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Inga Vesper

Journalist, editor, writer

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Biodiversity loss mars SDG success, report finds

An “unprecedented” loss of global biodiversity threatens the progress of more than 80 per cent of the UN Sustainable Development Goals and puts 1 million animal and plant species at risk of extinction, a landmark scientific report has warned.

Climate now biggest driver of migration, study finds

The effects of climate change, including floods and extreme temperatures, have become more important push factors in migration than economic inequality or conflict, according to a global study.

Government loyalist appointed new UK science minister as Brexit woes continue

Amid the carnage of Brexit, the UK government has gained a new science minister. Chris Skidmore was appointed on 5 December, succeeding Sam Gyimah, who resigned last week over the direction of Brexit negotiations.

Europe’s academics fail to report results for 90% of clinical trials

An analysis of data from the European Union’s Clinical Trial Register — published in The BMJ1 on 13 September — shows that around 50% of the listed trials have not complied with guidelines that say results must be reported within 12 months.

UK universities push for last-minute Erasmus deals

Universities in the UK are rushing to sign Erasmus+ deals to secure access to Europe for their students and academics after Brexit, Research Europe has learned. Universities in Germany and Denmark have said that they are witnessing an increase in UK demand for partnerships under the EU’s flagship exchange programme, including deals on researcher exchange. They hope that agreements signed before Brexit will survive even if the UK pulls out of EU programmes.

Climate impact means uneven UK wind power costs

London and south-east Britain face being the losers as climate change exerts a regional impact on UK wind power costs, researchers say.

Hawaii seeks to ban ‘reef-unfriendly’ sunscreen

A proposed Hawaiian bill aims to stop the sale of lotions containing certain UV-filters, but their effects on coral are disputed.

Science Europe lobby group hit by sudden exodus

Influential research organizations are pulling out of Science Europe, the Brussels-based advocacy group that aims to champion researchers’ interests with European Union policymakers. All but one of France’s research-funding organizations are preparing to leave the group at the end of this year, Nature has learned — including Europe’s largest basic-research agency, the CNRS, which controls an annual budget of €3.3 billion (US$3.5 billion).

Against the grain

Europe’s farmers have a difficult relationship with those beyond their community. The consumers of their products, the 500 million Europeans who need a daily splash of milk in their coffee, tend to perceive farmers as swimming in subsidies, while EU politicians prefer to keep a safe distance from the demonstrations staged regularly by agricultural unions in Brussels.

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