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Imagination: The evolution of human mind viewed from the study of chimpanzees.

Our temporary exhibition MONKEYS comes with 11 nocturnes! Visit the exhibition from 17.30 to 21.30 and attend a lecture or the screening of a documentary (followed by a debate) from 19.00.
During this fourth nocturne (on 09.01.2018), Tetsuro Matsuzawa will give a lecture entitled Imagination: The evolution of human mind viewed from the study of chimpanzees.

Matsuzawa has been studying chimpanzee both in the laboratory and in the wild. The laboratory work is known as "Ai-project" in the Primate Research Institute of Kyoto University since 1977: a female chimpanzee named Ai learned to use Arabic numerals to represent the number (Matsuzawa, 1985, NATURE). The field work has been carried out in Bossou-Nimba, Guinea, since 1986, focusing on the tool use in the wild. Matsuzawa tries to synthesize the field and the lab work to understand the mind of chimpanzees to know the evolutionary origins of human mind. He published the books such as "Primate origins of human cognition and behavior", "Cognitive development in chimpanzees", "The chimpanzees of Bossou and Nimba". He got several prizes including Jane Goodall Award in 2001, and The Medal with Purple Ribbon in 2004, The Person of Cultural Merit in 2013.


SOLAR-ISS: A new reference spectrum based on SOLAR/SOLSPEC observations

The precise measurement of the solar spectrum outside the atmosphere and its variability are fundamental inputs for:
• solar physics (Sun modeling)
• terrestrial atmospheric photochemistry
• the Earth's climate (climate's modeling)
The role of solar variability on climate change remains a topic of strong scientific and societal interest. An international scientific team, with an important role for the Royal Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy (BIRA-IASB), has accurately determined a new solar reference spectrum from measurements made by the SOLAR/SOLSPEC instrument on board the International Space Station.
The study behind this story was published in the journal Astronomy and Astrophysics in November 2017.


Le mystère de "La pose enchantée" enfin résolu!

Le mystère dévoilé: la dernière pièce manquante de «La pose enchantée», oeuvre de première importance de Magritte, découverte par des chercheurs de l’ULiège sous son tableau «Dieu n’est pas un saint», au Musée Magritte.
La 4e et dernière partie de «La pose enchantée», une oeuvre de René Magritte répertoriée mais dont avait perdu la trace depuis 1932, a été découverte par les chercheurs de l’Université de Liège sous une autre peinture du maître exposée au Musée Magritte de Bruxelles, «Dieu n’est pas un saint». Cette découverte met fin à une énigme de plus de 80 ans et permet de restituer complètement mais virtuellement une oeuvre de première importance du maître du surréalisme belge.


Launch your design with Cheops

ESA is offering graphic designers and artists a unique opportunity to feature their work on the rocket carrying the Cheops satellite.
The design will be placed on the Soyuz rocket’s fairing, the tough outer shell that protects the satellite during launch and as it passes through the atmosphere into space.
At an altitude of about 100 km the fairing will be jettisoned and fall back to Earth, while Cheops will continue into orbit.
Cheops, a partnership between ESA and Switzerland, will observe bright stars known to host planets.
Scientists will use high-precision monitoring of a star’s brightness to examine the transit of a planet as it passes briefly across the bright face.
The information will help to reveal the structure of planets circling other stars, especially those in the Earth-to-Neptune mass range. The mission will also contribute to our understanding of how planets change orbits during their formation and evolution.
Cheops is currently on track to be ready for launch by the end of 2018.
This competition is an exciting opportunity for students of graphic art or design, or early career graphic artists and designers to make one of their designs a part of ESA history.
For the winner, the design will be visible during launch preparations and liftoff, as well as on photographs and video footage taken at the spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana.
In addition, the winner will be invited to attend the main Cheops launch event in Europe as a guest of ESA and to watch as their design climbs skywards.
Designs selected as runners-up will be exhibited during the event, which will be broadcast through multiple media channels.
The deadline for submissions is 17:00 GMT (18:00 CET) on 31 January.


EU Prize for Women Innovators 2018

The Women Innovators Prize Team would like to inform you that the EU Prize for Women Innovators 2018 will be open for application until 15 November 2017.
The fifth edition awards three of Europe's most innovative women entrepreneurs and one young innovator with prizes up to 100.000€. All finalists will also get the opportunity to obtain high level of visibility for their business to gain traction.


