Bygone Asian cotton and porcelain trade routes could have spurred the consumption of luxury goods in Europe, researchers believe, while scientific cooperation with modern Asia is still leading to new technological advances.
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.
How should the welfare state evolve in the 21st century? Researchers are looking at everything from healthcare to immigration to design new systems fit for a post-crisis Europe that is facing challenges such as austerity economics, an ageing society and increased migration.
The recession, an ash cloud, floods, a food scandal or terrorist attacks; each event is different, but is it possible that they behave in a similar way? Social scientists are identifying characteristics of crises to help us prevent them from happening and respond when they occur.
It’s one of the mysteries that has confounded scientists for over a century – if you offer sick people fake pills and say it will help cure them, it often will. Now, researchers are working out exactly how the placebo effect operates in the brain and how it can be enhanced in order to harness its power in a new approach to treating disease.
It is possible for Europe to shift to a decarbonised economy – and even achieve full employment at the same time – but only if there is government leadership, large upfront investment, and a new way of measuring economic outputs, according to researchers who are coming up with a strategy for how the EU can achieve this.
People will need to lead less materialistic lifestyles if we are to transition to a green economy, but the challenge in changing actual behaviours and lifestyles lies in overcoming our ingrained notions about consumption, success and happiness.
Internet of Things and social inclusion enterprises also recognised.
Expert networks have sprung into action to contain the disease.
The European Commission has launched plans for the next research funding programme.