Carlos Moedas, European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, welcomed Ukraine as a full member of Horizon 2020 last month.
Climate change, war, water security, energy – these are issues that cross borders and span continents. That’s why science diplomacy is bringing together researchers to help solve problems that politics frequently struggles to address.
During April, we delve into some of the cross-border research projects that are uniting scientists and helping to bridge divides between countries.
We also find out how science diplomacy can help create the conditions for sustainable development to the east and south of the EU, and we follow Commissioner Moedas as he travels to Amman in Jordan to foster research cooperation between the EU and the Middle East.
The challenge of how to rebuild society following conflict is a difficult question that arises all too frequently, but recent studies have demonstrated that putting people at the centre of the process and enabling cooperation on politically neutral issues can help build peace.
The SESAME synchrotron in Jordan shows that science can make positive things happen among countries in a region which is facing political tensions, according to Dr Jean-Pierre Koutchouk, coordinator of the EU-funded CESSAMag project.
The world looks very different from this time last year. The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the centrality of science, research and innovation, accelerated some changes already in the works, but also exposed our weaknesses. In September, Horizon looks at how the pandemic is reshaping Europe in areas including health research, work, tech, transport and food – and how research can contribute to Europe’s recovery over the coming years. We will also be covering the European Research & Innovation Days at the end of the month, which will bring together scientists, policymakers, entrepreneurs and citizens to debate how research and innovation can ensure that the transition to a post-coronavirus society is sustainable, inclusive and resilient.
In August, Horizon looks at one of the features that makes Earth unique and habitable: plate tectonics. We explore what we know – and still don’t know – about how the shifting plates beneath our feet shape our planet. We speak to researcher Dr Kate Rychert, who wants to understand what makes a plate plate-like, and delve into one of the outstanding mysteries in the subject – how and why plate tectonics began. We find out about the link between mountain formation, erosion and climate change, and we look at what moonquakes and marsquakes can reveal about tectonic activity elsewhere.
The ability of certain fish to heal damage to their hearts could lead to new treatments for patients who have suffered heart attacks and may also help to unravel how the lifestyle of our parents and grandparents can affect our own heart health.
A strange species of cavefish is helping to reveal why heart attacks cause permanent damage.
‘Industrial symbiosis’ is encouraging industry byproducts to be used for new purposes.
Dr Kate Rychert studies ocean plate structures.