LONDON—An organic chemist with a taste for politics—a talent that promises to be much in demand in the months ahead—has been named the new French minister for science and universities.

Jacques Valade, 57, was appointed January 22 to succeed physicist Main Devaquet, who resigned after his proposals to restrict student entry to French universities triggered large-scale and violent protests last fall. The protests appeared also to reflect a deeper unhappiness with the policies of Prime Minister Jacques Chirac, whose conservative party came to power last May with an extensive agenda to undo five years of socialist rule under President Francois Mitterand.

Valade had been deputy mayor of Bordeaux, Chirac's home base, and a senator in the French Assembly. He supported the expansionist policies of the last government toward research funding, and is said to be very interested in forging closer ties between scientists and private industry.

Appointment Welcomed

His appointment...

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