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CNRS reform opposed

Vote on research giant's future delayed by a week after campaign by unions

Jane Burgermeister(janeburgermeister@yahoo.co.uk)

Unions in France are stepping up their campaign against the proposed reform of the National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) ahead of a key vote now scheduled for May 19. The vote on the future of the French research giant—which employs 11,600 researchers and 14,400 engineers and technical and administrative staff—was pushed back last week by CNRS Director General Bernard Larrouturou in response to tough opposition to his proposed reform strategy.

Jacques Fossey, general secretary of the National Union of Scientific Researchers (SNCS), said that the organizational changes proposed by the reform plan would weaken the voice of scientists within CNRS. He said that the strength of CNRS rests on the close relationship between scientists and their superiors, the directors of science departments.

The proposed creation of another layer of decision-makers—the so-called interregional directors (DIR) who represent regional CNRS centers and are responsible for interdisciplinary cooperation—would lead to a corresponding...

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