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.
Some of Europe's best young scientific minds are meeting with JRC's experienced researchers in the laboratories at Ispra (Italy) and Geel (Belgium) this week.
Eliška Zlámalová from the Czech Republic, one of the award winners at the European Union Contest for Young Scientists (EUCYS) is at the JRC's Institute for Reference Materials and Measurments in Geel, examining measurements of phthalates in wine, visiting the Gelina and Van de Graaff accelerators, discovering how reference materials are produced, and how to analyse biomarkers. She said: "My visit at the JRC is an inspiring experience. It is an opportunity to see various laboratories and be surrounded by amazing friendly scientists".
At Ispra her fellow EUCYS awardees Aliye Bihter Günal and Melisa Tokmak from Turkey are gaining an insight into the various research activities at the JRC in the exciting field of nanotechnologies, which is very useful for their future orientation. Anastasia Moravskaya, Ilaria Furlan and Sebastian Gregoricchio had convinced the EUCYS jury with their project 'A new protocol for the diagnosis of GastroIntestinal Stromal Tumours (GISTs) and non GISTs'. At JRC's new unit for Public Health, they are screening techniques for intestinal cancers.
The EUCYS awardees who are spending a full week at the JRC are joined for two days, 4 and 5 July, by ten successful participants from the German 'Jugend forscht' competition. They were awarded the JRC travel prize for their discoveries and inventions such as a controlled pill box, a biologically inspired robot, resistance development to antibiotics, lactose-free food, improvement of the climate of their home town, and innovative ways to measure temperatures or flow velocities.
During their stay, the young researchers can discuss their work and future plans with experienced scientists and find out what science at European level can do to promote growth and stability, a healthy and safe environment, consumer protection, and secure energy supplies.
The JRC has a very active policy to encourage young people to follow a career in science: apart from its support to youth science competitions, it also organises and hosts visits of students at its sites, including a bi-yearly Schools Day which on average sees around 1000 participants.