The perils of ranking
Global lists are a key source of information for students choosing a university. But how relevant are they to the learning experience?
Europe’s answer to GPS
When Galileo is fully functional in 2020, it will provide the most precise navigation ever, even at the North and South Poles.
MOOCs: The challenge of Africa
Online courses can broaden access to higher education. But to help African students get jobs they should be integrated with local universities.
The Herculean tasks of quantum computing
Forget the hype, quantum computing is still in its experimental infancy. Researchers must overcome five big challenges before real-world applications can emerge.
Europe’s battle for more innovation impact
How can European countries become leaders of innovation? Two experts discuss the continent’s weaknesses and possibilities.
Finally, intelligent dolls
The days when Barbie thinks only about what to wear are over. Smart-Gurlz has designed a doll to teach young girls about computer programming.
Fun and games in Finland
Formerly home to industry giant Nokia, the country is now a leading player in mobile phone game apps. Here’s a look at what it will take to keep winning.
Munich: the new hub for digital cars
Germany’s auto industry is embracing the hottest technologies. The capital of Bavaria is driving the shift.
An enigmatic cosmic flash
Astronomers add a piece to the puzzle of why radio telescopes keep picking up fast bursts from the universe.
Asia: Europe stays in the game
As Chinese research increasingly dominates science, Danish universities have set up a centre in Beijing to foster exchanges.
Explaining the future
Faced with growing challenges, Europe can rely on its scientists to ensure its future competitiveness.
Barcelona: Costa del sport
The capital of Catalonia is a technology hub with a vibrant start-up environment. A celebrated football team’s innovation hub was the catalyst.
Clashing over noise and waves
Danish scientists express doubts about the breakthrough detection of gravitational waves. A Portuguese physicist explains the controversy.
Is big business gobbling up public funds?
A quarter of European research money goes to companies. As the EU drafts the next iteration of its Horizon 2020 programme, experts discuss the pros and cons.
“Encouraging impact thinking”
An expert in technological change discusses the EU’s research programme and identifies the next challenges for innovation in Europe.
Europe’s new research élite
Eight success stories show how European scientists are shaping tomorrow’s world.
Search for rigour
While the scientific method strives for objectivity, experimental results are still prone to unconscious bias and error.
”Only 2.5% scale up successfully”
After testing its business model, a start-up has to begin producing regular income. This is a tricky step, and few are successful.
Six lessons from the Start-up Nation
With its 2,000 new high-tech companies, Israel has become the Silicon Valley of the Middle East.
Welcome to Health Valley
Building on skills honed over the centuries, western Switzerland has become a world leader in biotech.
Should english be the only language of science?
The playing field is not level, say the advocates of plurilingualism.
Tackling the gender gap
New initiatives are helping women climb the ladder at technical universities.
The missing link in primate paralysis
A wireless brain-spine interface allows monkeys to walk again.
A new frontier for artificial intelligence
Using algorithms to process sound is a booming field. Here are four promising innovations.
Flying the “big science” flag
Europe is once again on the hunt for emerging research and development trends that will spawn radical social and economic rewards in years to come. Discover three of the candidate projects.
Opening up the echo chambers
Researchers look for solutions to address the distortion of online information.
A new genetic revolution
The ability to modify sequences of DNA with pinpoint precision promises new drugs, healthier livestock and better crops.
The power of nudging
Gently swaying people to act differently is a trick long known to advertisers. Several initiatives have proven its benefits for implementation of private and public policy.
Artificial intelligence: where it all began
With its leading research institutes and ground-breaking innovations, Europe plays a major role in the field of AI.
Construction: back to the roots
Wood has seen a slow-paced renaissance since the early 1990s, but ambitious proposals for timber structures now seem to appear.
The inevitability of free papers
Scientists are making headway in challenging the traditional publishing model for research papers. The big winners may include ordinary citizens.
Why open science?
The birth of a movement in four main questions.
