While scientific research may still hold a reputable place in French culture, the number of students studying science has dropped significantly, say the French scientific associations ASPERT and Femmes et Sciences.

According to the newspaper Le Monde, about 133,000 students over the age of 18 were enrolled in scientific studies during their first and second years of university 5 years ago, but only 100,000 are so enrolled today. In the life sciences, there was a 27% drop in enrollment between 1995 and 2000, with the trend continuing over the past 3 years.

Speaking at a joint colloquium held by ASPERT and Femmes et Sciences in Paris on January 9 and 10, Jean-Pierre Bourguignon, director of the Institute for Higher Scientific Studies, expressed his fears for the future of science in France. “We may soon be unable to recruit scientific professors and high-quality researchers, and we are faced...

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