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The “Lost Generation” of European Scientists: How can we make the system more sustainable?

The `Lost Generation´ refers to the growing cohort of senior post-doctoral researchers and other scientists who, after completing short-term contracts and temporary positions, find themselves excluded from research careers due to the lack of opportunities for permanent research positions. This cohort must contend with a ‘game’ whose rules no longer apply in today’s overcrowded and hyper-competitive research environment. Often, the difficulty in obtaining a full-time research position is further exacerbated by geographical, social, and familial constraints, and a lack of transferable skills that would enable a career switch. The loss of these highly trained individuals to our research institutions and to industry creates instability and represents an inefficient use of human talent and financial resources. Although the problem is not new, it is a critical issue and more needs to be done to address the needs of this cohort. Our goal is to launch a discussion with all relevant stakeholders toward actionable ideas to these systemic problems. Read more [...]

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 [...]

Increasing awareness of researcher mental health

Recently, there has been an increasing amount of attention paid to the mental health of researchers. Research is an activity that aims to confront the boundaries of human knowledge: it demands excellence from all researchers, who aim to publish in peer-reviewed publications, submit grant applications, achieve tenure or defend a PhD thesis. Researchers identify with and are dedicated to their work to a very great extent. A recent report noted that researchers simultaneously demonstrate high levels of job satisfaction and high levels of stress and depression. Nevertheless, hard work does not have to lead to suffering. Read more [...]

For centuries is plagiarism our companion

Man - homo sapiens - is an inventive being solving many problems by "creativity" that is not in accordance with integrity, ethics and morality. Plagiarism is one example of such “creativity”. Higher education sector is active in plagiarism prevention and plagiarism fight. Software helps the teachers at the decision making in the plagiarism matters. Different countries have different policies regarding plagiarism. On the EU level there are the anti-plagiarism policies not defined in the higher education sector, although projects aimed at plagiarism fight and raising plagiarism awareness are being supported. Read more [...]