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Montenegro’s science minister accused of plagiarism

Posted 15 September 2014 by Mićo Tatalović

From my post on Retraction Watch: Sanja Vlahovic, science minister of Montenegro, copied two-thirds of a 2010 paper on tourism from previously published work by other academics, according to the national daily newspaper Vijesti. The newspaper compared her paper, “Destinations’ Competitiveness in Modern Tourism,” presented at the Tourism & Hospitality Management 2010 conference in Opatija, Croatia, to three previously published papers and found much of the content to be identical, without the minister acknowledging two of those papers in the bibliography.... Read more

Slovenian to head European Commission’s digital and innovation portfolio?

Posted 9 September 2014 by Mićo Tatalović

Slovenia’s Alenka Bratusek may become one of the six key commissioners in president-elect Jean-Claude Juncker’s team, heading the new portfolio on digital and innovation issues, according to an article in EurActiv.com. Bratusek was the first female prime minister in Slovenia (2013-2014) and holds a masters in social sciences from the University of Ljubljana. The new team would also include Latvia’s Valdis Dombrovkis for the Energy Union portofolio. Research and innovation may go to Spain’s Miguel Arias Cañete, according to the... Read more

Croatia’s northern county, Međimurje, misses out on knowledge hub that could have aided development

Posted 3 September 2014 by Mićo Tatalović

A recent mess-up with an EU grant was a big setback for development in Croatia’s northern county, Međimurje, a leadership forum heard last week. There had been plans for the development of a knowledge centre within the building complex that already houses the Technology and Innovation Centre in Čakovec (TIC), which could have contributed to decentralised development and supported local people and entrepreneurship. Instead, poor management of the grant by Croatia’s central government meant the project did not get the... Read more

Call for Applications: 2nd edition of the South East European Science Journalism Workshop (Deadline: 18 August 2014)

Posted 17 July 2014 by Mićo Tatalović

From UNESCO and Balkan School of Science Journalism: "The UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe, Venice (Italy), is pleased to announce that the 2nd edition of the specialized South East European (SEE) regional workshop on science journalism will be conducted from 19 to 22 September 2014 in Podgorica, Montenegro, during the Open Science Festival. The relationship between science and society can be challenging. Linking science to society, improving public understanding of science and encouraging and attracting the... Read more

Bosnia and Herzegovina gets yet another ethnic science academy: a (second) Croatian one

Posted 15 July 2014 by Mićo Tatalović

Academies of science and arts have a long history of being intertwined with political and religious issues, and this is perhaps nowhere as evident as in the troubled Balkans - the meeting place of Catholic, Orthodox and Muslim faiths, where many ethnicities lay claim to the land. I wrote about some of the issues surrounding science academies as proxies to nation-state building in Science a couple of years ago, when new Roma and Bosniak (Muslim) academies were being set up.... Read more

Serbian journal lands in hot water after challenge on 24 hour peer review that cost 1785 euros

Posted 7 July 2014 by Mićo Tatalović

This story began as a report of a one-off case of potential predatory practice last month, and has escalated to an official call to disband an entire international editorial board, and an accusation against the editor of mass-scale nepotism and other publishing misconduct, reports Retraction Watch blog. The journal, Archives of Biological Sciences (ABS) is the official publication of the Serbian Biological Society, co-published by ten organisations in Serbia and Bosnia. It was accused (on June 12) on the Scholarly Open Access blog of accepting... Read more

Balkans ‘could learn’ from Nordic research collaboration

Posted 6 July 2014 by Mićo Tatalović

The threat of invasion after World War II eventually brought the five Nordic countries, Denmark, Iceland, Finland, Norway and Sweden, closer together through the Nordic Council of Ministers. Now the region has the biggest air force in Europe and a GDP larger than Russia, according to Bertel Haarder, former Danish minister and member of the council, who was speaking at Euroscience Open Forum (ESOF2014) on 23 June. The political cooperation eventually yielded gains for research, too, with the establishment in... Read more

Serbian mathematicians, Slovenian physicist among the ‘world’s most influential scientific minds’

Posted 4 July 2014 by Mićo Tatalović

Several researchers based in the Western Balkans and Eastern Europe have made it onto the “World's Most Influential Scientific Minds: 2014” list compiled by Thomson Reuters. Otherwise dominated by traditional science powerhouses such as the United States and the United Kingdom, the list also includes academics based in Poland (5), Hungary (3), Czech Republic (2), Serbia (2), Lithuania (1), Slovenia (1), and Slovakia (1). Some other scientists on the list originate from the region but are currently based abroad, such... Read more

Croatia’s science one year into its EU membership: Q&A with EC’s Tania Friederichs

Posted 1 July 2014 by Mićo Tatalović

Today marks the first anniversary of Croatia becoming the 28th member state of the European Union (EU) on 1 July 2013. Despite progress in science and a good performance in drawing on EU framework programme (FP7) grants, Croatia's research policy and funding landscape leaves much to be desired. The reforms have been slow to kick in and funding has been stagnating. I recently spoke about the challenges to Croatia's science with Tania Friederichs, policy officer for research and innovation relations... Read more

Report: Belarus science funding goals ‘remain elusive’

Posted 28 June 2014 by Mićo Tatalović

The Belarus government's plans to boost science funding "remain elusive", while basic research and the number of scientists are being eroded by the financial crisis, according to a recent recent report by the Belarusian Institute of System Analysis and Information Support of Scientific and Technical Sphere.  The country's science could benefit from more international cooperation, from which much of the research funds come, but policies to boost such collaboration with key regional partners, such as the European Union, Commonwealth of... Read more