The changing attitude of European society to research in food and agriculture demands that researchers pay more attention to the concerns of the public and other stakeholders
Today in Brussels, the annual Euragri conference, entitled “Science for Society – Science with Society” and sponsored by the European Commission, addressed European consumers’ concerns and proposed new goals, roles and rules to respond better and quicker to the needs of society. Research Commissioner Philippe Busquin presented EU initiatives in this area, and called for a European platform on plant science to be formed on the basis of a network of national research programmes. Within the forthcoming 6th EU Research Framework Programme (FP6 2003-2006), €685 million have been earmarked for food quality and safety.
Commissioner for Research Philippe Busquin said: “New technologies, that can bring real benefits to citizens and improve the competitiveness of European agriculture, should not be discarded through ignorance and prejudice. Instead we must work to balance governance and freedom of research to allow the advance of science, and adopt a level-headed approach to evaluate the risks, costs and benefits of each new development. Europe has huge potential to be harnessed through the European Research Area.”
| European Commission
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A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.
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There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?
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