Open access, open data, open source – science is changing and the possibilities could be endless.
In July, Horizon looks at the practicalities and implications of open science - a drive to increase free access to research data and enable more citizens to share their ideas with academics.
The increasing digitisation of research means that there are more and more opportunities for collaboration between researchers, and for publicly funded researchers to share their findings and data.
Open science is a priority for Carlos Moedas, European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, who called for Europe to adopt 'a new strategy that is fit for purpose for a world that is open, digital and global' during A new start for Europe: Opening up to an ERA of Innovation, an event organised on 22-23 June in Brussels.
Nature Editor-in-Chief Philip Campbell explains his belief that academic journals will be free to read eventually, and we hear from a citizen scientist about what they get out of helping researchers gather their data.
We also hear about plans for a European Science Cloud to give researchers access to data and resources, wherever they are.
A lot of lip service is being paid to making scientific papers free to access but when it comes to action there is a lot of hypocrisy, according to Robert-Jan Smits, the EU's outgoing director-general for research, science and innovation. He has recently been appointed the EU's special envoy on open access, tasked with helping make all publicly funded research in Europe freely available by 2020.
Open science should mean that citizens have the chance to put questions to scientists and have a say on the kind of innovations that are being funded, according to Professor Alan Irwin from the Copenhagen Business School.
Researchers and funding agencies will foot the cost of publishing academic papers rather than readers, as academic journals adapt to a world in which open access becomes increasingly important, according to Nature Editor-in-Chief Philip Campbell.
This month, Horizon explores the global challenge of biodiversity loss. Many experts believe we are in the midst of a sixth mass extinction, where human-caused factors such as land use and pollution are causing a decline in biodiversity – something that threatens the future of our own species. We speak to British ecologist Professor Georgina Mace about how bad the situation is and what we can do about it. We explore marine ecosystems, where species relocation outpaces that of terrestrial populations, and examine how we can help these environments adapt. We also look into the link between food insecurity and biodiversity degradation, and find out what’s in store for bees – our pollinators. Finally, we investigate the services nature provides for people – from cleaning our water to acting as a carbon sink – and ask whether putting a value on natural capital could help save it.
Fifty years after humans first set foot on the moon, Earth’s only permanent natural satellite is back in the news with China’s successful landing on the moon’s as-yet-unexplored far side. This month, Horizon looks at how Europe is contributing to moon research. We hear from the European Space Agency’s director of human and robotic exploration about their plans to send a robot and then humans to the lunar surface in the 2020s, and speak to the scientists trying to fill the holes in our understanding of how the moon was formed. We also hear how we could solve the puzzle of where water on Earth originated by analysing volatile substances from the moon, and take a look at the methods and facilities being developed to protect precious extra-terrestrial samples from human contamination.
Nearly 100 years ago scientists developed a vaccine for tuberculosis (TB). Today, there are 10 million new cases worldwide and 1.6 million deaths from the disease every year. Increasingly, these cases are becoming difficult to treat as the bug that causes the disease can be resistant to antibiotics. However, several new TB vaccines are under development and there is growing optimism that a new vaccine will emerge, says Helen McShane, professor of vaccinology at Oxford University, UK. This could save millions of lives, she said, but more work is needed to reassure the general public that vaccines are safe and effective.
Forests have a special magic for many of us. Steeped in folklore and fantasy, they are places for enchantments, mythical creatures and outlaws. But if they are to survive into the future, they may also need a helping hand from science.
Tuberculosis is the most common cause of death from an infectious disease.
Computer modelling will also help optimise management techniques.
Entrepreneur Nicklas Bergman on the European Innovation Council.