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30-04-2012 | © picture

Voters' behaviour under scrutiny ahead of Sunday's French elections

Over 44 million French citizens have the right to vote next Sunday in the second round of the presidential elections. One ERC grantee will be looking at them attentively: Dr Michael Bruter, a political scientist working at the London School of Economics (UK). His research focuses on the deep mystery that surrounds the act of voting, and especially what happens in voters' minds as they stand in the polling booth, ready to place their ballot paper in the box.

26-04-2012 | Pedro Medeiros © Boaventura de Sousa Santos

A new vision of Europe

Pursuing a sustainable development and broadening social justice and cohesion are some of the challenges that Europe is currently facing. What if we could learn how to solve these challenges by using the social and political innovations taking place in different corners of the globe? Professor Boaventura de Sousa Santos suggests that a new approach can be developed in Europe based on the diversity of practices elsewhere.

12-04-2012 | © picture

Social and cultural factors in the European gambling industry

We normally think of anthropologists studying ‘exotic’ cultures – ancient tribes that live in faraway places. But how about cultures that are closer to home? Professor Rebecca Cassidy has devoted herself to anthropological studies of European cultures of gambling. In the ‘Gambling in Europe’ (GAMSOC) project – funded by the ERC – Prof. Cassidy and her team have taken this a step further, and conducted an anthropological study of the gambling research community itself.

16-03-2012 | © picture

Diving into the world of the very small

Nanotechnology — the science of making and manipulating the very small — has the potential to transform our lives. With the help of ERC funding, Dr Davide Iannuzzi is building microscopic moving parts on to the ends of optical fibres, leading to better instruments for observing and measuring at the nanoscale.

20-12-2011 | Microscopy image of a robot with internal reservoir for chemical reagents, By courtesy of F. Štěpánek

The new generation of microscopic robots

Toxic spills can be devastating to humans, animals and to the ecosystem The ERC-funded project CHOBOTIX has successfully created the first prototypes of chemical robots that could serve for "Intelligent Cleaning". These tiny robots could have applications in various fields, from seeking out a source of contamination and neutralise it in toxic waters to treating patients in a more efficient way by delivering them the exact amount of drug without dosing the whole body of patients.

21-11-2011 | Image copyright: Steven Wright

Plunging into the history of the Balkans to prepare for a better future

The peoples of the Balkans' region have long shared an "entangled" and tumultuous history. A visit to the Western Balkans shows how deep the scars of the bloodsheds of the 1990s have been in this part of the world. The scale of violence has exceeded our common understanding with human rights' abuses, massacres, torture, rapes and ethnic cleansing from all sides. With such context in mind, one would have thought that Balkan history could have been studied from a "relational" or "transnational" perspective, to which it seems historically predisposed. But this has rarely been the case.  

14-11-2011 | Photo: Pseudo-Aristotle, Theology, MS Istanbul, Süleymaniye Yazma Eser Kütüphanesi

Bridging Greek and Arabic philosophical and linguistic heritage

How deep are the roots of our culture formation? How was the Occidental culture influenced by the Greek Philosophy? What role did the Arabs play in transmitting it during Medieval times? These are some of the questions that Dr. Cristina D'Ancona, from the University of Pisa, intends to answer in her interdisciplinary ERC Advanced project. One of the main outcomes of this project will be the production of an unprecedented tool for analysing Graeco-Arabic texts.

07-11-2011 | Mudbrick and stone castle-like structure, Photo by Toby Savage

Castles in the desert – Satellites reveal lost cities of Libya

ERC project's team gets back to Libya after Gaddafi's fall. Satellite imagery has uncovered new evidence of a lost civilisation of the Sahara in Libya’s south-western desert wastes that will help re-write the history of the country.

01-03-2011 | Image: Jan Hering, Courtesy Daniela Grunow

Who is left holding the baby?

Researchers are to carry out a comprehensive investigation into how parenting is perceived by professionals, the media, the parents themselves and look into differences across various European countries.The image of the woman in the home, cooking and holding the baby is fast becoming one of previous times. Traditional family roles are being reversed with fathers staying home and mothers going out to work. But is this gender division of labour so clear-cut?

28-10-2010 | © picture

From Europe to China: 13,000km pioneering expedition with driverless vans led by an ERC grantee reached end goal

Prof. Alberto Broggi's "Intercontinental Autonomous Challenge" has arrived at its final destination after a 13,000 km trip across two continents.