Light pollution is altering plant and animal behaviour

Light pollution can be problematic for animals like the Cory's shearwater.

by Gareth Willmer You could call it fatal attraction. Drawn by artificial lights in our brightening night-time world, animals find their lives in peril. Fledgling birds disorientated by lights can collide with human structures on the ground and then get hit by cars, or become more vulnerable to predation, starvation or dehydration. Or newly hatched … Read more

Confronting cultural history leads to stronger European identity

The 'Fraternal Kiss' mural, by Soviet artist Dmitri Vrubel, emblematic of the Cold War, appeared on the Berlin East Side Gallery, Berlin Wall, 1990.

by Ethan Bilby The act of confronting a troublesome past can be challenging by itself, and the Germans even have a word for it – Vergangenheitsbewältigung. Roughly one-third of current EU Member States spent decades behind the Iron Curtain, and many experienced one-party government for decades, but researchers see confronting uncomfortable history as part of a new … Read more

Open access to scientific publications must become a reality by 2020 – Robert-Jan Smits

Imagine if all the billions we are now putting into these expensive subscription journals could be put into research, says Robert-Jan Smits.

A lot of lip service is being paid to making scientific papers free to access but when it comes to action there is a lot of hypocrisy, according to Robert-Jan Smits, the EU’s outgoing director-general for research, science and innovation. He has recently been appointed the EU’s special envoy on open access, tasked with helping … Read more

Digital innovation can enhance cultural heritage, hears conference  

The Holy Aedicule in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem was restored with the help of a high-resolution 3D model.

Digitalisation has a role to play in the conservation and promotion of modern-day cultural heritage but should enhance real-life experiences, rather than replace them, experts say. The Innovation and Cultural Heritage conference, held in Brussels on 20 March 2018, brought together a diverse range of researchers from the fields of science, technology, archaeology, social sciences … Read more

Peacebuilding in conflict zones demands people-centric approach

The end of a conflict such as World War I marks only the beginning of a restoration period.

The challenge of how to rebuild society following conflict is a difficult question that arises all too frequently, but recent studies have demonstrated that putting people at the centre of the process and enabling cooperation on politically neutral issues can help build peace. When the entire social fabric has been torn up and everything from … Read more

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