PARIS—French researchers came together across the capital yesterday to mark a day of mourning for science. "Sciences at half mast" took place 1 week to the day before the planned mass resignation of research directors on March 9.

Several gatherings were organized throughout the city. Black humor sketches were scheduled to take place in front of Jussieu University, home to many of the capital's science students. At the Museum of Natural History, researchers were due to celebrate the first public appearance of the homo scientificus.

Scientists assembled at their nearest locations, wearing lab coats and black armbands. They encouraged passers-by to sign a citizen petition, which has so far gathered 95,000 signatures.

At the Métro station named after him, a mourning "Louis Pasteur" came back from the dead to the lamenting tunes of a brass band and declared himself revolted by the fate of the nation's young scientists....

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