German public research organizations say research will be seriously affected by a new funding freeze introduced as part of government measures to bring the country's ailing economy back to health.
The future looked bright for Germany's public research organizations. Over the past four years, the German government had boosted their funding by up to 26%. And although the country was already heading towards a recession in June, the government promised a further increase of roughly 3% in 2003.
After its re-election in September, the government renewed its promise to support basic research. But two weeks ago the government announced plans to freeze funding for the public research organizations at this year's level.
The research ministry justified the change on the grounds that the devastating floods in August had placed an extra burden on public budgets. "In light of the general state of the German economy, we see it as a...