Call for Science observing proposals
(Telescope ARIES 3.6 m , Devasthal India)

ARIES invites members of the Indian and Belgian astronomy community to participate in the call for Science observing cycle 2018A for the observations with 3.6-m Devasthal Optical Telescope (DOT).
India has 93% share in the telescope time of which 33% is guaranteed to ARIES, and 7% to Belgian astronomers. The Principal Investigator of the proposals should have affiliations at Indian or Belgian academic institutions and/or universities.
The observing period: 01 February to 31 May, 2018 The proposal submission deadline: 30 November, 2017 23:59:59 IST
You can submit your observing proposals through online proposal submission system at
Two instruments are offered for observations namely Optical CCD Imager and Near Infrared Imager (TIRCAM-2). For more information on telescope and instruments, please visit
Allocation of time on the telescope will be based on the assigned ranking of the proposals through a peer-review process by Indian and Belgian Time Allocation committees for Indian and Belgian proposals, respectively.
ARIES will provide telescope operators and site-staff to perform routine start-up & shut-down procedures, and safety checks at the telescope.

Questions regarding the operational policies with the DOT should be directed to Dr. Brijesh Kumer.
For specific questions related to 4Kx4K Imager and TIRCAM-2, contact Dr. S. B. Pandey and Prof. D. K. Ojha), respectively. For general assistance regarding the proposal submission process, contact Dr. Yogesh Joshi / Purushottam

Palaeontologists Discovered a ‘Primitive Iguanodon’ With Scissor-like Teeth

A team of Belgian and French palaeontologists has described a new dinosaur species that had scissor-like teeth. The fossil remains of Matheronodon provincialis – a primitive cousin of Iguanodon – was discovered in the South of France, during a ‘paleotrip’ of the Museum of Natural Sciences.


TERRASCOPE: Sentinel data now readily available for all Belgian users

The European Commission designed its Copernicus programme for a better understanding of our environment. A key element of the programme are the Sentinel satellites which are being developed by the European Space Agency (ESA) to provide detailed maps of our planet. The images acquired by the Sentinel satellites are freely available for all: industry, government, academia and the private citizens.
Not everyone, however, easily finds his way to these images. Moreover, the use of standard imagery is not always as user-friendly as could be. That's why individual European member states can set up a so-called “Collaborative Ground Segment” in consultation with ESA. These are meant to ensure a low-threshold access to satellite imagery and to transform satellite imagery in ready-to-use information for interested users.

BELSPO (the Federal Science Policy Office) has just launched TERRASCOPE (, the Belgian Collaborative Ground Segment. It takes advantage of existing infrastructure that Belgium built up for the SPOT-VEGETATION and PROBA-V missions. From now on TERRASCOPE will offer its users following products and services:
- Sentinel imagery;
- Information products derived from Sentinel imagery;
- Computing power for third parties to use to generate their own information products.

TERRASCOPE aims to be a flexible and dynamic platform which should allow for new developments resulting from collaboration between Belgian partners in dialogue with BELSPO.
BELSPO is dedicated to encourage Belgian users to work with Sentinel data. To better understand which products our Belgian users need and how you would like to see TERRASCOPE evolve, we invite each of you to complete the TERRASCOPE survey (


Numerous PhD scholarships available in Melbourne

The Australian-German Climate and Energy College at the University of Melbourne has a number of PhD scholarships available. The scholarships are available to Australian and international candidates that are keen to research climate or energy transition issues from any discipline or perspective. For many topics, there is the opportunity to undertake joint PhDs with our German partner universities.
Applications close on 6 November 2017 and projects will commence early in 2018.


IPCC - nominations - deadline 26 October 2017

The outlines of the Working Group contributions to the AR6 were approved in Plenary at the 46th Session of the IPCC (Montreal, Canada 6 – 10 September 2017). They can be accessed on the IPCC Website on the following link:
The contribution of Working Group I will be completed in April 2021, Working Group II in October 2021, Working Group III in July 2021 and the Synthesis Report in September 2022. The outline of the Synthesis Report will be developed in April 2019.
The IPCC invites us to submit nominations of experts (for consideration by the resp. Bureaus) as Coordinating Lead Authors, Lead Authors, and Review Editors for this Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
Note that a nomination does not mean necessarily any funding by BELSPO or another funding agency, when selected. If interested, please contact the IPCC Focal Point
May we ask you to distribute this call for nominations also to your colleagues so that the Belgian research can be assessed and integrated in the new report and become valuable policy relevant (non prescriptive) information for decision makers.

