French scientists urge reform

A major meeting of scientists, politicians, and economists backs 24 concrete proposals

Jane Burgermeister(janeburgermeister@yahoo.com)
Nov 3, 2004

At the end of a landmark meeting last week, almost a thousand scientists, politicians, and economists gave their support to proposals for how the French government should reform the country's research environment.

Jacques Fossey, secretary general of the French National Union of Scientific Researchers (SNCS), called the meeting in the southeastern city of Grenoble "the main event for scientists in France in decades."

"Grenoble gathered together scientists from all over the country. We put forward 24 proposals that we think the government needs to implement if the research environment is to improve," Fossey told The Scientist.

The meeting was the culmination of a year-long campaign by scientists, angry at government cuts to science. Proposals were linked to issues such as funding and reforming research institutions.

Fossey said that the government had not appreciated the "level of need" in the French research system, and especially the problems of young researchers...

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