From alternative currencies in Limburg to virus-hunters tracking down the next pandemic, there’s plenty of cutting-edge research and innovation in Belgium. For the open day of European institutions in Brussels, Horizon has gone into its archives and pulled together a list of its top articles featuring scientists in the northern European country.
European researchers have used telescopes around the world to spot a cluster of seven planets orbiting a Jupiter-sized ultra-cool star 40 light-years from earth, increasing the chances of discovering evidence of life on distant worlds.
A Bitcoin-style virtual currency could save Europe’s power grids from reaching breaking point as more and more ‘prosumers’ come on line – consumers who also put energy back into the network from domestic wind turbines and solar panels.
Much of the focus in trade talks around the world at present is on regional deals, rather than global agreements. But researchers say the goal of multilateral pacts will remain in the medium and longer term, given the pressures of globalisation.
Despite Matt Damon’s heroics in The Martian, where he overcomes the odds to survive after being left behind during a mission to the Red Planet, EU-funded researchers reveal that we don’t have the technology yet to get there alive and survive.
The stigma associated with AIDS and homophobia has made the pandemic even more destructive as in many countries it drives people away from modern treatment that could let them live a normal life, according to Prof. Nathan Clumeck, a leading member of the European AIDS treatment Network (NEAT) with St Pierre University Hospital in Brussels, Belgium.
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.
European governments need to provide investment on a ‘wartime footing’ to stimulate a post-coronavirus economic recovery, but also need to redefine economic success to incorporate climate and social goals, the European Research and Innovation Days conference has heard.
The Covid-19 crisis provides an opportunity to reshape Europe’s economy, conference heard.
'Frontier research' scientists share how they are fighting Covid-19.
Dr Kate Rychert studies ocean plate structures.