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Inga Vesper

Journalist, editor, writer

Protest, diluted

The march organisers said they wanted to show the world that “lots of people care”. But to truly make things better for the scientific community, this care must be turned into proposals for action. Otherwise last week’s marches, and any subsequent protests, will remain little more than a photo opportunity.

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How Brexit is changing the lives of eight researchers

When the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union on 23 June last year, the decision triggered a period of intense soul-searching and uncertainty, not least for a research community with strong and long-standing financial and social links to the continent. Worries about science funding, residency rights and even about racist attacks took root in laboratories across the country.

UK scientists welcome changes to controversial research reforms

UK scientists who had vigorously protested against a planned shake-up of the way their country’s research is funded say they’re largely reassured after the government announced amendments to the plans. Science minister Jo Johnson announced a package of changes last week that look likely to smooth the way for the reforms to become law — although not everyone is satisfied.

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.

Islamic State body dumping did not spread leishmaniasis

Syria’s outbreak of cutaneous leishmaniasis — a parasitic infection that causes skin lesions — is not caused by the corpses of infected people being dumped in the open, a paper points out.

An alternative future

Dietmar Lampert, from Austria’s Centre for Social Innovation, hopes that digital science will create a better fit between innovation and society, Inga Vesper reports.

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).

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