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Eastern European countries snub neighbours’ science policy

Posted 26 November 2014 by Mićo Tatalović

Looking East of an imaginary line going through Berlin and Rome all the way to the Urals creates a broad outline of what Eastern Europe is, in the widest geographical definition. What is striking about this broad region is the number of similarities between different countries, not least in science, as I report in this EuroScientist magazine. And yet it is equally surprising how little these countries exchange good practice. Specifically, scientists and policymakers will talk for hours about problems... Read more

Study sheds light on Serbia’s research productivity: good output, poor quality

Posted 24 November 2014 by Mićo Tatalović

Serbia’s production of research papers listed in Thomson Reuters has boomed since 2006, thanks to a government policy of requiring publication in JCR-listed journals in order for scientists to be promoted and get government funding. This is according to a bibliometric analysis published in Scientometrics earlier this year. It looked at 14,293 articles with authors all coming from Serbia and published between 2006-2012. Romania and Hungary published more articles (23,107 and 16,042 respectively) than Serbia. But Croatia and Bulgaria published... Read more

Exclusive: Q&A with Jean-Pierre Bourguignon, president of the ERC, on its work to engage East Europe

Posted 1 October 2014 by Mićo Tatalović

The next meeting of the scientific council of the European Research Council (ERC) takes place – for the first time – in Zagreb, Croatia, this month (20-22 October 2014). I recently spoke to Jean-Pierre Bourguignon, who took over as president of the ERC in January, about what the ERC can do to improve research in East Europe. The ERC is the 1st pan-European funding body for frontier research, funding only the very best researchers and selecting them through rigorous, peer-reviewed... Read more

University and Montenegrin government ‘ignored evidence of science minister’s plagiarism’, minister may go

Posted 25 September 2014 by Mićo Tatalović

The relevant authorities in Montenegro have ignored evidence of possible plagiarism by the science minister there for up to two years, according to the president of the Montenegrin Academy of Sciences and Arts, Momir Djurovic. He says that documents showing suspicion of plagiarism by the minister were sent to the academy as far back as two years ago. The academy has passed these on to the relevant authorities but with no reply, he says. “Two years ago the academy warned... Read more

Science journalism seminar kicks off in Montenegro

Posted 19 September 2014 by Mićo Tatalović

[PODGORICA] A small group of local journalists, PR professionals and scientists gathered today in Podgorica, Montenegro for a seminar on science journalism co-organised by UNESCO’s Venice office. The seminar was part of a bigger event that kicks off here tomorrow (20 September): the 2nd South East European UNESCO Science Communication Workshop. The first edition of this workshop was launched last year in Belgrade, Serbia, following networking events at the 12th International Public Communication of Science and Technology Conference in Florence,... Read more

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