Endangered Waters: saving Europe’s most iconic fish species

A network of young scientists demonstrated that they have a unique role to play in helping to protect endangered fish species. Specifically, they are involved in developing better production strategies for salmon, eels and sturgeons, under the umbrella of a European project called IMPRESS. To develop conservation solutions through innovative research, they seek to pair their research objectives with understanding the needs of fishing communities and conservation policy makers. This example shows the potential for evidence-based policies can make a difference to wild fish species. Read more [...]

Max Schrems interview: rebooting the culture of privacy in Europe

This week, the Austrian supreme court referred the question of the admissibility of a worldwide or European-wide class action against Facebook, initiated in Austria, to Europe’s top court in Luxemburg. In a podcast recorded in June 2016, Max Schrems, who led the class action, shares his view with EuroScientist on how best to protect the privacy of European citizens. Schrems previously became famous for another privacy protection challenge against Facebook's European headquarter in Ireland. As a result of his legal battle, the US-EU Safe Harbour Privacy Principles were deemed inadequate. Further, the Irish high court is expected to legislate in February 2017 on another challenge directed at the temporary replacement of the Safe Harbour rule. Read more [...]

Radical funding overhaul needed to empower researchers

Funding research effectively is a demanding exercise. Young scientists gathered in Bratislava in July 2016 published a wish list for a definite overhaul of the funding system. The key to the change is to empower researchers. The proposals will be annexed to the conclusions of the EU Competitiveness Council of research and innovation ministers and tabled for adoption at the Competitiveness Council on 29 November 2016 in Brussels. Read more [...]

Data Journalism Awards celebrate evidence-based questioning in our society

Data journalism has the potential to make reporting on scientific activities and innovation more accountable to society. In this article and podcast, EuroScientist covers the 2016 Data Journalism Award, recently held in Vienna, Austria. Find out more about the winning entries from Spain, Peru and the USA. In these projects, data analysis has helped uncover the varying cost of medicines across borders, the environmental and social impact of commodity mining and the extend of privacy loss due to US surveillance planes, respectively. These examples show how data journalism has the potential to bring scientific analysis to the practice of journalism, ultimately leading to more accountability and transparency in society. Read more [...]

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Journeys towards Ecotopia 2121

On the occasion of the anniversary of Thomas More’s book Utopia, another book Ecotopia 2121, is due to be released exactly 500 years afterwards. In a fascinating opinion piece, Alan Marshall, an environmental sociologist, and author of Ecotopia 2121, outlines a green vision for the future of 100 cities around the word, by focusing on the example of Leuven, Belgium, where Utopia was first printed. Read more [...]

Robo Sapiens: a new legal person on the horizon?

The legal implications of the consequences of the actions of robots endowed with artificial intelligence are currently the object of discussion at the European Parliament. In this opinion piece, Orsolya Zara, legal and policy advisor to an MEP at the European Parliament, in Brussels, provides some insights into changes pertaining to robots liability that may need to be implemented in civil law. Read more [...]

Do we need a European Innovation Council?

As plans are underway to establish yet another instrument to support innovation in Europe, dubbed the European Innovation Council (EIC), entrepreneurs and research-based organisations have questioned the proposal. The determination that Research, Innovation and Science Commissioner Carlos Moedas has shown in developing the concept, begs for further questioning concerning the details of the implementation of the proposed EIC. In this article, EuroScientist investigates whether those closely involved in innovation believe EIC is a good idea. Read more [...]

In praise of solitude in science

Solitude often holds negative connotations. Yet, it is not necessarily a bad thing for scientists. Particularly in an hyper-connected work environment, where team collaboration and instant communications sometimes act like a smokescreen to hide the deep meaning of what scientists individual journey entails. In this deep personal reflection, Francisco Azuaje, senior researcher at the Luxembourg Institute of Health, helps us look at the true benefit of solitude in science. Read more [...]

Does mobility boost early scientific careers?

Young scientists are expected to change country and jobs every few years on average to get a chance to progress their academic career. Mobility in science stems from a long tradition. It is favoured for bringing very enriching experiences. But post docs and their scientific work do not always benefit from mobility. Here, EuroScientist looks into how being on the move every few years affects the life of researchers and looks at ways of enhancing work/life balance. Read more [...]

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