Marie Curie: 150th birthday celebration

Winning Nobel Prizes in both physics and chemistry, Marie Sklodowska-Curie paved the way for nuclear physics, chemistry as well as radiobiology and cancer therapy. To coincide with the 150th anniversary of Marie Sklodowska-Curie’s birth, SCK•CEN will explore the life, work and extraordinary legacy of one of science’s greatest pioneers. The day will also be devoted to 120 years of worldwide radiobiology research and pioneering radiobiological research in Belgium and at SCK•CEN. In particular, 7th of November will also be proposed as a National Day of Radiobiology. An exhibition entitled “Radiations: scenes of Marie Curie’s scientific life” will give the opportunity to learn more about Marie Curie’s life achievements.


New European satellite Sentinel-5p to be launched

On October 13, 2017, the European satellite Sentinel-5 Precursor (Sentinel-5p) will be launched from the Russian Cosmodrome of Plesetsk on behalf of the European Space Agency (ESA).
After the successful launch of several Sentinel satellites for the monitoring of lands and oceans, Sentinel-5p has been developed by ESA and the Dutch Space Agency (NSO) as the first atmospheric monitoring satellite of the EU Copernicus Earth Observation programme.
The latter aims at the operational provision of advanced information services on our environment and security to public authorities, policy makers and the citizen. As part of this programme, Sentinel-5p having on-board the TROPOMI instrument will be the precursor of the future Sentinel-5 mission to be launched in 2022.


50th anniversary of the atomic second

On 13 October 2017, atom-based time measurement will have replaced astronomic-based time measurement for exactly 50 years.
The second, as time unit, was originally defined as the fraction 1/86 400 of the mean solar day. This “mean solar day” was determined by astronomers from observations of the passage of stars through the sky. Due to irregularities of the Earth rotation speed, this second was variable in duration. In 1960, the 11th General Conference on Weights and Measures approved a new definition of the second, based on a fraction of the tropic year 1900 duration.
However, experimental research had already demonstrated that a much more exact and stable time unit can be generated by using transitions between two energy levels of an atom or a molecule. Considering that a high precision definition of the International System time unit is essential for science and technology, the 13th General Conference on Weights and Measures replaced on 13 October 1967 the definition of the second by the following:
“The second is the duration of 9,192,631,770 periods of the radiation corresponding to the transition between the two hyperfine levels of the ground state of the caesium 133 atom.”
The atomic time has led to many scientific and technological advances. . The GPS and the synchronization in communication networks are examples of them.
Presently, the Royal Observatory of Belgium realizes and distributes the accurate second and time with its set of atomic clocks. These latter are also used for the working of the Galileo system.


2nd edition of the Prize Digital for Development
D4D - Digital for development

After a successful first edition of the Prize Digital for Development (D4D), the Royal Museum of Central Africa (RMCA) and the Belgian Directorate-General for Development Cooperation (DGD) are pleased to announce the second edition of the prize. Prize D4D Edition 2018 is now open for submissions on digitalisation for development.
Prize D4D is a biennial initiative in line with the policy priorities of the Belgian development cooperation to use digitisation and (new) technologies as a lever for development.
Prize D4D rewards outstanding initiatives that use digitisation and (new) technologies as a lever for development towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). There are no restrictions as to the chosen themes, nor the target groups.


Measuring Cost and Impact of Cybercrime in Belgium (BCC)

Last year, 66% of companies taking part of a survey declared to be victim of one or other form of cybercrime. This result comes from a study funded by BELSPO and led by Prof. letizia Paoli (Leuven Institute form Crimonolgy) in collaboration with the Centre for IT & IP Law (professor Marie-Christine Janssens).


World record in the underground laboratory of Membach: A sphere of mass 4 grams has been levitating for 8081 days

On Monday 18th of September 2017, the superconducting gravimeter of the Seismology-Gravimetry service installed at the Royal Observatory of Belgium’s facility in Membach (close to Eupen, eastern Belgium), broke two records: firstly, the gravimeter has been measuring gravitational variations for the longest recorded period at a single location, and secondly, recorded the longest period that an artifact has been levitating using superconduction. The total duration is 22 years and 45 days, or 8081 days.
The principle measurement is based on the monitoring of the levitation of a superconducting niobium sphere of mass 4 grams. In 1995, currents were injected into superconducting coils causing the sphere to levitate; the currents have never been dissipated ever since. Although the fundamental importance of this measurement is not yet clear, as it does not contradict the physics of persistent currents, it is at least worthy of a place in the “cabinet of curiosities” of solid state physics.


Pre-announcement ESS Call for Round 10 Question Module Design Teams

The European Social Suvrey ERIC is pleased to pre-announce the ‘Call for multi-national teams of researchers to submit applications for modules of questions to be fielded as part of Round 10 of the European Social Survey (ESS)’. Applications for both new and repeat modules will be invited.
The call for Round 10 QDTs will formally open by mid-October 2017. Provisional details and timings are available from our website

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