Tag Archives: Netherlands

Self-organised scientific crowds to remedy research bureaucracy

In an era where research bureaucracy is the biggest burden bestowed upon scientists, some are seeking practical solutions. Inspired by the science of complex networks, new ways of harnessing the wisdom of the scientific community are emerging. This leads to new decision-making mechanisms to allocated the limited amount of resources, which is bypassing the biggest plague affecting the research endeavour. Michele Catanzaro investigates out-of-the-box solutions to this bureaucratic conundrum for Euroscientist. Read more [...]

Should PhDs accept to have a mere student status?

Some of the rights and benefits of being considered as an employee could soon be swept from under the feet of many Dutch PhDs. A new proposal by Dutch Labour Party Minister Jet Bussemaker has reignited a long term debate on the subject. The move, backed by universities, is considered by researchers’ organisations as depriving PhDs of many rights and benefits. This shows that for every step forward in helping the working conditions of scientists —among others, through the introduction, ten years ago, of the European Charter for Researchers— it is only too easy to slide backwards, according to an opinion piece by Eurodoc president, John Peacock. Read more [...]

Death in academia and the mis-measurement of science

Working in academia is not what it used to be. At least, when it comes to evaluation of work performance. Heightened and underhand pressure on academic performance, has led to the tragic death, last year, of an eminent professor from Imperial College, London, UK. Other academics across Europe have suffered the same fate, albeit these have only been documented anecdotally and did not receive the broader coverage English speaking publications affords. This raises questions concerning the pressures academics come under from academic institutions. These are run like businesses and are looking for unrealistic benchmarks, when it comes to research evaluation. Read more [...]

Europe sets the tone for long-term nuclear waste management strategies

Nuclear energy is at the forefront of many scientific minds these days. The Fukushima crisis shined a spotlight on possible dangers associated with the locations of nuclear plants, as well as the logistical and human health nightmares that can occur with meltdowns. But these aren’t the only concerns about nuclear power on which scientists are focusing. Nuclear waste management is also actively perplexing engineers, policy-leaders, and decision-makers, as the concern over how to best dispose of High Level Waste (HLW) continues to grow. Read more [...]

Agreement will catalyse life sciences infrastructure

This week, ELIXIR has taken a step closer to becoming the central research infrastructure for life-science information in Europe. Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom plus the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to kick start the construction of ELIXIR. Read more [...]

Marie Curie: Inspiring millions, advancing European science

She received two Nobel Prizes, has served as an inspirational figure to countless women (and men) in science, and has a Continent-wide fellowship program named after her to promote the brightest scientific minds and innovations. The Marie Curie Fellowships, administered by the EU, are so prestigious that recipients regularly gush about its virtue as a career game-changer. Only 8% of applicants receive fellowships each year, but this low rate of acceptance does not deter scholars; on the contrary, says Jordi Curell Gotor, who oversees the Marie Curie Fellowships as Director Lifelong learning, higher education and international affairs, DG Education and Culture, European Commission. The number of applications continues to rise annually. So far, 50,000 researchers from 120 nations have received these prestigious grants since the program’s inception in 1996. Read more [...]

Utrecht staff and students say no to physics cuts

Bright and early on 3 January 2011, 140 physics lecturers, students and other staff at Utrecht University in the Netherlands made their way from the physics department to the offices of the university administration. The purpose of the demonstration was to submit a petition objecting to proposed cutbacks, and to the removal of department head Casper Erkelens after he refused to sign a document agreeing to the reforms. Read more [...]