As the very few of you that read this probably know, I used to be Commission Spokesperson for Science and so am really passionate about the role of the EU in helping bring scientists together, within Europe and also around the world. A big event was recently held in Barcelona called the EuroScience Open Forum, which showcased the best of European science and provided a forum for scientists to get together and talk. (I should point out that though we supported the event, EuroScience are a separate organisation.)
I was chatting with my friend Aris last night on Facebook – he’s a former colleague from DG Research and now working in Barcelona (lucky beggar) doing communications at the Fusion4energy organisation, which is the European agency for the ITER project. ITER is about finding a new way to produce energy, based on the reaction that takes place in the sun as hydrogen and helium atoms collide, fuse and release energy. In ITER, this process takes place within a doughnut-shaped (toroid) chamber, called a tokamak. So they gave out doughnuts with “Tokamak” written on them! Here’s a pic – very inventive I thought. Even got a mention in Science!
So that was a fun way of making a point, and here’s another one from ESOF. EUFIC, the European Food Information Council, launched an internet tool to help us balance our food intake and our activity. I guess we all know that at the end of the day, the best way to maintain a healthy lifestyle is to eat less and exercise more, but sometimes it’s difficult to know how to quantify that. This website helps – you can get it to tell you how much walking you need to do to walk off a bag of Tooty Frooties ( a terrifying 38 minutes – that’s the sweets relegated to the drawer for a while!). A really great initiative, I thought.