European scientists have welcomed the announcement yesterday (July 18) of the first members of the scientific council of the European Research Council (ERC), a new science funding body due to begin operations in 2007.

Leading researchers told The Scientist that the announcement was an important step in improving the provision of funds for science, but some expressed fears for the future of the council in light of troubled negotiations over EU spending.

The main tasks of the 22 members of the scientific council will be to oversee the broad scientific strategy of the ERC and to ensure that the best research projects get funding by a competitive peer review, said Antonia Mochan, spokesperson of the European research commission.

Ernst-Ludwig Winnacker, the former president of EUROHORCs (European Heads of Research Councils), and one of the many scientists who lobbied for the creation of an ERC, had strong praise for the...

Interested in reading more?

Become a Member of

Receive full access to more than 35 years of archives, as well as TS Digest, digital editions of The Scientist, feature stories, and much more!