The 1st Open Science platform launched by Aarhus University, Denmark

Ellie Open Access, RRI

An innovative free of charge tool Along with a number of leading Danish industrial companies, Aarhus University has opted out of the academic and patenting rat race in a new collaboration on basic research of relevance to industry. Researchers and companies from all over Denmark have the opportunity to publish their results and data on the innovative Open Science platform, where the information is available free of charge to everyone interested. Established with funds (DKK 2.5 million) from the Danish Industry Foundation, the platform combines basic research with industrial innovation, ensuring that industry and universities get greater benefits from each other’s research and technology. The Open Science platform breaks the barriers that make it difficult and expensive for companies to gain access to the part of basic university research that is most relevant for them. It also addresses a number of major challenges facing basic research, in particular in Denmark, where both researchers and grant providers focus increasingly on safe bets. Why creating an Open Science platform? The aim of the Open Science platform is to have university researchers and companies collaborate to create basic new knowledge that is available to everyone – and which no one may patent. However, everyone is subsequently free to use the knowledge to develop and patent their own products. The interest for such an idea of collaborating in a patent-free zone is enormous among companies that otherwise use substantial resources on protecting their intellectual property rights. The first platform focuses on smart materials and …

Gender in Biosciences, seen by the University of Tor Vergata, Italy

Ellie Gender, RRI

  Elena Bachiddu – Member of the Department of Biology at the University of Rome “Tor Vergata”. She works in communication, event organization and on the website of the Department. She is a cultural anthropologist and teaches ‘Health and Safety at Work’ for “Didactics of Science” courses, the theoretical-practical modules annually organized by the Department to promote and disseminate scientific knowledge among students of first and second grade schools. Elena Bachiddu is also a member of the Central Advocacy and Control Committee (CUG-Comitato Unico di Garanzia), where she coordinated Work-Life Balance seminars and publications. 1. How do you understand “Gender” in biosciences research? Broadly based and explored in the field of Gender Studies theory, the discourse on ‘gender difference’ is emerging nowadays in Italy in the biomedical disciplines where it is understood as closely related to the guidelines of personalized medicine and no longer as limited to the sphere of reproductive health of woman. Consequently, Gender Medicine, starting from research and biomedical experimentation and pre-clinical studies, appears as an area that currently recognizes and examines the sex and the feminine difference. In this sense research and experimentation approaches are oriented within several pharmacological research projects and research institutes, training of medical specializations, hospitalization procedures in the local healthcare facilities and healthcare policies. However, in general terms, we must remember that, according to the Global Gender Gap Report presented at the World Economic Forum, Italy still ranks 50th as for women participation in the labor market and for economic opportunities, and in particular according …

Education in Biosciences, seen by the University of Bremen, Germany

Caroline Education, RRI

University of Bremen – Faculty of Biology & Chemistry Dr. Doris Elster – Head of the Department of Biology Education at the Institute of Science Education. 1. How do you understand “Education” in biosciences research? Science Education is one of the six policy keys within the normative framework of RRI. The core focus is the enhancement of the current education process to better equip citizens (students, teachers, interested laymen) with the necessary knowledge and skills so that they can participate in debates about Research and Innovation (R&I) and can make decisions as scientific literate persons. A further focus of Science Education is to develop and implement educational programs to raise interest in and awareness of responsible research to increase the number of researchers and promote scientific vocations. 2. What are the current standards and actions to achieve better Education in the University of Bremen? The University of Bremen offers services for doctoral and postdoctoral researchers within the educational center BYRD (Early Career Researcher Development). This is a central hub for early career researchers to foster their independent research skills and to provide the means for individual development as well as career paths. The qualification program for doctoral researchers covers workshops such as academic writing and publishing, presenting and networking, research methods, or career orientation and job application standards. The BYRD program for postdocs and advanced researchers comprises qualification workshops and support services in the following fields of competences: research, teaching and instruction, internationalization, networking, transfer and science communication, and gender and …