La rivista EuroScientist ha dedicato un numero speciale su “Research Activism” nei differenti paesi europei. Di seguito l’editoriale dell’ Editor in Chief Sabine Louet
Research activism in Europe is about to transcend borders. Forthcoming protests movements planned for around mid-October in France, Italy and Spain are not a coincidence. Scientists will rally their respective capitals—be it on their bike or on foot—as a result of unprecedented concerted planning. Up until recently, the scientists involved did not collaborate across borders to campaign for a change in their own working environment. Yet, they are no strangers to international collaboration, when it comes to their research projects. So what triggered this shift in attitude?
Several factors come into play. First, national research activism movements are increasingly relying on online communication tools to make their messages widely available. Thus, the multiplying effect of social media combined with the existence of expatriate communities of scientists within Europe—due to the brain drain from Southern and Eastern Europe—plays a part. As a result, activists have gained an international leverage never attained before. But, clearly these are not the only drivers.
The second aspect is that austerity policies have pushed those bearing their consequences—particularly scientists from Southern Europe—to react. As a result, researchers are taking their responsibilities, as citizens, to try and change their working conditions themselves.
Interestingly, the upcoming wave of grassroots protests by citizen scientists is reminiscent of the European Parliament election campaign, earlier this year. It gave rise to the emergence of citizen democracy movements, such as Podemos, among others, in Spain, which partly built its campaign on the need to support research and innovation.