Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

ESF strengthens links with Central and Eastern European countries in social sciences

04.06.2007
Helping 10 CEE countries engage in enlarged European Research Area, share their social sciences with 17 other countries and obtain their share of funding

The European Science Foundation (ESF) is helping the 10 Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries play their full part in European science within the enlarged ERA (European Research Area). This is particularly challenging in the social sciences, which are more firmly rooted in national cultural traditions without the history of international collaboration common to the hard sciences such as physics and medical research.

However progress is being made within an ESF Member Organisations Forum called MOCEE (Member Organisations in Central and Eastern Europe), set up in 2006 to help the CEE countries participate in Europe wide research and obtain fair access to funds from EU sources such as the Framework Programme supporting the ERA, COST (COoperation in Scientific and Technical research, and ESF itself. "We aim to promote the scientific communities in these new EU Member States into the European mainstream," said Berry Bonenkamp, project officer of the MOCEE Forum.

This promotion is one of three key objectives that MOCEE is pursuing, and is officially known as the "catching up" strategy. But Bonenkamp insisted that the CEE countries do not so much have any catching up to do scientifically, but in terms of playing an equal part with their counterparts in Western Europe. "It is more about establishing a partnership between equals," said Bonenkamp.

CEE social sciences do though lack visibility in the west, and have failed so far to attract a fair share of funding. This led to the other two MOCEE objectives, to study the needs of the CEE countries, and promote dialogue between them and the other EU countries in the social sciences. One clearly identifiable need lies in navigating through the complex and sometimes tortuous process of obtaining funds from European sources. "We are planning a workshop on 'the art of grantsmanship' which means how to write a successful grant application, including the does and don'ts," said Bonenkamp.

The ESF is also helping the CEE countries improve their visibility by drawing on experience from countries such as Portugal that were in similar positions earlier in European history. "The long period of conservative dictatorship, from 1926 to 1974, affected the scientific arena in Portugal and particularly the social sciences, and can be compared with CEE countries under Soviet rule," said Bonenkamp.

One lesson of the Portuguese experience is that social scientists emerging from a country where cultural debate and dialogue have been suppressed first of all need to be encouraged to engage in international dialogue. There is a tendency, especially in the early days, for social scientists to be introspective and to focus on local problems, rather than facing out to the world, and within MOCEE workshops have been arranged to promote dialogue and also to engage with the research programmes already running within Europe. MOCEE staged a meeting of European social scientists in Bucharest in April 2007 to promote this dialogue and stimulate European-wide collaboration within the field.

Within working groups, participants were also invited to explain how the visibility of the CEE social science research community could be improved. In turn ESF is learning how to help CEE countries become involved more closely with their colleagues in Western Europe, leading to an enlarged and yet more diverse European social science research base.

The 10 CEE countries are Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovak Republic, and Slovenia.

Thomas Lau | alfa
Further information:
http://www.esf.org/research-areas/social-sciences/activities/mo-fora.html

More articles from Social Sciences:

nachricht Amazingly flexible: Learning to read in your thirties profoundly transforms the brain
26.05.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Kognitions- und Neurowissenschaften

nachricht Fixating on faces
26.01.2017 | California Institute of Technology

All articles from Social Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Touch Displays WAY-AX and WAY-DX by WayCon

27.06.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Drones that drive

27.06.2017 | Information Technology

Ultra-compact phase modulators based on graphene plasmons

27.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>