Tag Archives: France

Scientific Evidence about vaccines and the EU Court

A controversial European Union court decision about vaccines raises two interesting scientific questions: How do scientists decide whether vaccines can cause conditions such as autism or multiple sclerosis? And how certain can they be when they make their conclusions? Recently news outlets ran headlines saying that the highest court of the European Union ruled, “Vaccines can be blamed for illnesses without proof” or “without scientific evidence.” But the EU court decision is a bit more complex than the headlines claim. In this piece of investigative journalism, Vanessa Schipani examines the case. Read more [...]
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Crowdsourcing France’s New Digital Law

E-democracy is entering a new phase in France through the first public online consultation of a new law. Fittingly, the law under review is the digital law promoting open data, safeguarding of net neutrality and opening internet access to all citizens. This attempt at bottom-up participation of citizens in law making is commendable. However, experts believe it's not an easy task. Read more [...]
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Activists’ Open Letter accuses governments of ignoring sustainable research needs

Scientists from different European countries in Europe, including Spain, France, Italy, Greece, Portugal, the UK and Germany have just published an Open Letter aimed at national governments and at the European Commission, as well as the Parliament. Read more [...]
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Special issue on Research Activism Print Edition

As waves of researchers’ protest are about to invade the streets of Paris, Rome and Madrid, among others, there is a clear sense of déjà vu in these white coats with large signs walking the avenues of European capitals. What is new, however, is that these protests on longer follow a logic of being centred around national territories. They have become supra-national and aim to target the central power in Brussels as much as national governments. Read more [...]
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Research Activism

As waves of researchers’ protest are about to invade the streets of Paris, Rome and Madrid, among others, there is a clear sense of déjà vu in these white coats with large signs walking the avenues of European capitals. What is new, however, is that these protests on longer follow a logic of being centred around national territories. They have become supra-national and aim to target the central power in Brussels as much as national governments. Read more [...]
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Joining the dots: unprecedented level of pan-European research activism

Research activism in Europe is about to transcend borders. Forthcoming protests movements planned for around mid-October in France, Italy and Spain are not a coincidence. Scientists will rally their respective capitals—be it on their bike or on foot—as a result of unprecedented concerted planning. Up until recently, the scientists involved did not collaborate across borders to campaign for a change in their own working environment. Yet, they are no strangers to international collaboration when it comes to collaborative research projects. So what triggered this shift in attitude? Read more [...]
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How to balance a European research ecosystem with its national parts

Researchers across France, Spain and Italy are orchestrating a wave of national protests, which will culminate on the 17th and 18th October 2014 in their respective capitals. Their objective is to highlight how Europe’s knowledge economy is being undermined by a lack of investment in research, amongst other factors. European national research systems are struggling; that much is beyond doubt. The question is how to balance national versus EU research support and how the EU can drive rehabilitation of national research systems. Another question is whether the increased focus on excellence-based funding is really necessary. This debate is now fully open. Read more [...]
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French scientists get on their bikes for research

French research is in trouble. A protest movement has arisen from the ranks of research centres and universities to protest against what French scientists consider a progressive assault on research funding, jobs and autonomy by successive French administrations. Research activists from Montpellier have devised a very French response to this problem: marching out on the street—albeit this time with a twist. From the 27th September 2014, the grassroots movement Sciences en Marche, will see researchers march on Paris. They are planning to arrive in the French capital on 18th October, having bicycled in stages from labs all over France. Read more [...]
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Once upon a time, the tale of how French scientists lost their autonomy

Protests concerning the French government's policy on public research and higher education (PRHE) has arisen in France during the course of 2014. Interestingly, these protests are taking place five and ten years, respectively, after the previous research activism movements of 2004 and 2009. So why such protest? Find out more in this riveting perspective by Alain Trautmann, former spokesperson of the 2004 protest movement, Sauvons la Recherche. He provides the benefit of hindsight into 15 years of French research policy and, thus, gives a unique analysis of the current research activism movements in France. Read more [...]
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Inflation on the price of knowledge: French universities boycott journals

How much is too much? For all the talk that the publishers of major journals such as Science, Nature and the Lancet are charging too much for their wares, it seems a limit has been reached. French universities, in particular, have had enough and are just saying “non!” and cancelling their journal subscriptions. Is this the wake-up call the big publishers need? Should other universities follow suit, researchers organise a wider boycott, or is there another way to make the journal oligarchs realise that enough is enough? Read more [...]
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French universities: when autonomy rhymes with bankruptcy

French universities have undergone a transition towards financial and operational autonomy since 2007 law was passed. A vast operation aiming to reduce the cost of payrolls, the move to autonomy has been tantamount to transferring financial and operational responsibilities to the universities without the necessary allocation of funds to meet the new costs. Read more [...]
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Is the new French research and education reform going far enough?

The Euroscientist looks into the details of the proposed French reforms on of Universities and Research. Some minor aspects of the law have been widely debated in the public sphere, whereas the in-depth changes it brings to the research and education system have unsettled its stakeholders across the political spectrum. Between past legacy and future needs, the new law appears to have reached the only politically acceptable compromise. Read more [...]
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