"Feeding the world, energy for the future": the motto of the upcoming Expo Milano 2015 directly explains the core issues of this big event. But it hides another global issue – health seems to be the unsaid common thread.
Someone could have hoped for a different end, but the signs were all clear: few days ago, Juncker made a final decision on cutting the role of the Chief Scientific Advisor at the European Commission. Apparently, this decision came after a struggle between the scientific community and some environmental NGPs, one above all, Greenpeace.
It calls itself “a knowledge hub”, a place where people from developing countries can share and learn at the top level. It is located in Trieste, Italy. Founded by a Nobel Laureate, it is funded (almost) by a single country, but ruled by two outstanding international organizations. It has already a great fame, due its scientific excellence and its role in promoting and educating the best young scientists from all over the world.
The debate on scientific advisory and future policies is becoming very harsh in the European Union. In the last weeks, an increasing numbers of contributions have created a huge debate about the necessity of a Chief Scientific Advisor (CSA) at the European top decision level, as the mandate of Anne Glover is close to its end.
The Italian technology and start-ups are having an interesting season.
The Jean-Claude Juncker's new Commission is taking shape. The first moves showed that the Barroso structure will be changed completely. This new course has invested the scientific policymaking, starting from the appointment of the new Commissioner on Science and Innovation. Rumors said that Juncker initially preferred a Portuguese woman, Maria Luis Albuquerque, Minister of Finance in Lisbon.
How is managed the process to set up the calls of proposal in Horizon 2020? A good example of its functioning has been given by the stakeholders consultation, ended in June 2014. The consultation is the first step towards the definition of 2016-17 working program for the Societal Challenge 5, the one dealing with environmental issues.
Ecology is one of the most complex scientific field in terms of variety of related areas of study. In the last years, researchers in ecology have tried to build up a model that relates data from ecology, paleontology, genomics and phylogenies, together with localization data and climate models. This effort has been made in order to create a scientifically strong model to prioritize biodiversity conservation policies.
If continuity means importance, research and energy have been confirmed as a priority for the European Union, at least in its Parliament. Despite the challenging election of the new Parliament, on the scientific point of view nothing seems to be changed.
Anne Glover is a Scottish professor of Molecular and Cell Biology and is ceasing her position as the first EU Chief Scientific Advisor (CSA) during the Barroso Commission II. She made a huge job in spreading the evidence-based method into policy making, by advising President Barroso with the most up-to-date scientific discoveries.
The biggest surprise in the European Parliament elections has been the victory of the so called Eurosceptic and Europhobic parties, such as the Front National (FN, from France), the United Kingdom Independence Party (Ukip, from Uk) or the Dutch Party for Freedom