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ERC grantee Konstantinos Nikolopoulos at the University of Birmingham recently won the first ERC Public Engagement with Research Award in the category of public outreach. His ExclusiveHiggs project looks at the origin of mass by exploring the interactions of the elementary matter particles with the Higgs boson. In this interview, he describes his efforts to make the public understand this field of physics through art and dance.
The tails of our DNA – telomeres – are the focus of many aging studies, as their length affects our health and longevity. A new study by ERC grantee Sonja Entringer shows that supporting the psychological wellbeing of mothers during pregnancy could have a positive effect on our telomeres at birth, boosting our long-term health. We spoke with her on the occasion of the publication of a paper in the American Journal of Psychiatry based on a collaboration between her team at the Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin, and partners in Finland and the USA.
How can researchers successfully engage with citizens to improve their scientific outputs? To find out, we talked to ERC grantee, Anna Davies of Trinity College Dublin, the winner of the first ERC Public Engagement Award in the online and social media category. Her project set out to map urban food-sharing practices and discovered early on that they would need the help of citizen scientists.
There is much more to marine plastic pollution than meets the eye. In his quest to set the record straight about this litter, Erik van Sebille, an oceanographer at Utrecht University, is garnering international interest from the public, media, schoolchildren and policymakers alike. His passion for public outreach has led him to become one of the first laureates of the ERC Public Engagement with Research Award. We interviewed him to find out more about his winning media relations strategy and the benefits public engagement has brought to his research.
Beans, peas, lentils and other legumes are key elements in a balanced diet as they are a source of high-quality proteins. ERC grantee Jens Stougaard leads one of the most prominent research groups in legume science whose results may have long-term implications for sustainable agriculture and food security.
Three-time ERC grantee and four-time panel member in the ERC evaluations (the last three as panel chair), Maciej Lewenstein is not only one of the key physicists of the 21st century, but also a jazz expert. In this interview, he talks about his passion for free-improvised music and explains the intrinsic connections between quantum physics and jazz.
Corals are one of the most beautiful and fascinating ecosystems in the world. However, due to rising sea temperatures, pollution and ocean acidification, they are also one of the most threatened. Pioneering work of ERC grantee Tali Mass shows that corals might be less vulnerable to some of these changes in their environment than previously thought, bringing new hope for their conservation.
The liveliest of our feathered garden visitors, the little acrobatic blue tit, and her close cousin the great tit, can tell us a lot about how birds adapt to climate change, urbanisation and other changes in their environment. To mark this year’s International Day for Biological Diversity, we bring you the story of ERC grantee Anne Charmantier who studies how these songbirds are adapting to their fast-changing habitat and what that could mean for their long-term survival.
Illegal fishing destroys marine habitats and threatens species living at sea. The work of ERC grantee Henri Weimerskirch is helping authorities to crack down on these operations by developing the world’s first seabird ocean-surveillance system.
Cancelled flights, and less commercial and industrial activity during lockdown are reducing air and light pollution around the world, leading to spectacular views of the night sky. To mark this year’s International Dark Sky Week, we bring you the story of ERC grantee Minna Palmroth who, together with a group of Finnish amateur stargazers, has discovered a new kind of northern lights.