Bergen, Granada, Graz, Leipzig, Lyon, Padua and Vilnius together are Arqus, an Alliance that specifically focuses on people. On students, researchers, teachers and everyone who works in European higher education. Together we want to build a multicultural, multilingual and inclusive Europe that is ready for all the challenges to come. How do we want to do that? Well, join in and listen.
This is the Arqus podcast.
This is “Arqus Knowledge Pills”.
Hosted by Gerhild Leljak and Pietro Osti.
#03: How can we support basic research in Europe?
The European Research Council (ERC) is one of the biggest institutions in Europe providing funding to carry out basic research. Receiving an ERC grant is a prestigious accolade for any researcher. Recently, the ERC faced the imminent danger of losing a big part of its budget. As a consequence, 19 leading international scientists and universities from 8 different countries formed the “Friends of the ERC” initiative, which included a petition to protest against the cutting of the ERC’s budget. In this third episode of the “Arqus Knowledge Pills”, we talked with Prof. Eystein Jansen from the University of Bergen, who administered the initiative, about its goals and about the worth and relevance of basic research.
Note: When this episode was recorded, the outcome of the “Friends of the ERC” campaign was yet unclear. In the meantime, the combined pressure that this one and other similar campaigns have had, has been in part successful. In the end, the budget amounted to 16,1 billion Euros, which is substantially higher than the originally intended sum.
#02: Why are scholars at risk?
The second episode of the Arqus Knowledge Pills invited Francesca Helm and Claudia Padovani to talk about researchers who are working under precarious circumstances. These indeed include even life-threatening conditions, as the recent example of Ahmadreza Djalali, who is currently imprisoned in Iran, shows. Francesca and Claudia explain why it can be dangerous to be a researcher and tell you how you can be of support. Both women teach and conduct research at the University of Padua and are actively engaged in the Italian section of Scholars at Risk, a non-profit organisation dedicated to ensuring a harm-free environment to scientists worldwide.
#01: How do we stop the coronavirus from entering human cells?
In the first episode of the Arqus Knowledge Pills, the pharmacist Andreas Kungl, professor at the University of Graz, will talk about his research project “Stop Covid-19”. In the frame of this research project, Prof. Kungl and his team are investigating how the coronavirus can be stopped from entering human cells. This research project is accompanied by a fundraising initiative open for everyone – a novelty in Austria.
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Very interesting topic about the most current issue nowadays!