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Headlines Published on 20 December 2005

Title Latest news on AthenaWeb

New partners, new films and a new user survey greet visitors to AthenaWeb, reports the latest issue of AthenaNews, the portal’s monthly newsletter. Headlines finds out how the EU-supported platform for scientific audiovisual content plans to keep up this momentum in the New Year.

An example of the colourful snapshots – this one from the 2003 Descartes Prize-winning PLEDD project – available via AthenaWeb’s copyleft arrangements.
An example of the colourful snapshots – this one from the 2003 Descartes Prize-winning PLEDD project – available via AthenaWeb’s copyleft arrangements.
More and more girls study science at high school, but only around 30% take up careers in the field, reports the November issue of AthenaNews about a new title available on the portal. The film Femme de Têtes documents how headstrong women managed to break through the glass ceiling to become top scientists and researchers.

“Women have to be two and a half times more productive than men just to be treated the same,” notes the newsletter. In its film, producer Ex-Nihilo introduces audiences to those women scientists who beat the statistics and faced down sexism in European labs and research centres.

Other new offerings on AthenaWeb include two films commissioned by the Research DG. The first, called Mepros, shows European research in action: in this case, the action is concentrated kilometers above the Earth. “Frequent flyers know the power of turbulence all-too-well. It’s frightening and potentially dangerous to aircraft, but with the right tools it is also largely predictable,” writes AthenaNews about the recent update. “Thanks to a consortium of SMEs and academic research partners, a software programme has been developed that identifies and eliminates underlying noise peaks in the electronic signals of wind profiles.”

The second Research DG film featured in the newsletter is Rastud, which documents the chronic shortage of blood donations in Europe and what EU-funded SMEs and universities are doing to improve screening regimes for possible infections in the donated blood. 

Naked mole rats?
The November newsletter also keeps the community of professional science communicators informed on new partnerships and activities. AthenaWeb’s new partner IWF has agreed to provide around 20 short films and links to their site hosting many more films. The new titles include The evolution of the void, Naked mole rats, and The physics of riding a bicycle with no hands.

A number of new titles are also being made available through AthenaWeb’s new partner JIBS. Meanwhile, another of its contributing partners, Research TV, has agreed to provide 44 new programmes linkable through the AthenaWeb platform. Negotiations are underway for further partnerships, including a possible tie-up with WildScreen in the UK.

The AthenaWeb team credits the European Commission for seeing the long-term potential of a portal aimed at boosting science-oriented audiovisual programming, which helps to bridge the oft-reported science-society divide. And thanks to its financial support and encouragement, in just a few months, AthenaWeb has built up a strong subscriber base and a growing list of contributors and partners.

What’s more, the portal is making inroads into galvanising Europe’s community of science film-makers through its information services, such as the newsletter, events calendar, marketplace and forums.

The last issue of the newsletter for the year is due out just before Christmas and will review a France 2 and Research DG co-production, called Nos scientifiques sont des artistes, as well as news on the latest films on the site and on AthenaWeb’s partnering activities.

Source:  AthenaNews

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