New heads at French research body

Appointments at the CNRS spark speculation about future of recent, highly debated reforms

Alexander Hellemans
Jan 31, 2006
The Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) has appointed a new president and director, inspiring discussions among researchers about how the new management will handle the publicly funded research organization's troubled reforms, which forced out the previous director.The new president, Catherine Bréchignac, and director, Arnold Migus, are both physicists. The government has also given Bréchignac full responsibility over policy decisions, in response to frequent disagreements within the previous leadership. "The director and the president of the CNRS could not see eye to eye on the planning, nominations and appointees; the situation became untenable," Edouard Brézin, president of the Academy of Sciences and former president of the CNRS Administrative Council, told The Scientist. The fact that Bréchignac is now visibly in charge of policy is a great improvement on the absence of a clear hierarchy at the top, he noted.The previous director of the CNRS,...

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