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17 April 2014 12:48 pm ,
Vol. 344 ,
Officials last week revealed that the U.S. contribution to ITER could cost $3.9 billion by 2034—roughly four times the...
An experimental hepatitis B drug that looked safe in animal trials tragically killed five of 15 patients in 1993. Now,...
Using the two high-quality genomes that exist for Neandertals and Denisovans, researchers find clues to gene activity...
A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that humanity has done little to slow...
Astronomers have discovered an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a red dwarf—a star cooler than the sun—500...
Three years ago, Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University proposed that a warming Arctic was altering the behavior of the...
- 17 April 2014 12:48 pm , Vol. 344 , #6181
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Proposed: Poobahs for European Science and Climate
18 September 2009 11:26 am
Before he was re-elected Wednesday to a new 5-year term, European Commission President José Manuel Barroso outlined his future plans in a speech on Tuesday that included a call for two new science-focused positions within the EC. Here’s what he said:
I will set up a Commissioner for Climate Action, to reflect the fact that climate change is a challenge that needs to be addressed across the whole range of our policies. A dedicated Commissioner for Climate Action will also send an important signal to the world that, independent of the level of ambition that comes out of Copenhagen, Europe is serious about maintaining momentum for action.
We also need a fundamental review of the way European institutions access and use scientific advice. In the next Commission, I want to set up a chief scientific adviser who has the power to deliver proactive, scientific advice throughout all stages of policy development and delivery. This will reflect the central importance I attach to research and innovation.
Scientists so far have welcomed Barosso’s plans. The European Research Advisory Board will issue a report next month on the future of research in Europe and John Wood, the board's chair, says that Barroso’s ideas of a European Chief Scientist and Climate Action Commissioner “resonate directly with our forthcoming report for the Commission and are desperately needed.” And Ernst-Ludwig Winnacker, secretary general of the Human Frontier Science Program, told Nature News: "If the post is created properly it will be a great thing for Europe … Science creeps into all areas of policy and you need a strong personality to ensure that everything can be coordinated."