Dr. Gilles Mirambeau coordinates a Euroscientist special issue about Austerity

Euroscience is a pan-European platform for all those interested in the pursuit of science and technology for the greatest benefit of European society. The Euroscientist is its official publication to promote a scientific culture and a dialogue and mutual understanding between science and society. Dr. Gilles Mirambeau, IDIBAPS researcher at the Infectious diseases and AIDS team, is a member of the editorial board at this influential online magazine. He has recently coordinated, together with Euroscientist editor, former member of the Nature Group, Sabine Louet, a Special issue of the Euroscientist devoted to analyse the impact of austerity on European research.

In this special issue voices from all around Europe analyse the consequences of budget cuts. Some scientists were forced to emigrate and others share their experience of navigating the troubled waters of recession. This initiative is a call to share experiences and opinions about what needs to change in science policy, both at national and European level, to make them accessible to decision makers. However, long term solutions to the current situation are not solely an issue of funding and they may require a revision of the European research fundamental basis.

The editors draw a parallel with Nature, observing that disturbance in seasonal cycles imposed by climate change is responsible for the disappearance of biodiversity. Unlike animal species, however, European scientists have a fantastic ability to adapt to the disruptions in their research environment. This translates, for example, into the brain drain, reflecting researchers’ move towards more auspicious climes. Instead of emigrating, public sector scientists may opt for private sector research or simply give up their science career. However, the members of the Homo scientificus europaeus species living in the most southern part of its natural habitat, could soon become endangered. According to the authors, leaving its future in the hands of natural selection may cost Europe its future position on the geopolitical map.

The fact that a researcher plays a key role from Catalonia in Euroscientist is not new. There are some relevant examples of implication such as the Former Euroscience President, Enric Banda. Dr. Gilles Mirambeau is now working to involve first line personalities from around Europe to enrich the contents of Euroscientist and ensure its long term viability, such as Françoise Barré Sinoussi (Nobel Prize of Medecine), Federico Mayor Zaragoza (Fundación Cultura La Paz), Bruce Alberts (Editor in Chief, Science) or Emilio Muñoz, Carlos Andradas and Amaya Moro Martin.

Read the Austerity Euroscientist special issue: http://euroscientist.com/austerity/