Tag Archives: Spain

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 [...]

Repeated research protests on the streets of Madrid

Doing science in Spain is like crying. This well-known quote from one of the most famous Spanish scientist, Nobel laureate Santiago Ramón Cajal, seems more pertinent today than ever. For that reason, Spanish scientists took to the streets of Madrid on 26th September 2014, in a protest dubbed the Red Tide for Science—Marea Roja por la Ciencia. These protests reflect the sense of hopelessness, which pervades research centres and universities around the country, as scientists are leaving in droves. Another demonstration is scheduled in Madrid on the 17th October 2014 to coinciding with the arrival in Paris of the French movement Science en Marche. and the protest in Rome, Per la Scienza, Per la cultura the next day. Read more [...]

Pablo Echenique-Robba, Eurodeputy, Podemos

Pablo Echenique-Robba stared his political career back in January 2014. Until then, his day job was to work as a physicist for the public research agency CSIC, working, among others of the issue of proteins folding. He is involved in a citizen democracy movement, called Podemos. Echenique shares his view on science in Spain and in Europe in an exclusive interview to EuroScientist. Read more [...]

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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 [...]

Case study of brain drain from Spain to Germany: a reversible process?

The first time that I travelled to Germany was in the Spring of 2004. A few years before the actual financial crisis started. For this trip, I mainly packed three things in my suitcase: a degree in chemistry, several books to refresh my German and the need to see the world with my own eyes. One month later, I returned to Spain with some extra luggage: a climatic and cultural shock, the confirmation that my German was not as good as expected and an offer letter to do a PhD at the Technical University in Berlin. Read more [...]

Cumulating R&D cuts does not bode well for the future of Spain

For the fourth consecutive year, resources allocated by the Spanish Government to R&D have been reduced. To assess its real impact, we need a detailed analysis. However, facts already speak for themselves. The 2013 annual budget approved by the Spanish Parliament reveals the government’s actual policy regarding R&D. To say the least, it is not always in line with politicians’ statements in the media. Read more [...]

Change needed for Spain to compete internationally

Science is an activity that needs to be planned with a long-term perspective. It is the only successful way of doing science. The system in Spain has to be changed to be able to contract the best people in each field. It might also help if prestigious calls like the ERC grant calls could account for the fact that countries are being faced with economic hardship and therefore give their scientists a chance to compete on a more level playing field. 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 [...]