More than 220 ideas for making European scientific endeavours and policies better known, understood and more attractive to the young and to the public at large are published today on the Web by the European Commission’s research and innovation information service CORDIS (www.cordis.lu/eoi/science-society/).
These ideas, initiated by citizens, public and private bodies, research and civil society organisations, as well as by the media, in 29 countries, represent the impressive results from a wide consultation (1 April – 2 June 2003) on the new “Science and Society” theme, introduced for the first time in Community research with the Sixth Framework Programme (FP6) (2002-2006). The expressions of interest will help “flesh out” the topics for funding of projects from the 80 million euro allocated for science and society actions in FP6 for structuring the European Research Area. They shall also stimulate the integration of societal issues across FP6 as a whole. By publishing them, CORDIS provides a platform for all stakeholders in the science and society dialogue to make contacts and forge new trans-European collaborations on topics of mutual interest.
“This is just one, but a key step in the effort to close the real gap between science and society, which is revealed by Eurobarometer surveys in both the existing and the new EU Member States. It indicates a genuine public support for our strategy outlined in the Science and Society Action Plan and implemented through the Sixth Framework Programme”, said Dr Rainer Gerold, director for Science and Society in the European Commission’s Research Directorate-General.
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Nano- and microtechnology are promising candidates not only for medical applications such as drug delivery but also for the creation of little robots or flexible integrated sensors. Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) have created magnetic microparticles, with a newly developed method, that could pave the way for building micro-motors or guiding drugs in the human body to a target, like a tumor. The preparation of such structures as well as their remote-control can be regulated using magnetic fields and therefore can find application in an array of domains.
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Due to the special arrangement of its molecules, a new coating made of corn starch is able to repair small scratches by itself through heat: The cross-linking via ring-shaped molecules makes the material mobile, so that it compensates for the scratches and these disappear again.
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The Potsdam Echelle Polarimetric and Spectroscopic Instrument (PEPSI) at the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) in Arizona released its first image of the surface magnetic field of another star. In a paper in the European journal Astronomy & Astrophysics, the PEPSI team presents a Zeeman- Doppler-Image of the surface of the magnetically active star II Pegasi.
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Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology and the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, have proposed a way to create a completely new source of radiation. Ultra-intense light pulses consist of the motion of a single wave and can be described as a tsunami of light. The strong wave can be used to study interactions between matter and light in a unique way. Their research is now published in the scientific journal Physical Review Letters.
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