Video

October 16, 2017

The internet and social media era is both a great and a hard time to be an empowered patient or citizen. Every day everyone is overwhelmed by information, but also by misinformation. Discerning between the two is not so easy, according to Dennis Costello, Web Communications Senior Manager & RareConnect Leader at EURORDIS (Rare Diseases Europe). Best practices should be adopted by creators of contents and technical tools can further help in selecting them, but patients’ and consumers’ associations have a leading role in this, guiding the public so that they can make better decisions for themselves and their family.

October 11, 2017

The growing role of Big Data in medicine raises an ethical issue for Responsible Research and Innovation: what about privacy and a possible misuse of such information? During “Shaping the Future of Pediatrics” congress in Rome, ASSET met Alberto Tozzi, Research area coordinator and Head of Digital Medicine and Telemedicine Unit at Ospedale Pediatrico Bambino Gesù, Rome. He suggests that technical solutions can help, but they are not enough, without a cooperation among all the actors (patients, family, hospital, authorities, and so on).

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May 13, 2017

Mandatory vaccinations for both healthcare workers and the public can obtain a rapid improvement in immunization rates, but in the end have high cost, especially in term of litigation. The same results can be achieved putting resources into better organization and communication programs. This is the opinion of Darina O’Flanagan, previous Director of Health Protection Surveillance Centre Ireland and a member of the Advisory Forum of the European Centre for Disease Control since its inception in 2005 up to 2016. She was also one of the founder partners of the European Vaccine Network VENICE and is participating to Pandem project, on behalf of the WHO Regional Office for Europe.

February 1, 2017

Most emerging diseases come from animals (zoonosis). Therefore, surveillance needs to keep an eye on viruses and other microorganisms that could be transmitted to humans, acquiring the capability to spread among people. Ilaria Capua, director of the One Health Excellence Centre at the Emerging Pathogens Institute of the University of Florida, USA, recommends not letting our guard down.

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January 24, 2017

Ilaria Capua, as director of the One Health Excellence Centre at the Emerging Pathogens Institute of the University of Florida, USA, is very busy in coordinating interdisciplinary research, facing the epidemic of zika virus disease spreading in South America and the Caribbean and reaching Florida. Scientists are testing new diagnostic tests and working on vaccines, but the risk of serious birth defects in the offspring of infected pregnant women calls also for responsible procreative choices, involving lawmakers, governments and religious leaders as well.

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.

December 13, 2016

An increasing perception of the importance of gender differences is moving scientists to study these aspects in the different branches of medicine. In immunology, for example, a new awareness is emerging that women and men’s defences do not react to infections and vaccines in the same way. Katie Flanagan, senior lecturer of the Department of Immunology at Monash University, in Melbourne, Australia, tells ASSET what is the state-of-the-art knowledge and evidence in this field so far.

November 21, 2016

A change in the attitude towards science, coming from an understanding of its limits, interferes with people’s trust towards vaccination. Hesitancy and refusal in this field have their roots in a relationship between science and society that is different from what it used to be. A great role in this is played by media, which are somehow forced to publish what people want to hear and read, despite scientific evidence, in order to make profit, or just to survive. 

November 21, 2016

“You cannot use old categories to solve new problems”. Piero Bassetti, president of the Giannino Bassetti Foundation, has been one of the pioneers of the idea of Responsible Research and Innovation in Italy. He started talking about these issues many years before they became central in Science-with-and-for-Society policy at a European level. In this interview, he tells us how things have changed ever since.

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November 9, 2016

In 2009 A(H1N1) pandemic, vaccines were ready and could be supplied only when the peak of the pandemic was already decreasing in most European countries, discouraging people from getting vaccinated. Since the disease was not as severe as it was feared in the beginning, the consequences of this delay were not that serious, even if some lives could have been saved if the vaccines were available in advance. Ebola vaccine also arrived to West Africa when the epidemic was over, while a zika vaccine is still very far away. According to Thomas Breuer, however, GSK Chief Medical Officer, in case of another flu pandemic, a better cooperation among stakeholders and new technologies could accelerate the production and supply of new vaccines.

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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