LONDON—An international group of eminent scientists hopes to establish a European Academy of Science to provide a new voice for researchers.

Sir Arnold Burgen, a biologist and former foreign secretary of the Royal Society has taken the lead in convening an ad hoc group with representatives from seven European nations to discuss the academy. Its proposal received a favorable reception this summer at the European Science Foundation’s council meeting in Bonn. The Royal Society has agreed to host early meetings and provide a secretariat, but money, probably from industry or foundations, will be needed for a permanent base. Burgen’s initiative followed discussions prompted by a speech by Peter Brooke, formerly British education minister, to European research ministers in 1984 that suggested there might be room for a “Leonardo Academy” in Europe. Brooke made it clear that the first move must come from scientista, and initial reactions were cautious. Burgen’s group...

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