In this edition: Translation Required for impact - Which government agencies are leading the world in innovation 2017? - Europe Evaluates its citizen science and biodiversity projects
Collaboration and competition. Perceived opposites yet both possible necessities for excellence. Last week I had the pleasure of attending the launch of the new LERU report in Brussels, which also raised the question about the need for collaboration, or perhaps competition, to achieve excellence in research and its impact. Tomorrow, during the AESIS webinar, three experts will discuss when research excellence and societal impact, in themselves, are complementary to, or compete with each other. And we will continue to foster relevant discussion such as these in Stockholm, in Cardiff, and for the years to come.
Enjoy the newsletter!
Anika S. Duut van Goor
General manager, AESIS Network
2-6 April
4 April
14-23 April
24-26 April
26-28 April
31 May - 2 June
12-13 June

20-21 September
Managing an Entrepreneurial Knowledge Region, Cambridge
AESIS Research Excellence and Societal Impact, Online webinar
Cambridge Science Festival, Massachusetts USA

23rd Annual EARMA Conference, Malta
Broader Impacts Summit, Stevenson WA
Times Higher Education Summit, Hong Kong
AESIS Impact of Science Conference
& the 'Sweden Impact Award'
, Stockholm
AESIS Social Sciences and Humanities conference, Cardiff
Short News
Prime Ministers Science Prizes in New Zealand
In New-Zealand the most prestigious science prizes have been awarded on March 21, called the Prime Minister Science Prizes. The awards are a key part of the Curious Minds work programme – a national strategic plan for science in society to help all New Zealanders engage with science and technology. The main prize has been won by The Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Research Unit, led by Professor Richie Poulton (University of Otago). For the entire article, click here!

AI Used to Index and Order Scientific Terms
The Japan Science and technology agency (JST) has developed an automatic thesaurus maintenance system using AI technology. Such a thesaurus is used in order to accurately use certain scientific words. In this dictionary the relations and synonyms of the terms are also included. Formerly this was all done by hand and therefore a time consuming process. The proposed method is expected to be applied not only for the JST but also to machine translation and automatic keyword indexing in the future. Read the entire article here.

Cambridge Science Festival - Be curious!
The Cambridge Science Festival will be taking place in Massachusetts during the 14th of April until the 23rd. It is a festival containing activities such as lectures, debates, exhibitions, concerts, plays and workshops, organised by a collaboration of institutions including the MIT Museum and Harvard University. Its goal is to build bridges between the general public and the scientific community and in general motivate people to become more involved in science. In other words: "Be curious!" More information and the programme can be found here!
Last day to register for the webinar

The Elsevier - AESIS webinar on "Uniting research excellence and societal impact" will be taking place tomorrow, the 4th of April at 16:00 CEST. This means you have only one more day to subscribe. The speakers, Peter Darroch, Rinze Benedictus and Susanna Pehrson, have different viewpoints on how to realise a system where research excellence and societal impact meet and (partially) be integrated. They will present their methods to change insitutional processes and evaluation methods, and welcome you to share your views on them. Register here to join us on the 4th of April! 
LERU report on
"Productive interactions"

Last week the impact report from the League of European Research Universities (LERU) was published, titled "Productive Interactions: societal impact of academic research in the knowledge soceity". The main authors are: Wiljan van den Akker (Vice-Rector for research at the Utrecht University and speaker at 'Impact of Science 2017') and Jack Spaapen (Senior policy advisor at the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences).

The report consists of a description on how universities are currently positioned in the society and the road they have travelled to be where they are. Describing their view on the “triple mission” (research, education and societal impact) and how universities are accomplishing these missions. The main focus is of course on societal impact and on how this is perceived in the world of academics and politicians.

To measure impact there is also a growing need of multiple-size approaches on how to assess the quality and impact it has. In the paper multiple methods used in different countries will be discussed. The position paper ends with a conclusion and recommendations on how universities should proceed. One recommendation is that universities need to engage more with others across the re4search spectrum like governments, research funders and the society at large in order to foster a better understanding of impact. To read the entire paper, click here!

