Tag Archives: Greece

If research and education is expensive, try ignorance

A recent panel discussion discussed the necessary steps that need to be taken to lead Europe out of the recession. It was held at an event entitled “homo scientificus Europaeus: the search for a sustainable future for European science,” held at the Ateneu of Barcelona, in Spain, on 8th November 2013. It brought together some of Europe's most active scientists committed to the defence of the science on the continent. Read more [...]

Varvara Trachana: Innovative and competitive researchers: a must for society

In Greece, we have this unique and bizarre problem of the 750 faculty members hired but not appointed, and therefore being held as ‘academic hostages’. This situation is, unfortunately, taking place at the same time as the higher education and research systems are being subjected to attacks. We believe that in the difficult times that Greece and the rest of the south of Europe are facing, young, talented, innovative, highly-skilled and competitive researchers are the workforce society needs most. Varvara Trachana will take part to the forthcoming event entitled homo scientificus Europaeus: seeking a sustainable future for European science, which is due to be held at the Ateneu of Barcelona, Spain, on 8 November 2013 at 12.30. Read more [...]

Edito: An evolutionary tale of short versus long-term research vision

The recessionary climate has disturbed research cycles. All the testimonies gathered for this special Euroscientist issue covering research austerity in Southern Europe concur. If we draw a parallel with Nature, we observe that disturbance in seasonal cycles imposed by climate change is responsible for the disappearance of biodiversity. Unlike animal species, however, European scientists have a fantastic ability to adapt to the disruptions in their research environment. Read more [...]

Southern European scientists become activists as recession bites

A line of people in white coat queuing in front of Valencia’s train station is quite an unusual sight. Yet, this scene was not part of a movie rehearsal. Rather, it was reported in prime time news on Spanish television, on 19th December 2013. This action was part of a scientists’ protest taking place in 20 cities in Spain.This reflect how scientists are increasingly deploying activists’ techniques to fight back the effects of the recession on research. Read more [...]

Academics hired, but not appointed: a new Greek tragedy in the making

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. Read more [...]

Greece: Innovation born from austerity

After 2008, the global crisis had hit the Greek economy for good and affected academia and its funding. My attempts to fund my R&D work through EU and National projects, or via outside collaborations, were unsuccessful. Despite these setbacks, Greek artificial intelligence scientist Nikolas Nanas decided to turn his PhD work on adaptive information filtering into a real world application that became the NOOWIT magazine platform. Read more [...]

Against adversity, give Greek research breathing space

In Greece, we have been witnessing a violent socio-economic restructuring due to the austerity measures introduced in response to the economic crisis, over the last three years. These measures, dictated by the so called “Memorandums for Economic Stability”, have been applied horizontally and indiscriminately and have led to deep economic recession and high unemployment today reaching 26%. It is therefore inescapable; the scientific community too has been affected. Read more [...]

Artificial Intelligence reinvents made-to-measure magazines

Imagine a magazine that constantly edits itself to match the interests of its reader – cutting out all the noise! In an almost magical way, the magazine learns about you as you read and interact with content, and assigns space to each article according to your preferences. Discover NOOWIT a new adaptive media aggregation and magazine publishing platform aimed at solving the information overload of today’s web. It’s the fruit of a lifetime’s work of an entrepreneurial Greek scientist in artificial intelligence, based on a biologically inspired profiling model. Read more [...]

Urban trees not just for show

Trees in London are not just for decoration - they are playing an essential role in filtering out pollution particulates from the air. Published this month in the journal Landscape and Urban Planning, this is the outcome of the BRIDGE ('Sustainable urban planning decision support accounting for urban metabolism') project, which has won over 3 million Euros under the Environment Theme of the EU's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7). Read more [...]