Science & Technology Issue 16

In Science and Technology 16 the remarkable achievements in European science are celebrated, with the restart of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN and the re-establishing of contact with the Philae lander by the European Space Agency (ESA) being highlighted. This edition also discusses efforts to tackle chronic diseases and cancer awareness, as we see a rise in cases in European countries. Science and Technology 16 goes on to underline European efforts towards a sustainable environment.

How are questions in science being answered?

  • UK Astronomer Royal, Professor Lord Martin Rees, spoke to Science and Technology 16 about the recent announcement of $100m in private funding for a new search for extraterrestrial life beyond the Solar System into the Milky Way, as well as why now is the right time to step up the search for life outside of Earth, and his thoughts on other current space ventures;
  • Vice-president for research at the Academy of Finland, Professor Marja Makarow, tells Science and Technology about the Finnish model for research and development – including aspects such as funding, gender, the country’s membership in some of Europe’s large-scale infrastructure projects, and how this is enhancing perceptions of the country as an attractive place for research; and
  • Andrus Ansip, Vice-President of the European Commission, discusses the Digital Single Market as a priority for Europe.

What are the biggest challenges in healthcare?

  • JA CHRODIS co-ordinator Dr Teresa Chavarría and EuroHealthNet’s Ingrid Stegeman spoke to Science and Technology about the Joint Action’s background and its ambition to enable European countries to share good practices in an effort to tackle the burden of chronic diseases;
  • The executive director of the Ontario Institute for Regenerative Medicine, Dr Janet Rossant, talks about the recent decision by the Government of Ontario to provide $25m in funding to help support new treatments and therapies involving stem cells for people living with chronic diseases, such as heart disease, multiple sclerosis and diabetes; and
  • Elizabeth Beech – representative for the UK’s Royal Pharmaceutical Society and the Healthcare Acquired Infection and Antimicrobial Resistance Project lead within the Patient Safety Domain of NHS England – outlines how both Britain and Europe are working to address what could be the biggest global healthcare challenge of the 21st Century.

What is the EU doing to tackle environmental issues?

  • Dr Helen Hesketh and Dr Helen Roy from the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH, UK) describe how pathogenic micro-organisms have largely been overlooked as invasive alien species, and highlight recent work in addressing this issue and how this could inform EU policy; and
  • Amidst mounting concern among environmentalists over the Juncker Commission’s approach towards European environmental policy, NGO’s have launched the ‘Nature Alert’ campaign in a bid to defend existing EU environmental law.
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