‘You will never become a scientist!’ For his teachers, a science career for John Gurdon, was no more than hypothetical. But the British professor who won the 2012 Nobel Prize for Medicine has only one piece of advice for aspiring researchers: ‘Don’t give up!’
How do you encourage civil servants to take a long, hard look at what they do so as to improve public services for citizens? And how do you kick-start new thinking to address society’s plague of problems? For a start, you need to discover users’ thoughts about basic design problems in the services they use, according to Danish political scientist Christian Bason.
Professor Christian Keysers first saw the film Dr. No as a teenager. Watching the scene where James Bond wakes up to discover a large, hairy, poisonous spider crawling up his arm, he thought he could almost feel the spider on his own skin.
Marisa Matias is a Portuguese MEP of the European United Left / Nordic Green Left group (GUE/NGL). A social scientist by training, she is very active in the areas of public health, science and research. Why should science be calling out for women? She believes it will help tackle Europe’s brain drain. ‘It will help jugulate the brain drain Europe is suffering and boost gender equality,’ she says.
Grants should only be given to research organisations who have received an award for female-friendly policies, according to a UK scientist who was overlooked for a Nobel Prize on pulsars even though she did much of the work.
Should we rethink education to foster curiosity, creativity and competitiveness? At the last World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Sir Tim Hunt, member of the ERC Scientific Council and Nobel laureate in 2001 proposed some guidelines.
It all started with the chance discovery of a country lane full of wild orchids by an inquisitive young girl in rural England. That young girl, Frances Ashcroft, would go on to become one of Europe’s leading diabetes researchers.
New measurements of carbon emissions provide better estimates of deforestation effects.
Illegal logging is a billion-euro racket but trees have traceability built into their trunks.
Better space weather forecasts will help.