European Research Council doubts

Prominent European scientists echo concerns from the UK Royal Society

Andrew Scott(as@andrewscottweb.co.uk)
Jan 22, 2004

Doubts are mounting in the European scientific community about the direction of plans to create a European Research Council (ERC). There is broad support for the council in principle, but widespread concern over how it will be administered and funded.

An expert group reporting to the European Council of Ministers recently recommended that the ERC be set up within the budget of the next European Commission (EC) Framework Programme, the main source of centralized European research funding. This is generating worries that the ERC will become entangled in EC bureaucracy and politics.

Chris Leaver, vice chairman and chairman-elect of the UK Biochemical Society told The Scientist he was seriously troubled by the plans due to the way the existing Framework Programme is run. He believes many scientists across Europe feel the same way.

“If the ERC is run along the same lines as the Framework Programme, it will be...

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