The Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the world’s biggest particle smasher, will look for known unknowns such as dark matter, but also for so-called unknown unknowns that researchers have little idea about. That is according to Professor Fabiola Gianotti, the newly appointed Director-General of CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, which helped identify the Higgs boson.
Energy efficiency and agriculture are two areas where EU research and innovation could make a significant impact on climate change, and major breakthroughs could happen in a very short period of time, Dr Rajendra Pachauri, the chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), told Horizon following a meeting at the European Parliament in Brussels.
Curiosity, creativity and tenacity are three vital qualities for young scientists, says 18-year-old Lithuanian Matas Navickas, who won third prize at the European Union Contest for Young Scientists in September for his work creating a flowering apple tree in a test tube.
Young people have great ideas but often they need to be informed that EU research funding is available, according to Pierre-Yves Cousteau, the president of Cousteau Divers and son of the marine conservationist Jacques Cousteau.
Precisely designed nanostructures can catch light and help improve the efficiency of solar cells by up to 70 %, according to Professor Albert Polman, the 2012 joint recipient of the prestigious ENI Renewable Energy Prize and joint winner of the 2014 Julius Springer Prize for Applied Physics.
Studying an area of interest rather than chasing fashionable subjects is the best route to success, according to ERC grantee Professor Martin Hairer, winner of the 2014 Fields Medal, the world’s foremost maths prize, for his work on random systems.
The economic crisis in Europe has forced many countries to scale back financing for blue-sky research, making European Research Council (ERC) funding increasingly important, according to the ERC’s 4 000th grantee, Dr Manuel Arruebo, professor of chemical engineering at Zaragoza University in Spain.
The convoying of trains could be one way to help double railway capacity and reduce carbon emissions, according to Andy Doherty, vice-chairman of the European Rail Research Advisory Council and Director of railways system engineering at Network Rail, the UK rail network operator.
Innovations such as the Hawk-Eye line calling system, high-tech rackets, strings and smart monitoring can improve the game for tennis players, referees and spectators. However, too much innovation could change the nature of tennis, says Francesco Ricci Bitti, the president of the International Tennis Federation (ITF). Horizon Magazine spoke to him about tennis innovation at the EU’s Innovation Convention 2014.
Digital screens made from concrete could mean displays are integrated into the sides of buildings, and make advertising billboards resistant to vandalism, according to Bo Jacobsen, the chief executive of Dupont Lightstone, the driving force behind the EU-funded DIGISTONE project. The project is displaying its first prototype at the EuroScience Open Forum (ESOF) in Copenhagen from 21 to 26 June.
A circular economy needs new business models and reusable products, says Felipe Maya.
The first step in limiting global warming should be curbing energy demand, says Dr Keywan Riahi.
Professor Eva Hevia talks about chemistry’s green movement.