European farmers do it; so do companies and unions. Now European scientists are doing it, too. Just like other special interest groups who have organized in order to more effectively lobby European Union policymakers, scientists have got together at the grassroots level to make a united plea for improved research conditions.

On Monday (September 27), copies of a petition launched earlier this year by the European Life Scientist Organization (ELSO) were delivered to research ministries of the 25 member nations. The petition, with more than 4000 verified signatures, said the European Union must give more attention "to basic, long-term research, to young scientists, to small networks and individual grants, to innovation and creativity."

Bart de Strooper, from the Department of Human Genetics at the University of Leuven in Belgium and a driving force behind the petition, told The Scientist that researchers must become more involved in shaping political decisions...

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