Scientists and scientific institutions in the United States have undergone a quiet revolution during the last 15 years: Whereas politics and advocacy were previously shunned, they are now embraced. Particularly in the medical research arena, but increasingly also in other areas of science, a dense interactive network of organizations, individual contacts, and campaigns exerts influence on public life. Key issues include, naturally, the levels of funding for science, but also the moral and ethical questions raised by new research, and education and public awareness.

European scientists appear to be lagging in terms of advocacy. For decades they have been hugely frustrated by the European Union's science funding through the Framework Programme (FP). As reported on page 40, researchers were powerless to affect either the scientific priorities or the funding mechanisms, and such was the level of bureaucracy that many top European scientists cold-shouldered the FP altogether.

Perhaps, at last, the...

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