We are doing science for policy
The Joint Research Centre (JRC) is the European Commission's science and knowledge service which employs scientists to carry out research in order to provide independent scientific advice and support to EU policy.
The May edition of the JRC Newsletter has been published and can be downloaded here. It features an editorial by European Commissioner for Science and Research Janez Poto nik following his recent participation in the JRC-Ispra Open Day 2009. This month's edition also contains news of new data on greenhouse gas emissions, the publication of reports assessing the performance of national research systems across the EU and a study of the livestock sector's contribution to climate change.
A new project has been launched which will bring together European and Turkish experts in measurement science. The JRC Institute for Reference Materials and Measurements (IRMM) will work with scientists from the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜB0TAK) and the Turkish Atomic Energy Authority (TAEK).
After organising with the OECD last April the Rome workshop "Is happiness measurable and what do those measures mean for policy?", the JRC now contributed to the 2nd World Forum on "Statistics, Knowledge and Policy" entitled 'Measuring and Fostering the Progress of Societies' last week in Istanbul. This event was organised by the OECD, in co-operation with the European Commission, the Organisation of the Islamic Conference, the United Nations and the World Bank.
Lifelong learning works as a catalyst to competitiveness, prosperity and social cohesion and yet no country has attempted to measure lifelong learning within its population. The Composite Leaning Index (CLI) developed by the Canadian Council on Learning (CCL) shows how this gap might be filled by assessing the state of lifelong learning over time, for individual communities and across Canada using the conceptual four-pillar framework of lifelong learning proposed by UNESCO.
The European Commission's new progress report on education and training, co-authored by the JRC's scientists, reveals that EU countries have managed to sharply increase the number of graduates in mathematics, science and technology. However, they will need to step up their efforts in other important areas such as reducing school drop-out rate.
The JRC's Institute for the Protection and Security of the Citizen (IPSC) provided statistical support to the ninth edition of the European Innovation Scoreboard (EIS), published on 17 March by the European Commission. The EIS 2009 shows that the current economic crisis may be hampering the progress in innovation performances achieved by most EU Member States up till 2008. Member States with lower levels of innovation performance seem to be the worst hit, potentially reversing the convergence process witnessed over recent years. The latest statistics show also that the EU is no longer catching up with the US in innovation performance, although it maintains a clear lead over emerging economies.
The World Justice Project (WJP), a global non-profit organisation promoting the rule of law, presented its new report on the adherence to the rule of law of 66 countries, at the World Justice Forum held on 20-23 June in Barcelona, Spain. The scores in the document, titled 2011 WJP Rule of Law Index™, are based on a methodology the statistical reliability of which was audited by the JRC's Institute for the Protection and the Security of the Citizen (IPSC). JRC researchers also acted as academic advisers to the report.
The workshop on "Mechanical Testing for Next Generation Nuclear Systems" held at the JRC Institute for Energy (IE) on 17 - 18 April 2008, attracted more than 70 participants from 20 countries. Noting that the development of innovative nuclear reactors critically depends on the availability of advanced engineering materials systems which have to withstand extreme conditions (high temperatures, intense neutron irradiation, and strongly corrosive environments, in combination with complex loading states and cyclic loading histories), the workshop specifically addressed the methodologies for mechanical performance and reliability assessment of nuclear materials in the proper environments during service and off-normal conditions.
According to a new JRC report, digital spending - the acquisition of media products in digital format - tripled from 2006 to 2010 worldwide, with the recording music sector now achieving 30% of its global sales in the digital market. The digital success of the music sector contrasts other media and content industries, which are moving at a slower pace towards digital with distribution. Only 6% of film/video, newspapers, magazines and book sales were digital.