I want to learn what makes scientists tick. And what is important in their lives. I found some answers at the Agricultural Genetics Institute, in Hanoi, Vietnam. This is the first of a documentary series, called One World One Lab, featuring scientists from eight different countries around the world. This video is a window into the research world, which is not about complex research data. Instead, it is about culture, street life, religion and all the strange and tasty foods.
Mary Phillips has worked as an academic in biomedical sciences at Oxford University, UK, as a funder with the Wellcome Trust, in London, and as director of research planning for University College London. Find out her unique perspective on the limitations of the existing evaluation systems, be it for academic institutions or individual scientists. In this exclusive interview with the EuroScientist, she shares the lessons learned from her various positions related to academia.
Recruiting and retaining the best researchers is a key challenge for Europe. Talks about introducing an attractive career structures with prospects for advancement, such as a tenure track, are ripe. Well-established in the US and increasingly in the UK, tenure track provides a clear, merit-based system that takes excellent researchers from postdoc to professor. But even if it is desirable, it does not guarantee more time for research given the increasingly bureaucratic nature of the job of university professor.
Last week, the Croatian government cut the salaries of 37 university heads and deputies by around 30% to save HRK5 million (£560,000) a year. This money will now be put towards creating jobs for 25 young scientists, the government claims. Owing to Read more […]
To the outside observer, the debate on open access to scientific publications seem to be all about a battle between the researcher groups and commercial publisher giants, fueled by anger at the greed, real or perceived, of commercial publishers. But the real world is more complex than that.
We are getting used to politicians using euphemisms to be politically correct and win votes. However, this is not as simple as one would imagine, since the use of euphemisms is not innocuous. On the contrary, it is completely intentional and has the purpose of hiding the reality from those that are affected by their decisions.
Science is an activity that needs to be planned with a long-term perspective. It is the only successful way of doing science. The system in Spain has to be changed to be able to contract the best people in each field. It might also help if prestigious calls like the ERC grant calls could account for the fact that countries are being faced with economic hardship and therefore give their scientists a chance to compete on a more level playing field.
In the last years Spanish budget in R&D has suffered strong reductions. Only in 2012 the reduction of public budget devoted to R&D was of 25% with respect to the previous year. Moreover, looking in some detail the figures one sees that the reduction in the sort of public funding to which Universities and Research Institutes may accede have decreased by 45% since 2009. We need to show the world that we believe in science
In 2008, after 5 years abroad as a postdoc, I decided to return home. I left the offer of a new three-year contract behind in order to return to an insecure Greek research environment. I felt I should offer something back to the Greek university system which I felt I owed a lot to. Now, two years after being elected as an assistant professor and still waiting to be appointed, I have started considering other options such as emigration, out of respect to myself both personally as well as professionally.
“Reason for your visit?” – the immigration officer asks sharply. “I’m looking for a job. I’m coming for some interviews”. “But you used to live here…” he points out, looking carefully at an expired visa. “For more than a decade” I answer. He looks at the front page of my worn-out passport. “Spain…things are not good over there, are they?” I nod. “Good luck,” he says, letting us go through.
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 new Serbian coalition government set up last week after more than a month of negotiations promised to boost support for science, linking it with industry needs and funding, as well as increasing funding for scientific infrastructure. Serbia’s scientific Read more […]