Higher Education and academic research
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Higher education and academic/non-profit research in the world
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[Italy] Unions denounce unequal R&D investment

Labour unions and PhD student associations in Italy have criticised the government’s focus on research and development that comes at the expense of the nation’s universities after €200 million (US$223 million) was allocated to the Italian Institute of Technology in Genoa at the end of May, writes Santiago Sáez Moreno for Chemistry World.  (...) - University World News, by Chemistry World, 23 June 2017 Issue No:465
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Research funding: Reform oversight of Italy's science funds

We wish to highlight the stark contrast between the hardship in Italy's publicly funded research community (see G. Parisi Nature 530, 33; 2016) and the reportedly largely unused sums of money allocated to a single research institute over the past 12 years. (...) - Nature, by Ernesto Carafoli & Cesare Montecucco, 12 May 2016
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Italian scientists protest against budget cuts, crocodile tears included

Italian scientists protest against budget cuts, crocodile tears included | Higher Education and academic research | Scoop.it

Although the upcoming protests of Italian scientists against budget cut is justified, there are many other issues plaguing the italian research system. (...) - EuroScientist Webzine, 25/09/2014

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Italy's NIH gets new leadership to address fiscal crisis

Italy's NIH gets new leadership to address fiscal crisis | Higher Education and academic research | Scoop.it

Government puts ISS into receivership after discovering €30 million budget shortfall.

The Italian government has chosen a prominent scientist to take charge of the country’s leading biomedical research institute with the goal of improving its precarious financial situation. But some researchers at the Istituto Superiore di Sanità (ISS) are worried that implementing the needed fiscal reforms will also result in curtailing programs and cutting staff. (...) by Marta Paterlini, Science, 17 July 2014

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Animal Rights Fliers Shock Italian Researchers

Animal Rights Fliers Shock Italian Researchers | Higher Education and academic research | Scoop.it

Activists post photos, addresses, and phone numbers of scientists on the streets of Milan

The battle over animal experimentation in Italy took a nasty turn this week when anonymous activists posted fliers showing photos, home addresses, and telephone numbers of scientists involved in animal research at the University of Milan and labeled them as "murderers." The leaflets, which appeared in the night of 6 to 7 January, triggered swidespread condemnation in academic and political circles. (...) - by Marta Paterlini, 09/01/2014

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Italy: Ministry presents three-year plan for universities

Italian officials are finalising a major funding and standards strategy for universities, which they hope will be enacted despite the country’s endemic political instability. The plan has been developed by the Ministry of Education, University and Research and will span three years, 2013-15, setting academic standards for both state and non-state universities. (...) - University World News, by Brenda Dionisi, 25 October 2013 Issue No:293

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Around Italy, Researchers Rally to Defend Science

Around Italy, Researchers Rally to Defend Science | Higher Education and academic research | Scoop.it

Tourists visiting the famous Spanish Steps in Rome on Saturday were treated to an unusual spectacle: Some 30 researchers suddenly showed up, unfolded banners and placards in different languages, and stood motionless on the steps for several minutes. Their flash mob was part of an unprecedented series of events across Italy to protest what organizers say is an antiscientific attitude in Italy and widespread "misinformation" about science in the media.(...) - ScienceInsider, by Marta Paterlini on 10 June 2013

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Italian Parliament Orders Clinical Trial of Controversial Stem Cell Treatment

A controversial Italian stem cell therapy that scientists say is unproven will undergo its first solid scientific test. The Italian Senate today voted in favor of a new bill, already approved by the Chamber of Deputies on 16 May, that sets aside €3 million for a clinical trial of the treatment, devised by the Stamina Foundation in Turin. Meanwhile, the foundation can continue treating 12 patients at a hospital in Brescia who are already undergoing the disputed therapy. (...) - ScienceInsider, by Laura Margottini on 22 May 2013

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Italy Appoints New Research Minister

Italy Appoints New Research Minister | Higher Education and academic research | Scoop.it

ROME—A bioengineer has been appointed minister of education, universities, and research in Italy's newly formed government. Maria Chiara Carrozza, 47, is a professor at the Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies in Pisa and a member of Parliament for the center-left Democratic Party, which is about to lead a new government formed as a result of February elections. Observers anticipate broad support for Carrozza's appointment, while noting that she faces huge obstacles.(..) - ScienceInsider, by Edwin Cartlidge on 29 April 2013

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Italie : les universités dans l’oeil du cyclone?

