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RTD info logoMagazine on European Research N° 37 - May 2003    
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 TABLE OF CONTENTS
 EDITORIAL
 Ambitions for research
 Agriculture and the life sciences: food for thought
 Fighting microbial resistance
 An anthropologist takes stock
 The Museu de la Cičncia in Barcelona
 The digital cosmos
 NEWS IN BRIEF
 OPINION
 LETTERS
 AGENDA
 CALLS FOR PROPOSALS
 NEW ON THE WEB
 PUBLICATIONS

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FEATURES
 

Road safety - Out of harm's way Road safety - Out of harm's way

Combating the relentless carnage on Europe's roads is a priority for the Union and is reflected in its research programmes. For several years, it has been co-operating with the automotive industry to improve 'passive' safety, i.e. to protect vehicle occupants in the event of accident. At the same time, 'active' safety – in the sense of making vehicles more 'intelligent' and 'communicative' to avoid accidents – is at the centre of the ambitious new eSafety initiative.


Eurobarometer survey - How the thirteen candidate countries see science

A first: the 'Europeans, science and technology' survey has been carried out in the candidate countries. Find out how the results compare with a similar survey carried out shortly before in the Union.

Eurobarometer survey - How the thirteen candidate countries see science
 
 


  Philippe Busquin, European Commissioner  for Research
Interview
Ambitions for research
The Sixth Framework Programme is up and running. But that does not mean the debate on common scientific and technological policy has abated. Strengthening the European Research Area and resolute objectives designed to achieve it are a priority on which the Union is placing increasing emphasis, as an interview with Philippe Busquin, head of research policy at the European Commission reveals. 
  Field tests in Guangdong (China) compared sweet potato clones of potential interest for their virus resistance. These plants are placed in the natural conditions under which they can become infected. Symptoms and yields are then observed.
Sustainable development
Agriculture and the life sciences: food for thought
In developed countries, particularly in Europe, the development of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and biotechnologies in the agricultural sector has been greeted with controversy. But is this regional confrontation failing to take into account the situation at the global level? This was the central question at an international forum organised by the Research Directorate-General in January, at the instigation of the European Group on Life Sciences.
  A partner in various European research projects, LEO Pharma (DK) has developed many major treatments over the past 90 years. It aims to discover and develop two innovative medicines every decade, knowing that it takes about a decade to develop a pharmaceutical product of this kind.
Health
Fighting microbial resistance
Long seen as providing a miracle treatment, antibiotics are beginning to show worrying signs of weakness. A major European research effort is now under way to combat the growing resistance to antibiotic action by infectious agents. In recent years, new molecules, new medical practices and new diagnostic tools have all been developed to try to solve this problem.
  Maurice Godelier :
Social and human sciences
An anthropologist takes stock
A philosopher by training, an expert on the societies of Oceania, and director of research at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Maurice Godelier is a man of many talents. In particular, he is passionately interested in all questions of scientific policy, both national and European.  
  Jorge Wagensberg: "Interesting people in discoveries which they often knew nothing at all about".
Science and Society
The Museu de la Cičncia in Barcelona
Never afraid of a little controversy or to try something different,  Jorge Wagensberg, curator of the Museu de la Cičncia in Barcelona, has a very personal view of how to interest all kinds of people in the realities of science. Rather than the traditional educational approach, he prefers what he calls 'emotional interactivity' in which curiosity, as the motor for acquiring knowledge, plays the key role.
  Three images of the same galaxy are the result of different telescopic approaches using the spectrum of visible waves, radio wavelengths and X-rays. Each one gives rise to interpretations which increase our knowledge. © ESO
Astronomy
The digital cosmos
Since the arrival of new generations of terrestrial and satellite telescopes, observation of the Universe has moved away from the 'age of the eye' to that of the detection of its many invisible rays. This technological change is giving rise to such a mass of digital data that it requires a new tool – the Astrophysical Virtual Observatory (AVO) – to manage it.