Slovenian science and research in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic has clearly demonstrated how
vulnerable contemporary societies are, including those globally most developed
and technologically advanced, such as Slovenia.
(Ljubljana, March 26 2020) The Slovenian Research Agency
(hereinafter: the Agency), in cooperation with the responsible ministry, agreed
to provide the institutions performing research activities and the general
public with an overview of current scientific, research and development
activities that directly or indirectly contribute to a successful fight against
the COVID-19 pandemic and its many consequences.
Many scientists and
researchers, especially in the field of medicine, are now directly and
most of the time involved in the implementation of measures against the
spread of the SARS-CoV-2 (hereinafter: COVID-19) pandemic and in the
treatment of patients. At the same time, researchers in other fields are
actively linking up and focusing on research and activities that
contribute to successfully addressing the COVID-19 pandemic, overcoming
it, and eliminating its short- and long-term consequences in all areas
of our lives.
» The pandemic has dispelled the illusion
of our omnipotence and our ability to easily solve all problems and
challenges with existing organizational structures, capacities,
knowledge, and technology. In such moments, we realize that we, humans,
are only a part of nature, although we have a significant influence on
it, causing fatal problems with our actions that we now have to face. It
is in such moments that the importance and role of science and research
are revealed, enabling us to detect, learn about, and understand these
problems and offering possible solutions through scientific findings and
the creation of new knowledge. «
Prof. Dr. Mitja Žagar, member of the ARRS Scientific Council in the
field of Social Sciences
The Agency recently circulated a questionnaire, inviting researchers in all
scientific disciplines and research areas to report on their work during the
crisis and to indicate if and to what extent their research is directly or
indirectly related to the COVID-19 pandemic and overcoming its consequences. We
thank the researchers for their responses: principal investigators of 193
research programmes and 359 research projects (co-)funded by the Agency
responded within a few days.
On the basis of the responses received, the ARRS Scientific
Council has noted that COVID-19 thoroughly interfered in research activities,
which have adapted to emergency situations for safety reasons and have largely
been conducted from home. It is also evident that researchers in numerous
research organizations have focused on the challenges of the current situation.
The ARRS Scientific Council also calls on the principal investigators of other
research groups to direct, where appropriate and possible, the focus of their
current research and to intensify their efforts to address the COVID-19
In the questionnaire, principal investigators of research
programmes and projects were asked to define to what extent and how their
research could help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, improve the
treatment of patients, and increase the responsiveness and capacity of the
health system, as well as thoroughly explore and understand current events,
their wider social implications and impacts, and overcome the challenges posed
by this kind of intense turmoil.
The central part of the review of the responses received,
which we present to the general public, is the presentation of research
activities by academic disciplines that directly or indirectly address the
COVID-19 pandemic. Based on the responses of the researchers, the ARRS
Scientific Council has drawn up a concise overview list of research activities
and potentials attached (only in Slovene).
Finally, the aim of this questionnaire and further activities
is to encourage networking and clustering capabilities, competences, needs and
offers for research and professional collaboration.
- Strnjen pregled raziskovalnih dejavnosti in potencialov za premagovanje