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RTD info logoMagazine on European Research N° 44 - February 2005   
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 HOME
 TABLE OF CONTENTS
 EDITORIAL
 The double life of a citizen physicist
 European science – from Nobel to Descartes
 A helping hand for fledgling firms
 What makes a man?
 The hidden face of violence
 Dialling the 112 lifeline
 COMMUNICATING SCIENCE
 IN BRIEF
 PUBLICATIONS
 AGENDA
 CALLS FOR PROPOSALS

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Earth and Space: The planet and its mirror Earth and Space: The planet and its mirror

Earth observation, using satellites and their ground stations, has become an essential instrument in assessing the health of our planet, obtaining an accurate picture of demographic and climate change, understanding changes to the chemical composition of the atmosphere, and assessing and managing natural disasters. RTD info takes a closer look at these new tools on the occasion of the third Earth Observation Summit (EOS III), due to be held in Brussels on 16 February 2005.


Poland

RTD info casts a spotlight on research, scientific achievements and Centres of Excellence in one of the ten new EU Member States.

Poland
 
 


  José Mariano Gago
Portrait
The double life of a citizen physicist
José Mariano Gago is an impassioned physicist who spent more than a decade as a researcher at Cern, the European particle physics laboratory. As Portugal’s Minister of Science and Technology for seven years and a committed European, he was one of the architects of the Lisbon objective that placed science and technology at the top of the EU agenda. Today, at the age of 57 and still involved in his country’s university life, he is an active campaigner for the relaunching of European research and the promotion of a new scientific culture rooted firmly in society.
  The two coordinators of the 2004 Descartes Prize winning teams. On the left, Howry Jacobs, of Tampere University; on the right, Anders Karlsson, of the Kungliga Tekniska Högskolan in Stockholm. © L. Špaček
Descartes Prize
European science – from Nobel to Descartes
The 2004 Descartes Prize ceremony was held in Prague, in the Czech capital’s famous castle. The surroundings were certainly in keeping with the status of an accolade that has almost come to be regarded as the EU’s very own ‘Nobel Prize’. A million euros is awarded to two research teams for scientific excellence through close transnational co-operation. For the first time, this year also brought recognition for the field of science communication with five awards shared between scientists and the documentary makers.
  Tony Bosman receives the Europe Trophy. A young doctor of chemistry from Eindhoven University (NL), he is the inventor of plastics designed for their durability.
Innovation
A helping hand for fledgling firms
Launched nine years ago by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Reims and Epernay (FR), Innovact is many things: a market place, a forum for debate and the exchange of ideas, and a place to see and be seen. Entrepreneurs also go there to obtain an innovation grant or win an award. The forum helps young researchers, innovators and SMEs launch new ideas and technologies.
  What makes a man?
Gender research
What makes a man?
It used to be simple. Too simple. Men and women represented two opposite but complementary poles. They undertook different tasks and were seen to possess few interchangeable physical, intellectual and emotional characteristics. Then the feminists came along and upset this duality. By attacking gender privileges, women destabilised men and forced them to seek other terms of reference. So what happened to the masculine? Should one speak of masculinities? Researchers – of both sexes – from ten EU countries have analysed these notions in relation to four themes: work and family, violence, social exclusion and health.
  © Michel vanden Eeckhoudt
SOCIETY
The hidden face of violence
Violence in the family and on children is only just emerging from the shadows. Its direct and indirect consequences on health and its social costs have long been ignored. Nevertheless, some very broad statistics can already tell us a great deal. In Australia, 94% of the prison population is male. In the United States, men, who are more than four times as likely to be carrying a weapon as women, carry out 90% of murders and cases of sexual abuse of children. A very local – and already quite old (1993) – British study in North London estimated that one-third of women suffered violence at the hands of their husband or partner at some time in their lives, while another study carried out in Glasgow, in 1990, estimated that 40% of women had been subjected to force, especially sexual.
  Control centre
Medical coordination
Dialling the 112 lifeline
There are a staggering 100 million recorded medical emergencies in Europe every year, ranging from heart attacks to terrorist attacks, but also including road accidents, fires and earthquakes. How are these crisis situations managed? And how do the call centres and medical services operate in different European countries? The 13 partners in the Hesculaep project, launched by the ERA-NET initiative, are currently comparing their experiences and sharing their knowledge with the aim of improving the operation of these vital centres.