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08-05-2019 | © picture

Politics, the art of the possible – but who chooses party politics and who chooses protest, and why?

ELECTION SERIES #5

One would not be mistaken to assume that traditional party politics has become side‑lined by the rise of an angrier, more direct form of protest politics, supercharged by years of austerity following the financial crash of 2008-2009. One ERC-funded project, POLPART, has been dedicated to understanding how and why people become engaged in politics and what this means for ongoing efforts to strengthen and preserve our democracies for the future.

28-09-2018 | Image: ©istockphotos

Making sense of commitment

An EU-funded project is exploring what keeps people committed to a task even when they get bored, distracted or are tempted to stop. The findings could foster productivity-boosting strategies, improve robot-human interactions and even help treat borderline personality disorder.

21-09-2018 | © picture

When research enters the big league

On 30 November and 1st December, the G20 2018 Summit will take place in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The leaders and Ministers of finances of the World's major economies, including the European Union, will address the pressing concerns and challenges related to the global economy and finances. In this high decision-making forum, Prof. Irma Mosquera Valderrama has managed to make a place for her independent expertise, raising the voices of developing countries.

06-07-2018 | © Helmuth Gehart

Mini organs in a dish

Toxicology and pharmacology assays are currently carried out in cell lines or experimental animals. Scientists of the TOXANOID project developed mini organs in a dish, which outperform existing in vitro systems.

20-04-2018 | Portrait: ©Erik van Sebille Image:© Shutterstock

Keeping track of ocean plastic

ERC grantee Erik van Sebille is developing advanced modelling tools to help assess the full extent of the problem of plastic pollution in our oceans and how it is affecting the marine environment. The tools will help policymakers design targeted measures to address a big and growing issue.

16-04-2018 | Image: ©Shuttertock Portrait:© Roy Borghouts Fotografie

How do pedestrians and cyclists move in traffic?

In urban areas, an increasing number of travellers are turning to more sustainable means of transport such as walking and cycling. The ALLEGRO project studies pedestrians and cyclists’ behaviour in traffic, a field that offers many opportunities for ground-breaking knowledge.

19-10-2017 | © Aaron Micallef, MARCAN project 2017; © Jurgen Spiteri

What’s under the sea?

Ever since observing a map of a marine landslide as a young geology student, Dr Aaron Micallef was hooked on the beauty of the sea floor. Now, he works on understanding the forces that shape the Earth’s landscapes, both above ground and below the sea level. His MARCAN project studies the impacts of groundwater on canyon formation in Malta and New Zealand. This investigation may reveal where we will be getting our drinking water in the future.

04-05-2017 | Portrait: © QuTech | Illustration: Laser setup. Lasers are used to control and readout the electron in the defect center in diamond. The electron serves as an interface between nuclear spins and photons.© Klapstuk Studio

Critical challenges in quantum applications

After the birth of quantum mechanics in the early 20th century, this branch of physics evolved from being primarily the conceptual framework for the description of subatomic particle phenomena to providing inspiration for new technological applications. New hybrid architecture of quantum systems is now being developed in order to foster the implementation of cutting-edge quantum technologies.

28-04-2017 | © picture

When technology empowers migrant women

Social networking platforms and other online activities can enable women migrants to maintain the links with their home countries, but also to connect to each other, thus encouraging their emancipation. Digital media could hence be rethought as a tool for participation and integration. These are preliminary findings of Prof. Sandra Ponzanesi’s study focusing on migrant women in three different European countries.

28-03-2017 | © picture

Nano-motors that open giga-opportunities

Ben Feringa is a Professor in Organic Chemistry at the University of Groningen and the pioneer of rotary molecular motors, the smallest machines in the world of the size of individual molecules.

In 2016, Prof Feringa was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work on synthetic chemistry, leading to the design and synthesis of novel molecules and nanomaterials, with machine-like functions. These molecular nanomachines can respond to stimuli from their environment, be employed in the self-assembly of nanostructures or regulate DNA transcription, with potential applications in the medical field and targeted treatments.

Originally published in March 2017 as part of the multimedia campaign "ERC - 10 years – 10 portraits."