French researchers strike over government policies

More than 8,000 scientists took to the streets of Paris and other cities across France in March to protest against the government's proposed reforms of the science system.

Jane Burgermeister
Apr 10, 2005
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Courtesy of Amy Epton

More than 8,000 scientists took to the streets of Paris and other cities across France in March to protest against the government's proposed reforms of the science system. Jacques Fossey, secretary general of the National Union of Scientific Researchers, says, "The strong turnout will strengthen the position of the scientists in upcoming negotiations."

Scientists working at universities and in public research organizations such as the Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM) and the National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) took action against draft legislation that Deputy Minister of Research, François d'Aubert, unveiled in January.

The protests are the latest episodes in the ongoing dispute between French scientists and the government. At the beginning of the year, the government promised to spend €6 billion ($8.05 billion, US) over three years on research, but scientists say part of that will flow into private research rather than public...

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