Finnegan's Take

Archives for science

Wanted: EU chief scientist

It’s almost a year since Barroso told the European Parliament he would appoint an EU Chief Scientific Advisor but, so far, the €200,000 a year post has not even been advertised. It now seems certain that the chief scientist role will be a little less exciting than might have been hoped. Some had notions of… » read more

Posted by Gary Finnegan

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose By any other name would smell as sweet.” – William Shakespeare EU officials are toying with the idea of renaming Europe’s Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development. At present, the seventh framework programme (FP7) is under review and governments are already jockeying for position… » read more

Posted by Gary Finnegan

Ireland’s Máire Geoghegan Quinn has been handed the newly-created innovation portfolio at the EU executive. (Full coverage of new Commission, click here). The job is an expanded version of the old Research & Science post, and comes just months before the first European Innovation Act is due to be published. The creation of an innovation… » read more

Posted by Gary Finnegan

A government-appointed expert group in Ireland makes uncomfortable reading for all invested in Europe’s “knowledge economy” experiment. It questioned (a) whether Ireland’s investment in ‘STI’ (science, technology and innovation) is really economically worthwhile and (b) whether producing 20% more PhD students might be counterproductive. These points are buried in a lengthy report by an academic… » read more

Posted by Gary Finnegan

“European Research Council in full flight,” screams the July issue of the Europe4Researchers newsletter published by the European Commission, which landed in my inbox on this afternoon. The article boasts that the ERC has “developed into a well-functioning research funding body”. Great news, if it were true. Yesterday a panel of experts – assembled by… » read more

Posted by Gary Finnegan

Oh dear. As if the debate on nanotechnology were not complex enough, it now seems companies are quietly burying references to nanomaterials contained in consumer produts. Until recently, branding something as containing ‘nanotechnology’ was seen as a plus – a marketing boost. Now though, a new pattern is emerging. Consumer groups in Norway, the UK… » read more

Posted by Gary Finnegan