Bertil Andersson has been announced as the new secretary general of the European Science Foundation (ESF). Andersson told The Scientist that, when he takes over the position in November this year, his main aim will be to campaign for a switch in pan-European science funding so that it leans more toward basic research than at present. He also sees a proposed European Research Council as the best way to manage the resulting increase in basic research funding.

Currently, the ESF is a modestly funded body—its budget this year is €12 million—but it is intellectually influential in basic science circles because of its network of connections to national academies and scientific organizations around Europe. In the future, if Andersson has his way, the ESF will turn its influence into substantial economic muscle and will play a significant part in directing the proposed European Research Council.

The idea for such a council...

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