Tag Archives: Italy

The new Yellow-Green Italian Government

There is a refreshing new tone both in the Italian Parliament and Government. A rejuvenated politics, with a shot of populism generated a government of Parties bitterly opposing until the very last minute. The new, Yellow-Green Government, known as “Government of change”, is leaded by a coalition between the two Parties “League” and “Five Stars Movement”; they signed a “Government contract” of about 50 pages and 30 points. We do some considerations on the Research strategy proposed in the contract with specific attention to human resources in research. Talents attraction represents a point of concern. A short comment on Trieste ESOF is also included. Read more [...]

The big boob persuasion: does it work for science, too?

Could using naked boobs help attract people's attention to science? The Tumblr blog Boobs for Science has just proved it’s no joke. It asks volunteers to send photos of themselves naked or wearing underwear, attaching a scientific statement of their choice. Some pictures are then published together with a concise scientific explanation on the chosen topic. The initiative was born in Italy, where the parent blog Tette per la Scienza has already made a splash and the Facebook page has gathered more than 20,000 fans since late October 2014. Read more [...]

Special issue on Research Activism Print Edition

As waves of researchers’ protest are about to invade the streets of Paris, Rome and Madrid, among others, there is a clear sense of déjà vu in these white coats with large signs walking the avenues of European capitals. What is new, however, is that these protests on longer follow a logic of being centred around national territories. They have become supra-national and aim to target the central power in Brussels as much as national governments. Read more [...]

Research Activism

As waves of researchers’ protest are about to invade the streets of Paris, Rome and Madrid, among others, there is a clear sense of déjà vu in these white coats with large signs walking the avenues of European capitals. What is new, however, is that these protests on longer follow a logic of being centred around national territories. They have become supra-national and aim to target the central power in Brussels as much as national governments. Read more [...]

Joining the dots: unprecedented level of pan-European research activism

Research activism in Europe is about to transcend borders. Forthcoming protests movements planned for around mid-October in France, Italy and Spain are not a coincidence. Scientists will rally their respective capitals—be it on their bike or on foot—as a result of unprecedented concerted planning. Up until recently, the scientists involved did not collaborate across borders to campaign for a change in their own working environment. Yet, they are no strangers to international collaboration when it comes to collaborative research projects. So what triggered this shift in attitude? Read more [...]

How to balance a European research ecosystem with its national parts

Researchers across France, Spain and Italy are orchestrating a wave of national protests, which will culminate on the 17th and 18th October 2014 in their respective capitals. Their objective is to highlight how Europe’s knowledge economy is being undermined by a lack of investment in research, amongst other factors. European national research systems are struggling; that much is beyond doubt. The question is how to balance national versus EU research support and how the EU can drive rehabilitation of national research systems. Another question is whether the increased focus on excellence-based funding is really necessary. This debate is now fully open. Read more [...]

Italian scientists protest against budget cuts, crocodile tears included

In the successful Italian comedy, Smetto quando voglio (I can quit whenever I want), a group of young and talented scholars with no career perspective turns into a successful drug-dealing mob. The story is imaginary—a surreal rendition of Breaking Bad—but it is also the portrait of Italian academia. There, the shortage of funds, baronies, and scant meritocracy hamper the careers of many endowed scientists. This fiction is not that far from reality. Now, as an attempt to change their working conditions, Italian researchers are planning a protest movement in October, to take a stand against budget cuts and political apathy. There is no doubt that such movement is justified, but there is also a need for academics to run their universities better. Read more [...]

For the sake of Italian science and culture

Italian scientific research and university systems are in a dramatic position. The poisonous fruit of the recently approved university reform—referred to as the Gelmini law— assisted by the actions of successive governments, are reaching their goal: downsizing the university system and introducing a political control, never attempted before, on basic research. Now a vast movement of researchers across Europe is organising a series of initiatives during the autumn with the aim of bringing research and innovation to the public attention and at the centre of governments’ action. Read more [...]

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 [...]

Two cultural and economic growth factors: basic and curiosity-driven research

Today, ROARS is one the most important Italian forum for discussion on research and higher education policy. Its members believe that basic research and curiosity-driven research—in its broader meaning including humanities and social sciences—is an essential element for the development of the cultural and economic growth of a country. One of their co-founders and editor, Francesco Sylos Labini 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 [...]