Brain drain reversal requires counter-intuitive support measures

Reversing the brain drain from Eastern Europe may require a bit of counter-intuitive intervention. Instead of supporting the best brains from Eastern Europe to work in Western Europe, why not do the opposite? In this opinion piece, Gergely Buday, an academic in Eastern Hungary, shares his views on the best use of European funding to build expertise on the regions that need it most in Europe. Read more [...]

We are largely responsible for our own happiness

Everybody is different when it comes to assessing their subjective well-being. It is likely that the differences in people’s genetic makeup contribute to long-lasting differences in their subjective well-being. Find out from Philipp Koellinger, Lars Bertram, and Gert G. Wagner, who are experts in genetic studies, about the extent to which we are responsible for our own happiness. Read more [...]

Claude de Loupy interview: the era of hyperlocal news

We are soon to benefit from the availability of hyperlocal news. News about the local sports team, our local weather, average prices of houses in our locality, etc. This is the perfect illustration of how technology will serve the needs of citizens in a way that was never possible before. Today, most news report are relevant to entire regions or nations, or have an international dimension. But news that are only relevant to the locality where people live are too costly to produce via traditional means, using journalists. Instead, Claude de Loupy, CEO of French startup Syllabs, explains how robots capable of writing hyperlocal news report by making sense of automated wheather, sports and other automated data reports, are already available. Read more [...]

Noise pollution: give citizens the means to reclaim their peace

Airport runways have the potential to cause long-term noise disturbance for those living in their vicinity. Associated health problems could also affect these neighbours. In the past 14 years, an EU Directive designed to measure the level of environmental noise and mitigate its effects on people's health has been in place. However, its implementation in each Member States has watered down the provisions designed to empower citizens to force further noise reduction measures. EuroScientist investigates what could be done to give citizens living near noisy transport environments the means to get back an acceptable level of peace. Read more [...]

Macchiarini scandal: overstepping the research ethics mark

A star scientist overstating the outcome of his pioneering transplant experiments may be worrying. But when these experiments are performed in humans, used a guinea pigs, before laboratory research proves the validity of the approach, we have a recipe for disaster. The recent Macchiarini scandal has led to one of the most shocking case of scientific misconduct in recent years. It reveals a lot about the vanity culture pervading some fields of research. Our outlook on what constitutes success in research may need to be revised. Read more [...]

Sheila Jasanoff: framing research with citizens’ perspectives

In this interview, Sheila Jasanoff, expert of the 'science of looking at science' from Harvard Kennedy School, warns that regulatory bodies alone cannot take decisions on thorny contemporary scientific issues, such as how to regulate the CRISPR gene editing technology, without involving society at large. She explains how the first order of framing research with society's input is crucial for the future of science before even framing the problems to solve in scientific terms. This approach also implies putting oneself in the shoes of the people objecting to the results of scientific research. Read more [...]

Can ethics training improve the quality of research?

Critiques are increasingly challenging the way research is being performed. Recent scandals revealing scientific fraud have made media headlines. Meanwhile, some are challenging the established ways of measuring research. It appears that research integrity is not sufficiently ingrained in the current practice of science. So much so, that it sometimes appear like an unattainable goal. To remedy this problem, some believe that part of the solution lies in making research integrity training compulsory, even though it is far from being a magic bullet. Read more [...]

Navigating SSH research integrity straits: between Scylla and Charybdis

Is social sciences and humanity (SSH) research, by nature, the domain of blatant misconduct? Drawing the line between acceptable and contemptible behaviour is a much more complicated matter in the SSH than in the other sciences. It may require a revision of the principles governing research to provide a solid basis for enforcing good practices. In this opinion piece, Ioana Galleron, who is chair of the European Network for Research Evaluation in Social Sciences and Humanities (ENRESSH), an European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST) Action, shares her perspective on this thorny issue. Read more [...]

Shaping tomorrow’s research integrity

The ultimate responsibility for good research practice lies with individual researchers. However, such practice can only flourish in a favourable research and funding environment. According to the findings of the latest report from Science Europe, who surveyed its members on research integrity policies and practice, there are still a number of measures that research organisations and funding agencies can take to guarantee a higher level of research integrity. Read on to learn about the Science Europe working group findings and recommendations. Read more [...]

What funding agencies and journals can do to prevent sloppy science

In May 2017, the 5th World Conference on Research Integrity will take place in Amsterdam. It will provide an opportunity to discuss concrete actions that can be adopted by funding angencies and scientific journals to improve the overall quality and integrity of research. In this opinion piece, Lex Bouter, professor of methodology and integrity at VU University Medical Center in The Netherlands sets the scene for the conference. Read more [...]

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 [...]

European science conversations by the community, for the community