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Crisis in French science deepens

say lab chiefs threatening to quit en masse

Catherine Brahic(catherine@catherinebrahic.plus.com)

French research directors, angered by what they see as a government death wish for science, are planning to resign en masse early in March if politicians do not meet their demands for the future of French research.

Under the banner of a movement called “Sauvons la recherche” (“Let's save research”), over half the lab directors employed by the government's two largest biomedical research bodies, the National Center for Scientific Research and the Institute for Health and Medical Research (INSERM), have declared they are prepared to resign their administrative responsibilities on March 9.

According to Axel Kahn, director of the public Institut Cochin, the movement results from the accumulation of budgetary tensions, the drastic cutting of research and technical positions, and what he calls a lack of government honesty. Together, these have led to despair among young researchers, many of whom leave France, never to return.

“The contrast between...

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