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Setting up a global laboratory

Ellis Rubinstein
Ellis Rubinstein

Ellis Rubinstein, former editor of Science magazine and one of the speakers at the FP6 launch conference, is convinced of the need to pool resources in order to meet R&D challenges of an increasingly global nature. In particular, he emphasises the importance of encouraging the greater mobility of human resources.

Ellis Rubinstein stresses the global nature of the scientific enterprise: "Increasingly, breakthroughs in the world are being achieved by multinational teams, sometimes located in a single facility or nation, but more often distributed in labs worldwide." He identifies a number of priorities for research which could be best addressed at a global level, including "increased security in the face of terrorism and disease, the improvement of the human condition through more abundant food, environmental health, poverty-related disease, and so on". He also argues "for increased joint efforts to approach scientific puzzles."

A valuable exchange

Rubinstein sees the mobility of human resources as a key factor in ensuring the advancement of global science and advocates "greater devotion to enhancing the mobility of young people, especially in the sciences and engineering". In particular, he would like to see measures aimed at encouraging the establishment of "rich bilateral and multilateral programmes of co-operation" research.

He praises the EU's 'Mobility' programme and voices his support for more direct collaborations to create practical career guidance. "Europe has to compete in today's world and our global society needs the energies and enthusiasm of Europe's best and brightest." A rewarding step in this regard, Rubinstein notes, is the close collaboration that has been forged between the team developing the EC's planned 'Mobility Portal' and the editors of Science magazine's popular website for postgraduates and early-career scientists, Next Wave (

Developing ties

Finally, Rubinstein draws attention to "the capacity of developing nations to play increasingly important roles in the global scientific enterprise". He illustrates this by pointing to the fact that the internet is revolutionising access to the world's best science for many developing countries.



last update: 23-01-2003