Stress, insecurity and lack of alternatives are serious psychosocial risks for the research community. What ideas for improvement are proposed? Many are calling for an end to the endless days, missing leadership training and questioning the scientific quality assessment system.
At least one in three doctoral students has serious mental health problems. In the previous report, we looked at the causes, including work-life balance difficulties. We have now interviewed representatives of Spanish female researchers in four countries with different workloads: Germany, the USA, Denmark and the Netherlands.
The subject is not new, but its visibility is. Recent studies have uncovered high risks of depression and anxiety for researchers, especially doctoral students. Long days, scarcity of places, a hyper-competitive environment and the sacralisation of vocation lie behind the toxicity of the system.
In 2011, a doctor became famous for ensuring that his peers die with treatments that were less aggressive, quieter and less painful than the rest of the people. Some time later, studies have proven him wrong. Dying is difficult for everyone. Specialists demand that quality of death be a social value and want a radical reinforcement of the services of dependency and palliative care.
Single cell analysis will allow us to understand the amazing regeneration power of salamanders, map all our cells in a biological 'Google Maps' and fight cancer or autoimmune pathologies. That's why it was the Method of the Year for `Nature´ magazine in 2013 and the great scientific breakthrough of 2018 in `Science´.
The Atlas of Inequality is an interactive map made from mobile geolocation data to determine where people of different incomes do (or not) encounter as they move around the city to work, shopping or during leisure time. The initiative, led by the Spanish researcher Esteban Moro, has already analysed the map of Boston and it will be extended to eleven other cities, including Madrid and New York.
It is a two-dimensional material that has promised almost magical applications. Almost ten years after its ‘parents’ won a Nobel Prize, its most mundane applications are coming to market. Although the products are not revolutionary, many companies that use graphene do so with a secrecy that stands out against the marketing of others.
The 1,554 inhabitants of Fresnedillas de la Oliva (Spain) are making preparations to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the arrival on the Moon. It was in this small village where the expected Apollo XI landing signal was received through the antenna that NASA installed on their land. That changed the lives of its inhabitants, who now remember how they cooperated in that great step for mankind.
The 'Brains on Board' project is a collaboration between several British universities that partners with the HBP and seeks to ‘translate’ the brains of ants and bees into algorithms that a machine will understand. Its aim is to create equally efficient robots that can be used for rescue, space exploration and terrain analysis.
Aisoy Robotics, a start-up based in Elche (Spain), develops robots capable of recognising the person with whom they interact and simulate emotions. A nurse from the USA, Juan’s mother, confirmed its potential in autism therapies three years ago. Now, the firm is preparing a clinical study to test its efficacy with 50 children.
In a few days, the Spanish Parliament (Congreso de los Diputados de España) will open its doors to #CienciaenelParlamento, an initiative to ensure that scientific knowledge is taken into account in political decisions. One of its references is POST, the UK’s Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology, which, over the last 30 years, has been providing legislators with information on topics such as genomics and micro-plastics. In London, POST consultants tell us how they work.
The Human Brain Project is a mammoth European initiative with many branches. Italian researchers associated with the project have developed a model of the cerebellum with which to study how that area of the brain works and how it is affected when under illness.