School and Education

As a part of the ASSET project, the European Institute of Women’s Health were tasked with liaising with local schools to disseminate the activities of the ASSET project. The schools were to have received funding under the Erasmus Plus programme, which is the programme that combines all the EU’s current schemes for education, training, youth and sport in Europe.

Horne Z, Powell D, Hummel JE, Holyoak KJ. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. August 18, 2016.

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How many ways are there to communicate science in society today? New and promising communication opportunities are rising fast, thanks to different media: web, social networks, graphic journalism like the webcomic strip dedicated to the potential public health issue represented by Zika during the Olympic Games in Brazil 2016 and even a board game like Pandemic Legacy.

Effective science communication, especially when engaging with genuine two-way discussions with audiences, is quite a complex issue, and far from simple to study. Much of what works and what doesn’t is highly dependent on contingent factors, from what specifically is being communicated, to the social dynamics around the issues, to the political context in which the engagement occurs. This makes deriving general insights and lessons that can be applied across the board particularly challenging.

Last January, the scientific journal Nature published a news about scientists who do research funded by the Gates Foundation, who are not allowed to publish their work in those journals that do not comply with the Foundation’s open-access policy. This is the case of important publications such as NatureScience and the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM).

Immunization rates in Italy are decreasing at a worrying trend: international targets for measles eradication and safety thresholds in childhood vaccination are vanishing. Authorities, doctors and families are concerned that a coverage below 86% for MPR (measles, parotitis and rubella) vaccine can impair herd immunity, putting younger babies, immunocompromised people and not-responders at risk.

Month by month, the diseases spread across the world, cities fall into panic and some of them are even wiped out by virulent outbreaks, while tenacious experts cooperate to find a cure before it’s too late.

The internet deals a lot with flu, but mostly talks about care and little about prevention. This is the result of a study made by Voices from the Blogs, a spin-off of the University of Milan, on the web-sentiment on influenza and vaccination in Italy.

On July 30th, the Verbier Festival, one of the most prestigious music festival in Europe, hosted “Concerto for Piano and science”, a public workshop organized in collaboration with the ASSET project.

The exploration and adoption of best practices in health by public institutions and non-governmental organizations as well has been growing in recent years. ASSET experts recognize the importance of these activities. Thus, they will gather examples from all around Europe and present them on a dedicated page.

But what exactly are “best practices”, and what are the differences between best and good practices?

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MMLAP and other EU Projects

Health system analysis to support capacity development in response to the threat of pandemic influenza in Asia
Making society an active participant in water adaptation to global change
Public Participation in Developing a Common Framework for Assessment and Management of Sustainable Innovation
Effective communication in outbreak management: development of an evidence-based tool for Europe
Developing the framework for an epidemic forecast infrastructure
European monitoring of excess mortality for public health action
Modelling the spread of pandemic influenza and strategies for its containment and mitigation
Cost-effectiveness assessment of european influenza human pandemic alert and response strategies
Bridging the gap between science, stakeholders and policy makers
Promotion of immunization for health professionals in Europe
Towards inclusive research programming for sustainable food innovations
Medical ecosystem – personalized event-based surveillance
Studying the many and varied economic, social, legal and ethical aspects of the recent developments on the Internet, and their consequences for the individual and society at large
Knowledge-based policy-making on issues involving science, technology and innovation, mainly based upon the practices in Parliamentary Technology Assessment
Assessment of the current pandemic preparedness and response tools, systems and practice at national, EU and global level in priority areas
Analysis of innovative public engagement tools and instruments for dynamic governance in the field of Science in Society
Public Engagement with Research And Research Engagement with Society
Computing Veracity – the Fourth Challenge of Big Data
Providing infrastructure, co-ordination and integration of existing clinical research networks on epidemics and pandemics
Creating mechanisms for effectively tackling the scientific and technology related challenges faced by society
Improving respect of ethics principles and laws in research and innovation, in line with the evolution of technologies and societal concerns
Creating a structured dialogue and mutual learning with citizens and urban actors by setting up National Networks in 10 countries across Europe
Identifying how children can be change agents in the Science and Society relationship
Establishing an open dialogue between stakeholders concerning synthetic biology’s potential benefits and risks
Transparent communication in Epidemics: Learning Lessons from experience, delivering effective Messages, providing Evidence