During this period of commemoration, there are a number of notable anniversaries. With the centenary of the Great War in the same week as the 151st birthday of Marie Sklodowska Curie, we cannot help but turn our thoughts to this great Franco-Polish scientist whom we have already had the opportunity to honour several times in European Scientist. It would be a pity, while politicians are looking for significant images to commemorate the First World War, not to remember the “Petites Curies” – the “Little Curies”. These consisted of more than 18 vans equipped with radiology equipment (Röntgen machines powered by dynamos connected to the vehicle’s engine) which went to the fronts (Battles of the Marne, Verdun, and Somme) to prevent the injured from having to travel. The X-rays of the wounded would facilitate operations. After obtaining her driving license in 1916, the two-time Nobel laureate insisted on going to the Front herself. The work was also supported by training hundreds of helpers and the installation of stations in hospitals. And as biographer Janine Trotereau recalls: “But even more than the unsafe roads and the hazards of war, it was the doctors who caused her problems. How could they not bristle, faced with this determined little woman who wanted to impose her cameras on them and tell them how to do their own jobs? And who demanded that they give up part of their ambulance to install her fifty kilos of equipment, while the wounded lay moaning and they were performing amputation after amputation… She overcame their reluctance. And the grateful squaddies would baptise these units the ‘little Curies’.” It is estimated that more than a million people were saved thanks to these facilities, over a thousand of them by Marie Curie herself.
This enlightening example amply illustrates the themes we hold dear: science and its technological applications, of course, but also political commitment, and Europe with all its contrasts, a story of war and peace. The days when scientists from the old continent were taking part in an unbridled arms race to find weapons to defeat the enemy are gone; they have given way, as we have seen, to major collaborative projects such as Horizon Europe or Plan S .
In this context, more than ever, European Scientist aims to embody a media dedicated to science and science policies as they develop across the continent. Our goal is to give a voice to opinion leaders involved in this adventure and to create a space where scientists, politicians, experts, NGOs and citizens can express their opinions by contributing. In the interests of furthering this sharing towards our mutual goal, we are launching a “Series of Events”: an overview of the key themes for European Science. Behind this concept is a simple idea: to collect the testimonies of several European opinion leaders on a given topic. We started this series with research funding, giving the floor to Raymond Piccoli in “Financer ou disparaître” [“Finance or finished”] and Aleksander Nawrat in “Cap sur l’innovation” [“Heading for innovation”].. We have just launched a second series on energy in Europe with Jean-Pierre Riou on “Les Français et le nucléaire” [“France and the nuclear industry”] and Krzysztof Tchorzewski with “La Pologne a-t-elle besoin du nucléaire ?” [“Does Poland need to go nuclear?”]
We therefore appeal to all European opinion leaders who have ideas or wish to share their views on these two themes, as well as on the following new themes:
- Research funding in Europe
- Energy in Europe
- AI in Europe
- Smart agriculture in Europe
- Biotechnology in Europe
- Medicine in Europe
- Physics in Europe
- Chemistry in Europe
- Scientific ecology in Europe
- Scientific education in Europe
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