Uncovering Jupiter’s mysteries
After travelling 3 billion kilometres, a space probe begins to explore our largest planet.
Science in the age of big data
The digital revolution and the ability to process huge amounts of information have changed the way research is done. Here are three examples.
Labs without borders
Designers working with biologists and engineers: not so long ago such collaboration would have been unusual. Now it is at the heart of European Science.
MOOCS: this revolution will wait
They’re more and more exclusive And they’re often full of already highly qualified students. Are Massive Open Online Courses failing to democratise education?
Medicine: ethical questions
Sharing medical data leads to more targeted treatments, but also bears the risk of abuse. Adam Molyneaux of Sophia Genetics discusses the complexities.
Power to the people
Citizen science relies on the public’s curiosity and enthusiasm – not to mention computing capacity – to supplement the work of scientists.
The Impossible Project: Giving a second life in a digital world
Polaroid enthusiasts have recreated instant film that can be used in old cameras and developed a new camera as well.
Turning nature into a factory
How a salamander inspired a robot, a protein became a sensor and a molecule helped design a water purifier.
Insects in the spotlight
Beetles, butterflies and spiders are some of the bugs that inspire engineers. What makes these insects so prone to imitation?
Rock-solid climate solution
A technique for turning CO2 into stone has been pioneered in Iceland, but another kind of immoveable object could prevent large-scale success.
All Eyes on Ireland
Dublin’s “Silicon Docks” may be known as a welcome destination for U.S. tech giants, but the Emerald Isle has plenty of native innovation to shout about .
Rail safety: back in the spotlight
Trains are particularly safe. But IT bugs and problems with the signalling systems represent a constant security threat.
New materials for new records
Aluminium, carbon and even bamboo: sport results today depend highly on the materials.
Driverless trains: the difficult next step
Will autonomous locomotives one day operate outside urban areas?
Searching for the future Galileos and Keplers
Will Europe ever be able to compete with Silicon Valley? The answer lies not only in our universities and research parks but also in our primary and secondary schools.
Five estonians to watch
Inspired by Skype, ambitious entrepreneurs have the confidence to believe their dreams can come true
Flu: the disease that won’t go away
Why does the common illness keep outsmarting scientists?
Can you trust what you read?
Thanks to major European initiatives, scientific publishers are feeling the pressure to crack down on plagiarism
“It’s about dynamics, emotions and relationships”
Victor Henning and two business-school pals describe how they’ve accidentally made science fun.
The sweet smell of sweat
Everyone knows that animals use odours to communicate. Now a growing body of research suggests that humans do, too.
The sins of peer review
More than one million scientific articles are published every year. The process that was established to control their quality is increasingly being called into question.
“A Swiss Army knife for genetic engineering”
Prize-winning French biologist Emmanuelle Charpentier explains her revolutionary discovery.
The DNA gold rush
Thousands of labs and hospitals are eagerly awaiting the portable sequencers that will make bedside genetic analysis a reality.
Humans, dogs – and now e-noses
Canines still take the lead when it comes to sniffing out smells. But the latest research shows that machines are closing the gap.
Think yourself healthy
The vagus nerve, which connects the brain to various organs, plays an essential role in the mind-body relationship. Can you train it to make you happy?
Beating the Superbugs
Antibiotic-resistant bacteria are on the rise, but the pipeline for new drugs is drying up. Researchers are developing new strategies to avoid a resurgence of illnesses that once seemed easy to cure.
“The field has finally reached scientific maturity”
Happiness can be understood objectively, says pioneer researcher Ruut Veenhoven.
New ways of fighting bacteria
Four novel approaches to keep killers in check.
A world of invisible colours
Chemical cameras reveal a world that is invisible to the human eye. Smaller and cheaper devices are now finding uses from agriculture to cancer diagnostics.
Microscopy: Going beyond the limits of light
Super-resolution techniques have pushed back the limits of optics, becoming an essential tool in the life sciences.