Balkan Science Beat

News about science in South-East Europe


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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 border wall in Europe is already hurting wildlife and ...


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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), […]

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




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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 […]

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


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 […]

Exclusive: Q&A with Jean-Pierre Bourguignon, president of the ERC, on ...


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 […]

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



[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 […]

Science journalism seminar kicks off in Montenegro


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 […]

Montenegro’s science minister accused of plagiarism


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 […]

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



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), […]

Croatia’s northern county, Međimurje, misses out on knowledge hub that ...


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 […]

Call for Applications: 2nd edition of the South East European ...


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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 […]

Bosnia and Herzegovina gets yet another ethnic science academy: a ...



This story began as a report of a one-off case of potential predatory practice last month, and has escalated to an official call to disband an entire international editorial board, and an accusation against the editor of mass-scale nepotism and other publishing misconduct, reports Retraction Watch blog. The journal, Archives of […]

Serbian journal lands in hot water after challenge on 24 ...


The threat of invasion after World War II eventually brought the five Nordic countries, Denmark, Iceland, Finland, Norway and Sweden, closer together through the Nordic Council of Ministers. Now the region has the biggest air force in Europe and a GDP larger than Russia, according to Bertel Haarder, former Danish […]

Balkans ‘could learn’ from Nordic research collaboration


Several researchers based in the Western Balkans and Eastern Europe have made it onto the “World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds: 2014” list compiled by Thomson Reuters. Otherwise dominated by traditional science powerhouses such as the United States and the United Kingdom, the list also includes academics based in Poland (5), […]

Serbian mathematicians, Slovenian physicist among the ‘world’s most influential scientific ...



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Today marks the first anniversary of Croatia becoming the 28th member state of the European Union (EU) on 1 July 2013. Despite progress in science and a good performance in drawing on EU framework programme (FP7) grants, Croatia’s research policy and funding landscape leaves much to be desired. The reforms […]

Croatia’s science one year into its EU membership: Q&A with ...


The Belarus government’s plans to boost science funding “remain elusive”, while basic research and the number of scientists are being eroded by the financial crisis, according to a recent recent report by the Belarusian Institute of System Analysis and Information Support of Scientific and Technical Sphere.  The country’s science could […]

Report: Belarus science funding goals ‘remain elusive’


Georgia, a small country in the Caucasus, may see an increase in its science and statistical capacity if the pledges made today (27 June) in the Association Agreement signed between it and the European Union are fulfilled. The EU signed the agreements with Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine, […]

EU-Georgia Association Agreement pledges to boost capacity in science and ...



There is a whole chapter on cooperation in science and technology in the agreement the EU and Ukraine just signed today (27 June) after months of political instability in Ukraine. Chapter 9 of the Economic and Sector Cooperation part of the agreement commits the two parties to “develop and strengthen […]

EU-Ukraine Association Agreement promises renewed cooperation on science


Several East European countries took part in the first meeting of a pan-European network of chief science advisers – people who advise governments on a range of issues based on scientific evidence – in Copenhagen, Denmark, yesterday. The meeting took place at the EuroScience Open Forum (ESOF2014) conference with Eastern […]

Croatia, Czech Republic and Slovakia among members of Anne Glover’s ...