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 model of our universe as expanding at an accelerated rate has given rise to theoretical constructs such as dark energy and dark matter, which scientists believe could make up 95% of the universe. In September, Horizon takes a deeper look at what we really know about the expanding universe. We speak to Prof. Subir Sarkar, who believes that the Nobel-winning discovery that universe expansion acceleration could be a fluke, and the scientists who are trying to answer the question by allowing us to better measure the expansion rate. We also look at the significance of accurately measuring gravity in deep space, and what dark matter haloes can tell us about the existence of dark energy.
This month, Horizon takes an in-depth look at a shared human trait – our emotions. We find out how science is seeking to better understand and regulate human emotions across a range of applications, from mental health to politics. We uncover the implications of a neuroscientist’s efforts to determine how the brain controls fear and anxiety, with possible implications for treating mental health disorders and autism. We explore how emotions shape our politics and ask whether this can help provide a different perspective on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. And we look at research examining how apps and online games can help people manage their emotional sides.
A sister and brother who created shock-activated protective gear featuring a starch liquid for people who in-line skate, motorcycle and do other risky sports, won one of the three first prizes at this year’s European Union Contest for Young Scientists (EUCYS).
Winners from Germany and Canada take home top prizes.
New observations may provide alternative explanations for dark energy.
We need to double-check the evidence on dark energy, as it may not exist at all, says Prof. Subir Sarkar.