Strengthening European Science

I am really kicking myself that I am not in Copenhagen this week. The EuroScience Open Forum (ESOF2014) is currently taking place in the Danish capital and it seems that I am missing some really great talks, debates, activities and people. As I write this experts from science and politics are gathered to discuss the very important topic of antibiotic (over)use for example – just one of many hot science topics on the program. But there are also a number of sessions covering topics relating to citizen science, science communication, open access and peer review, higher education in Europe, women in science, science policy … so many great opportunities for discussions about how to shape the future of science in Europe. Like I said, I am kicking myself that I am not there, and am trying to console myself by watching out for news from the conference. I was very interested to read that the chief scientific adviser to the European Commission, Anne Glover, has established a pan-EU network of government science advisers, who had their first meeting at the conference. The European Science Advisers’ Forum (ESAF) will aim to strengthen science and evidence-based policy making across Europe, and create a closer network of those science contacts advising governments in different countries, while accepting the diversity of national science policy decision making models. Science is an important part of our lives and should be an important part of our politics. As she says, we need policies based on evidence and better access to evidence will help policy makers make informed decisions. I hope that this initiative will be a success and will continue strengthening ties between science advisers across Europe even when Anne Glover leaves her post in the autumn.

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