Italie : les universités dans l’oeil du cyclone? | Higher Education and academic research | Scoop.it

Les universités italiennes, la crise et les élections. A la veille du scrutin, visite dans deux universités prestigieuses de la péninsule. Nous avons recueilli les critiques, mais aussi les conseils et les suggestions qu’enseignants et élèves donnent au futur gouvernement. C’est à suivre, sur euronews (...) - Euronews, 12/02/2013

 

 

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Government 'Exams' for Italian Scientists Trigger Outcry

ROME—An unprecedented government effort to shore up the quality of Italian science by reviewing the work of individual scientists and institutions has triggered a firestorm of protest. Critics say the government review, coordinated by the National Agency for the Evaluation of Universities and Research Institutes (ANVUR) at the Ministry of Education, University and Research is using flawed criteria and will do little to reward the best Italian scientists. (...) - ScienceInsider, by Laura Margottini on 13 December 2012
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[Italy] L'Aquila Earthquake Experts Found Guilty

In a verdict likely to spur extensive controversy, an Italian judge has ruled that seven earthquake experts are guilty of manslaughter in a case that charged them with providing flawed advice prior to the 2009 L'Aquila earthquake (http://news.sciencemag.org/scienceinsider/2012/09/four-year-prison-terms-sought-fo.html). The defendants are likely to appeal, a process that could last several years. The verdict also calls for damage payments that could amount to many hundreds of thousands of euros. More coming soon. - ScienceInsider, by Edwin Cartlidge and Dan Clery on 22 October 2012

 

Read more about the full verdict : http://news.sciencemag.org/scienceinsider/2012/10/earthquake-experts-convicted-of-.html

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Italie: Manifestations d'étudiants contre l'austérité dans plusieurs villes

Des milliers d'étudiants ont manifesté ce vendredi dans plusieurs villes d'Italie, notamment à Rome, Milan et Naples, pour dénoncer les mesures d'austérité imposées par le gouvernement de Mario Monti.

Des affrontements se sont produits entre les forces de l'ordre et les étudiants qui scandaient des slogans comme «sauvez les écoles, pas les banques».

A Rome, six policiers ont été blessés par des manifestants casqués qui leur lançaient des pierres, ont annoncé les autorités. A Bologne, des étudiants ont lancé des oeufs sur une agence bancaire UniCredit et ont piétiné une enseigne de la banque française BNP Paribas. - 20minutes.fr

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Seven-year legal saga ends as Italian official is cleared of manslaughter in earthquake trial

Seven-year legal saga ends as Italian official is cleared of manslaughter in earthquake trial | Higher Education and academic research | Scoop.it

Verdict follows conviction of deputy for advice given ahead of L’Aquila earthquake.


ROME—The man accused of sending a group of scientists to the central Italian city of L’Aquila in 2009 to falsely reassure citizens that no major earthquake was about to strike has been cleared of manslaughter charges. Guido Bertolaso, who at the time was head of Italy’s Civil Protection department, was acquitted by Judge Giuseppe Grieco on Friday on the grounds of “not having committed the crime.” The verdict brings to an end 7 years of legal actions initiated by relatives of some of the 309 victims of the deadly earthquake that struck L’Aquila on 6 April 2009. (...) - Science, by Edwin Cartlidge, Oct 3 2016

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[Italy] Plans for new research hub get critical reception

The Italian government has announced plans for the launch of the Human Technopole Italy 2040, a brand new research center for the life sciences that will be lavishly funded and housed at the stylish site of a former world expo in Milan. The effort would receive €1.5 billion over the next decade and focus on genomics, personalized medicine, cancer, and neurodegenerative diseases. The plans have drawn mostly criticism. Many researchers applaud the government for investing in science, but they object to the lack of transparency with which the new hub was hatched. And some worry that it won't benefit the best researchers and institutes but those with the best connections. (...) - Science, by Laura Margottini, 11 Mar. 2016
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For the sake of Italian science and culture

For the sake of Italian science and culture | Higher Education and academic research | Scoop.it

The Italian research system has been endangered by lack of adequate government response to tackle the recession through R&D support.

 

Italian scientific research and university systems are in a dramatic position. The poisonous fruit of the recently approved university reform—referred to as the Gelmini law— assisted by the actions of successive governments, are reaching their goal: downsizing the university system and introducing a political control, never attempted before, on basic research. (...) - EuroScientist Webzine, by Francesco Sylos Labini, 25/09/2014

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[Italy] University course dropout rate hits 40%

Forty percent of students who enrol in an Italian university fail to graduate from their chosen course, a report released last Wednesday has shown, reports The Local.

After the first year alone, 15% of students on three-year courses drop out altogether, while the same proportion switch courses, the report by educational agency Anvur found. The remaining 10% abandon university at a later stage of their course. (...) – University World News, The Local, 21 March 2014 Issue No:312

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Thousands of Italian Scientists Protest Strict Limits on Animal Research

Thousands of Italian Scientists Protest Strict Limits on Animal Research | Higher Education and academic research | Scoop.it

Petition against new law attracts 13,000 signatures.

