Responsible conduct of research
EMBO is increasingly involved in work to understand the parameters of the responsible conduct of research and how best to provide this information to scientists. Our work focuses on the activities of scientists at the bench or computer, issues of research integrity in the writing and publication of research results, and the roles of scientists in society.
Talk on Responsible Conduct of Research at the Annual Meeting for EMBO fellows resident in the US, New York, 18th November 2012
The Science Policy Programme is involved in the development of an on-line training course on responsible conduct of research. The project is lead by Epigeum, an academic and for-profit consortium, and will soon be available to EMBO Members, Fellows, and Young Investigators.
Biotechnology and genomic technologies
ESF-supported Workshop on the Biological Containment of Synthetic Microorganisms: Science and Policy, 13-14 November 2012, EMBL, Heidelberg
This by-invitation workshop focussed on the containment of synthetic microorganisms and addressed three major questions: First, what potential risks to the environment are presented by the intentional release of genetically synthetic microorganisms? Second, what mechanisms can be employed to control these microorganisms in the environment? Finally, what are the parameters for risk assessment of these novel microorganisms?
The international and interdisciplinary experts evaluated current knowledge and identify research needs in these areas for science and policy. Biological control is an emerging issue in Europe and this meeting started discussions between experts and stakeholders.
EMBO | EMBL Science & Society conference Personal and Public Health – Genomics, Medicine and Society, 7-8 November 2013
The next conference in the Science & Society conference series will focus on how the use of genomic information can benefit individual and public health. The conference speakers will present the status of genetic and genomic research and discuss the ethical, legal, economic and societal implications as well as the practical challenges of implementing the new knowledge into medical care. Visit the conference website for further details.
WILS database of women in science
The database aims to help scientists, universities, research institutions, political institutions, conference organizers and journal editors to identify appropriately qualified women scientists:
- as candidates for professorships and other positions
- to speak at conferences and in seminar programmes
- to participate in advisory groups, on monitoring panels, committees and commissions
- to review manuscripts, to write commissioned reviews and to serve on the editorial boards of journals.
Users can search for keywords, cities, institutions, etc., and filter records by research area, position, or country. Please note that "position" refers to the general career stage of the expert, in order to avoid confusion over employment titles across European nations.
The database was an initiative of the ELSO Career Development Committee and is supported by EMBO and FEBS. It is managed by
, Group Leader Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics, Dresden, Germany.
Expert Women in the Molecular Life Sciences are encouraged to submit their information to the database.
- European national and/or working in Europe.
- Publication as first or last author of a basic research article in an internationally recognized journal within the past three years.
- PhD and if you are a postdoc, at least one paper from your postdoctoral work.
Women in Science
Just as many women as men start out on life science careers. But many more men go on to senior academic positions. The reasons why are complex. In the interest of science it is important that the best scientists have the opportunity to pursue a career, and that it is not gender (or any other secondary characteristic) that determines the chances of success.
At EMBO, we are committed to monitoring gender balance in all our activities, developing initiatives to counteract imbalances and to raising awareness of issues facing women scientists as their careers advance.
Policies at EMBO
EMBO continually monitors its programmes to ensure gender balance and the fair treatment of women, and researchers with family obligations. Annual statistics are published in EMBO Facts & Figures. A report exploring differences in success rates between genders in EMBO programmes was published in 2007.
- Dependent’s allowance (for children under the age of 18)
- Three months parental leave
- Option to work part-time
- Crèche support for Fellows with children under the age of six.
- Extension of the eligibility period by one year per child for female candidates.
- Extension of programme membership by one year for each child born during current tenure.
- ‘Women in Science’ lecture grant
- Organizers of EMBO Courses and Workshops are instructed to ensure that at least 25 – 30% of speakers are female.
- An award highlighting excellent achievements of female scientists
- Database featuring female life scientists in Europe
- EMBO supports AcademiaNet, a database of leading female European scientists
Reports & publications
- Biological Containment of Synthetic Microorganisms: Science and Policy
– Report from a ESF-supported workshop, Heidelberg, 13-14 November 2012
- Stem cells, morals and the courts – Editorial in EMBO reports, 2 Dec 2011
- Making sense of mental illness – Science and Society conference 2011 report
- EMBO response to the EC consultation on the Common Strategic Framework green paper, May 2011
- Research infrastructures for Europe's scientists – Editorial in EMBO reports, June 2011
- Food, sustainability and plant science – Science and Society Conference 2009 report
You might also be interested in:
- Transferable skills for life scientists – A report from a survey on the importance of complementary skills and skills training for senior and younger scientists in Europe (2008).
- Stem Cell Research - Status, prospects, prerequisites (2006)
- Revision of the EC directive on the welfare of research animals (2005)
Changes in scientific publishing, particularly as related to access to publications, have been the focus of many studies over the last 20 years. The critical change in the last few years is that policymakers (governments, funders, and other research administrators) are prepared now to make binding changes to the ways that scientific information is communicated.
The precise nature of these changes and how they are implemented will have serious implications for scientists, publishers, and libraries. Understanding the impact of transitions to open access, the effects that different policies might have on those transitions, and the outcomes for scientists and others as these transitions occur is the focus of our work.
The first step in this work was an invitation-only workshop held 28 March 2012 to explore the range of policy issues in play and policy gaps that will require attention from decisionmakers.
In addition, the Programme is looking at issues of access to the data underlying scientific papers. The Science Policy and Publishing session at The EMBO Meeting 2012 in Nice, France, focused on the increasing need for data sharing and reproducibility in scientific research and presented a range of solutions adopted by publishers and by regulatory bodies.
The Science Policy Programme, established in 2011, examines concerns emerging from advances in scientific research, with an emphasis on the life sciences in Europe. We are focused on the governance of new technologies for advancing science, and the implications of the use of these new technologies for the public.
Our major areas of interest are biotechnology and genomic technologies; responsible conduct of research; and scientific publishing with respect to open access, the usability of data underlying publications, and the reproducibility of the scientific literature.
Our aim is to provide informed analyses to policymakers and other policy leaders, research administrators, and scientists for use in their decision-making processes.
We conduct our work through policy research, including technology assessment. We engage EMBO Members, individuals and offices at the European level, and staff of other EMBO Programmes. We are also involved in a wide range of European and international projects.
The Science Policy programme also offers a limited number of lecture grants to event organizers wishing to include a non-scientific lecture addressing the policy implications of science and technology in their programme.
The Science Policy Programme is always happy to hear from the community with questions, concerns, or ideas about science policy.