Scientists oppose INSERM changes

French researchers appeal against plans to include overseas scientists on scientific council

Jane Burgermeister(
Jun 15, 2005

French scientists are today (June 16) making a formal appeal against plans to include eight British and German scientists on a key research evaluation board at the Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM), amid fears that too much power is passing from the scientists to the management.

The national union of scientific research workers (SNTRS-CGT) is to make its appeal at a tribunal in Paris, opposing a decision by INSERM director-general Christian Brechot to include the eight foreign scientists on a scientific council due to meet next week.

The independent tribunal, which settles disputes about administrative issues, would have the power to stop the move on the grounds that INSERM's constitution does not allow non-French scientists to sit on the scientific council, Jean Kister, the head of SNTRS-CGT, told The Scientist.

Kister said that the changes in the system of evaluation are accelerating a shift of...