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Europe prepares for research "Renaissance"

September - October, 2009  |  Volume 8, Issue 5

A recent report to the European Commission lays out six goals intended to encourage a "Renaissance" in European research by 2030. Based on current key research challenges, the report invokes the memory of the revolution in thought, society and science during the Renaissance to frame the changes needed now.

The European Research Area Board's first annual report calls for action to:

  • create a united European research area
  • find solutions for the world's Grand Challenges (climate change, energy supply, aging societies, etc.)
  • encourage interaction between science and society
  • foster collaboration between public and private sectors
  • encourage scientific excellence
  • promote cohesion

Set up by the Commission to advise on the development of a European Research Area (ERA), this high-level advisory group is composed of 22 recognized members from the fields of science, academia and business.

The report stresses the need to restore trust between science and society, with a new social contract based on the "3 Rs":

  • "rigor in decision making, political or scientific;
  • respect for our fellow man, scientist and environment and
  • responsibility for our own actions as scientist and citizens."

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