Science & Technology Issue 19

Issue 19 of Science and Technology looks into the issue of Britain’s potential exit from the EU, which has received attention regarding the country’s science base. It also covers Europe’s research and development landscape and the challenges it is presented with, whilst outlining the importance of boosting innovation in Europe.

How significant are social sciences to wider research?

  • Through Horizon 2020, the European Commission is working to ‘embed’ the social sciences and humanities (SSH) into broader scientific research. Writing for Science and Technology 19, Danish minister for higher education and science, Ulla Tørnæs, outlines the importance of this and provides examples of how Denmark is already in the digital space;
  • Dr Phillippa Steele, Principle investigator and ancient linguistics expert, tells Science and Technology 19 more about the ERC-funded CREWS project at Cambridge University, UK, which looks to uncover new insights into the history of writing via an investigation of different writing systems in the eastern Mediterranean area during the second and first millennia BC; and
  • Dr Ioana Galleron outlines how the ENRESSH COST Action can help cement the importance of including the SSH in wider research.

Why is innovation crucial to healthcare?

  • Clayton Hamilton, e-health and innovation unit leader at the World Health Organization’s Regional Office for Europe, outlines the potential of e-health and discusses some of the points raised in the report ‘From Innovation: eHealth in the WHO European Region’, which was released in March 2016; and
  • The European Federation of Nurses’ secretary general, Paul De Raeve, and policy and legal advisor, Konstantinos Aligiannis, outline the role of nurses in the upscaling of integrated care models.

How is Europe progressing towards more sustainable energy?

  • Alongside access to food and water, providing sustainable energy for the future is a major societal challenge. With this in mind, Professor Arne Graue, of the University of Bergen, Norway, discusses joint efforts by academia and industry to realise carbon capture utilisation and storage (CCUS) for more sustainable oil and gas;
  • At ICOE2016, the European Commissioner Karmenu Vella outlined the benefits of and challenges for ocean energy; and
  • The H2ALRECYCLING team outlines its project and how the results are progressing towards a more sustainable energy future.

How is sustainability being achieved?

  • The annual Forum for the Future of Agriculture gathers policy makers, stakeholders and international leaders in Brussels to discuss agriculture and the environment. Sitting down with Science and Technology on the fringes of the event, renowned economist and director of The Earth Institute Professor Jeffrey D Sachs explained why agriculture lies at the heart of sustainable development;
  • Speaking at the Forum for the Future of Agriculture, Commissioner Phil Hogan outlined how sustainable agriculture in an essential ambition; and
  • Bournemouth University’s Dr Juliet Wiseman outlines the NuFEAST (Nutrition for Everyone, Available, Sustainable and Trusted) project, a multidisciplinary initiative which links sustainable eating with nutritional wellbeing, a particularly important issue given some of the health challenges facing Europe today, such as Type 2 diabetes and obesity.