Scientists in Italy have petitioned lawmakers to revise a measure that sharply restricts the use of animals in scientific research. The controversial law, approved by the Italian Parliament in July, will soon go to the nation’s president for signature. It implements an E.U. directive on animal research, but critics say that Italian lawmakers added additional, damaging restrictions. (...) - by Marta Paterlini, ScienceInsider, 5 December 2013

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Strict Limits on Animal Research Stun Italian Scientists

In a major victory for animal rights activists, the Italian Parliament on Wednesday approved a bill that puts drastic limitations on animal testing. Scientists have warned that the provisions, voted by the Senate earlier this month, will severely hurt biomedical research in their country—but they haven't given up hope yet that the measures will be canceled.

“This Italian bill is brutal and is going to kill basic research,” says Roberto Caminiti, a physiologist at the University of Rome La Sapienza and chair of the Committee on Animals in Research for the Federation of European Neuroscience Societies. (...) - ScienceInsider, by Marta Paterlini, August 2, 2013

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Italian Parliament Orders €3 Million Trial of Disputed Therapy

The Italian Parliament has decided that the administration of a controversial stem cell treatment for neurodegenerative diseases, provided by the Stamina Foundation in Turin, can continue—although on only a small scale. Lawmakers also ordered a formal clinical trial of the therapy and allocated €3 million to pay for it. The law, opposed by many stem cell scientists, became official after it was approved by Italy's Chamber of Deputies on 20 May and by the Senate 2 days later. Although some patients say that they have benefited from the treatment, researchers contend that the Stamina Foundation's therapy hasn't been properly described, let alone shown to be effective. (...) - by Laura Margottini, Science 31 May 2013: Vol. 340 no. 6136 p. 1028

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Italian politicians unable to resolve the country’s problems, let alone scientists’ issues

Italian politicians unable to resolve the country’s problems, let alone scientists’ issues | Higher Education and academic research | Scoop.it

Dear Editor,

I carefully read your announcement regarding your Special Issue related to austerity in Southern Europe that keeps the young and older scientists here in Italy in a discouragingly sad position.

The mind of young researchers in Italy emigration is the only way out. This kind of brain drain is harmful to this beautiful country. Many young researchers after many years of dedicated life as scientists had to stop working due to lack of funds or cut in their project financing. Government cut more than 60% of the research budget. It is ridiculous that, even under this difficult situation, there is also a further request to remove 10% from project funds. (...) - Euroscientist Blog, May 2nd, 2013

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Pervasive meritocracy, a must for Italian research

Pervasive meritocracy, a must for Italian research | Higher Education and academic research | Scoop.it

Ilaria Capua, recently elected Member of the Italian Parliament, under the umbrella of the Civic Choice movement, talks to the Euroscientist about the kind of reforms that are needed to ensure a sustainable future to Italian research. Prior to her appointment, she has had a successful career as a prominent virologist involved, in particular, in research in H5N1. She is the Director of the division  of comparative biomedical sciences  at the Experimental Institute for the Prevention of Animal Diseases (Instituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale delle Venezie), Padua, as well as the Director of the  International  reference laboratory for animal influenza of the OIE Collaborating Centre for Diseases at the Human–Animal Interface. (...) - Euroscientist Blog, April 15th, 2013

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Italy: Higher education reforms stall as Monti government totters

With Italy tottering on the brink of a political crisis that could topple the technocrat government of Mario Monti before Christmas, proposed higher education reforms will probably be stalled at least until a new government is formed following Spring elections – and perhaps for longer. (...) - University World News, by Lee Adendoorf16 December 2012 Issue No:252
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Italy Cancels €1 Billion Accelerator Project

ROME—The Italian government has scrapped plans to build a particle accelerator known as SuperB in the outskirts of Rome after a new study calculated its total cost to be about €1 billion—some €350 million more than previously estimated.(...) - ScienceInsider, by Edwin Cartlidge on 29 November 2012

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Italian Government Seeks Massive Research Merger

ROME—A new plan to radically overhaul and streamline Italy's research system has been heavily criticized by many of the heads of the country's research institutes. The plan, put forward by research minister Francesco Profumo, would see all 12 institutes overseen by the research ministry incorporated into a single new entity, the National Research Centre (CNR). Critics say the reform is rushed and threatens the future of fields in which Italy currently excels.

The reform is contained within the budget bill for 2013 agreed upon by the caretaker government of Mario Monti on Tuesday night, and comes on top of proposed major budget cuts at Italy's government institutes, announced in July but not yet implemented.(...) - by Edwin Cartlidge, ScienceInsider, 12 October 2012

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