistakes Read more […]
Artists can find themselves working in many different worlds. Over the past 12 months, my world has been that of space. This has in no way been an uneasy mix; more of a fantastical and heady collaboration between cutting edge science and art.I have thus been working at the interface between the realms of factual data and conceptual interpretation.
Science is closely linked with society. And yet, despite its close interdependency with society, science demands autonomy – the right to organise its discovery processes according to its own rules and some freedom to select research topics in accordance with its own agenda. Since society now widely recognises the economic and political importance of science, it has come under scrutiny. Its demands for autonomy are now contested.
Since May 2013, Turkey has seen a wave of protests from part of the population expressing its opposition to conservative government moves imposed on a society that is no longer aligned with its traditional culture. Scientists in international circles expressed concerns about their Turkish colleagues, as reports of police violence and oppression emerged. They wonder how best to support the Turkish scientific community
The Euroscientist looks into the details of the proposed French reforms on of Universities and Research. Some minor aspects of the law have been widely debated in the public sphere, whereas the in-depth changes it brings to the research and education system have unsettled its stakeholders across the political spectrum. Between past legacy and future needs, the new law appears to have reached the only politically acceptable compromise.
Archimedes, Leonardo Da Vinci and Galileo, now almost make the unanimity as being three geniuses of our past. But during their lifetime, they were misunderstood, maligned, ridiculed and condemned. Being a genius hinges on a few things: a refusal of accepted wisdom, and the desire to offer better. They want to put the present on the way to a better future. Does this type of character still exist today?
A 30 years old Iranian physicist, called Omid Kokabee, languishes in jail in Teheran since January 2010. He has been condemned to 10 years for spying for the US government. His case has received the support of major scientific societies. But does it make sense that scientific organisations care about human rights issues, beyond their main, scientific mission? Is it useful? Or even desirable?
So much about scientific knowledge and education being the building blocks of long-term economic growth! That is just empty rhetoric, in Portugal as in EU. The upcoming Horizon 2020 is going to finance mostly applied science, involving a large number of SMES, which makes one think whether EU is not actually financing economy through science budgets.
Croatia is becoming the 28th member of the EU on 1st July 2013, yet its science sector has been awaiting reforms for years now, with little progress. Lack of political will and under-funding are keeping research from achieving its potential as a socio-economic Read more […]
For many years, we have been witnessing a paradox in Italian research. On the one hand, we have heard the frequent declarations by politicians and institutions on the importance of research and researchers. On the other hand, the same policy makers have been imposing budget cuts and constraints to scientists. The scientific community has thus expressed justified concerns.
The Index on Censorship is a leading UK organisation promoting freedom of expression, founded in 1972. But I’ll be honest, as a physicist, it had been off my radar until this month. It is now hosting an incredibly timely digital debate on science and transparency, which kicked off in December with a panel event on data entitled ‘Is transparency bad for science?’