Interdisciplinarity and the Organisation of Knowledge in Europe
A conference organised by the Academia Europaea, Cambridge, 24 - 26 September 1997
Euroscientia Conferences, formerly "The European Science and Technology Forum" were created in 1994 by the European Commission in order to stimulate reflection and debate on science and technology on a European scale. To this aim, they provide a framework for conferences and studies on subjects related to historical, cultural, ethical, social, but also economic and political aspects of science and technology. The originality of the Euroscientia Conferences, when compared with other initiatives in this field, is to address the questions dealt with specifically within their European... dimension: attention is concentrated on the particularity of the situation in the field concerned in Europe in comparison with other parts of the world; the differences between European countries and regions; the aspects related to the process of building Europe; the needs and possibilities of collaboration at European level, etc. Over the years, the European Union has developed its own research policy. Conceived in order to both supplement and support national research efforts, this policy is implemented through large collaborative research programmes co-ordinated within the so-called pluriannual "Research and Technological Development Framework Programmes". The basic principles of these programmes are: stimulating the creation of collaborative networks across Europe; supporting joint research projects associating universities, enterprises and research centres from different European countries; and promoting the mobility of researchers and exchanges. The main characteristic of the Fifth Framework Programme (1998-2002) is to focus the European research effort on a limited number of subject matters relating to the large social and economic needs, issues and challenges which the European Union is currently facing: employment and industrial competitiveness; problems related to public health, environment, transport and, in general, the quality of life of European citizens.