Balkan Science Beat

News about science in South-East Europe

Trump’s border wall in Europe is already hurting wildlife and – hopefully – our conscience

It’s perhaps one of Western Europe’s biggest hypocrisies. We Europeans are appalled by Trump’s idea of building a wall along the Mexican border. But we have recently allowed many such walls to be built in our own backyard. All along South-East Europe, borders are now lined by wire fences. And while Trump’s wall would be aimed […]



What do Croatia’s election results mean for its neglected science?

Croatia’s citizens have had their say. Again. In the second elections in the past year – following the collapse of an inefficient coalition plagued by corruption allegations – they have once again elected no single majority. Which means another coalition government, once again led by the right-wing HDZ (Croatian Democratic Union), the party that won the […]

Eastern European countries snub neighbours’ science policy

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 […]

Study sheds light on Serbia’s research productivity: good output, poor quality 1

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 […]

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

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 […]

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

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 […]

Science journalism seminar kicks off in Montenegro

[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 […]

Montenegro’s science minister accused of plagiarism

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, […]

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

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 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 […]

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

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 […]

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

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 […]

Bosnia and Herzegovina gets yet another ethnic science academy: a (second) Croatian one 1

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 […]