Tag Archives: Science policy

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REIsearch: citizen engagement in policy decisions

Over the next five weeks, EuroScientist is exploring new ways of interacting with the wider community of readers via a partnership with the REIsearch project. The idea is to focus the pan-European debate on themes of key importance in the European policy agenda. This week, we will start exploring the theme of chronic diseases. Click on banners on our site to complete a survey to share your perspective on this issue. We will also offer our readers independent coverage related to the topic and invite you to comment below each article. Read more [...]

Research and education budgets in shambles in Denmark and Finland

Recent changes in the political landscape in Northern Europe have brought some new policies that are less supportive of science and education than previously. This is a major shift for Denmark and Finland, which have until now invested 3% of GPD in research and development. Time will tell whether such research and education cuts are a mere bleep on these countries record, or whether they will bear long-term consequences. Read more [...]

Can academics entering politics bring more evidence into policy

In Greece and Spain, a new generation of left-wing academics has now entered polictics. They claim to reinvent the way policy is shaped by relying both on evidence and on meeting the need of citizens. However, the way in which the results of academic research are actually taken into account in policy making is not straightforward. So are they likely to rely more than their predecessors on evicence-based policy? Read more [...]

Time to sign the Open Letter

In October 2014 a visible one-month march by scientists from across France converged on Paris. Organised by Sciences en Marche, it included all categories of colleagues from French universities and research centres who cross-crossed the French roads on their bikes, stopping in many towns to talk to the citizens about the non-measurable values of Higher Education and Research (HER), values that are essential for sustaining a democratic and flourishing society. Read more [...]

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An abridged genealogy of the RRI concept

Responsible research and Innovation, or RRI, may not be well understood by some. Yet, what it means is: science policy should explicitly include society. It stems from the fact that resistance to technical progress has always existed, particularly when such new technology is disruptive. Those who, in the XIXth century, did not agree and contested the value of such progress were accused of adopting romantic attitudes, or of being irrational. Read more [...]

A blueprint for EU research and innovation reforms

Resilience—the ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change—is a useful concept for understanding the dynamics of ecosystems. Indeed, all complex systems are evolutionary. They constantly co-evolve and interact in ways which are difficult—if not impossible—to predict with absolute certainty. This is also true of the European Innovation ecosystem. Unfortunately, the notion of resilience is not often used in policy making, according to the High Level Group on Innovation Policy Management. Read more [...]

Science funding angst: is rhetoric masking what is really at stake?

Some worry basic science will get left in the dust once changes in the new European Commission are set in stone. But before we fret in the wrong direction, should we stop to think about what terms like 'basic,' 'applied,' 'innovation' and 'society' translate to in reality? With all arrows pointing to the need for economic growth, many have begun to wonder how changes in the new European Commission will affect the balance between basic and applied research. But scholars in Science and Technology Studies (STS)— a field that investigates the relationships between scientific knowledge, technological systems and society— say that this linguistic dichotomy of 'basic' versus 'applied' research masks the real issues at stake. 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 [...]