The role of metrics in research assessment

by Elsevier
Metrics have been a divisive issue in many research communities. Citation-based research metrics were first developed in the post-war era in the fields of biochemistry, genetics and closely allied life sciences. They subsequently spread to those fields where the research culture had shifted away from rapid and frequent publication and citation in peer-reviewed journals, such as in the social science and humanities. The perceived inevitability of metrics-based evaluation being used in the social sciences and humanities by major research funders, such as the European Commission, has led to a number of analyses of the present metrics landscape and the applicability of these metrics across research disciplines. As a result, recent thinking on metrics has moved from a supply-side model, which uses the metrics most readily calculated from data available, to demand-side, which involves considering the purpose of the measurement and creating metrics that most closely match the need. It is impossible to get a true picture of impact using a single metric alone, so a basket of metrics is needed to support informed decisions. At Elsevier, we are working with a number of partners and the community to help define this Basket of metrics. If you would like to get involved –  click the button!
Help Define the Basket of Metrics
Additionally you can learn more about the responsible use of research metrics from Dr. Peter Darroch - Senior Product Manager, Research Metrics, Elsevier.  He will discuss via a webinar on Tuesday 4th April the responsible use of research metrics through the use of a basket of metrics, in conjunction with two golden rules.  He will also discuss the role of altmetrics and Elsevier’s work in collaboration with the community around research metrics through projects such as Snowball Metrics. Register for the webinar on April 4th
For Scientific Impact, Translation Is Required
by dr Andy West

I am always a little bit dismayed when scientists, and chemists in particular, are described as being poor communicators. It’s a description that seems to follow us chemists around like the smell of our chemicals and always seems unfairly and generically applied. However, I can see that one of the reasons why I feel this reputation is ill-deserved is because I’m looking at the issue from a scientist’s point of view. Us science folks use a common language which is as comfortable to us as the tweed jacket with the leather elbow pads or the knitted cardigan. It’s no different to two mechanics discussing variable valve timing and induction manifolds or plumbers complaining about leaking flange fandangles (I think that’s what my plumber charged me for!) Ultimately, they understand each other in a way that ‘outsiders’ simply can’t.

However, the general public have a right to understand what scientists do as, in the same way that they pay for the time of a mechanic or a plumber, they also pay for us to do research. It is therefore our responsibility to translate the purpose and results of our research for people who are not fluent in the language of science so that they understand what we do, how it can have an impact on their lives and why they should continue to pay for it. 

Critically, for scientific breakthroughs to reach the market, translation is also required when scientists interact with industry. The challenge here is that the business might be competent in the language of science, but they will generally prefer to speak in the language of money, in which many scientists are far from fluent. However, it doesn’t matter how big the impact of a piece of research might be, businesses are not primarily altruistic or charitable; the cold, hard truth is that they exist to make money.

It is worth remembering therefore that a company will only implement new research or commercialise new technology to achieve an impact if there is money to be made or saved. It is up to the inventor to speak the same language as the business and explain where the money is. In addition, it is not enough to speak about capex and opex and ROI; a company needs to know it will have freedom to operate. Therefore, a scientist must also have a passing knowledge of the language of law and demonstrate that their scientific or technological breakthrough is exploitable. This doesn’t necessarily mean it must be patented, just so long as a competitor can’t patent it later (or hasn’t patented it already).

In short, if scientists need funding to undertake research and industry to help them to maximise the impact of it, then they need to become excellent translators. If we can learn to speak all the different languages of our stakeholders then we can broaden the reach of our research outputs, academics, industrialists and society can profit and, hopefully, we can throw off our reputation for poor communication.
Which Government agencies are leading the world in innovation 2017?
by Clarivate Analytics
In the popular imagination, government institutions may not be as closely associated with innovation as commercial firms such as Apple or Samsung. Similarly, compared with government installations, university labs might claim more cachet as centers of innovation.
In reality, however, government institutions – large, well-funded, often embodying national aspirations and imperatives – register strongly in precisely quantified measurements of innovation. To highlight the government institutions that have achieved the greatest impact in innovation, Clarivate Analytics recently teamed with Reuters News to release a new report on the Top 25 Global Innovators – Government. The new listing of the Top 25 updates a ranking that first appeared in 2016. Topping the list this year is the US Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and the Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (better known by its French acronym CEA). Download the ranking to check out the full list of winners

Europe Evaluates its citizen science and biodiversity projects

Citizen science continues to gain more support and recognition in the scientific world. This is shown by the fact that the ALTER-Net network, an organization with representation from 18 leading European centers in biodiversity and ecosystem services, has funded a study on the potential of citizen science and as a technique for learning. The study, recently published in the journal Conservation Biology, had the participation of 20 European scientists, including two from CREAF.

Each year, ALTER-Net opens a call for participating in a high-impact publication of open topic, called the AHIAcalls. ALTER-Net scientists form teams and ponder the study – or studies – they would like to propose. The proposal which receives the most support and participation is selected, and a review is therefore carried out on the topic.

Click here for the entire article

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