Europe's research community has generally welcomed the chance to participate in a wide-ranging debate on Europe's future science policy, which the European Commission launched earlier this month.

Responding to criticism that it has ignored scientists views in the past, the commission has said that it wants to hear, and will act on, the views of scientists before it presents its proposals for the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) in autumn.

Ernst-Ludwig Winnacker, the president of the German Research Foundation and the president of the European Heads of Research Councils, said that Germany's research organizations had already joined together to give their views on how Europe's science policy can be improved.

Winnacker had strong praise for the commission for opening up the debate on the future science policy in Europe by creating a consultation phase.

"There is no doubt that the EU framework programs have contributed to improving the quality of...

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