logo_SeM_pour_sites_web-2-smallDear Colleagues/scientists across Europe,

During the last six months, you signed the European petition They have chosen Ignorance”. Today, we think that an ideal occasion has arisen to make our protest more visible – we propose to read it at the Bologna Ministerial Conference, which will be held in Yerevan, Armenia, on the 14th and 15th of May 2015.

The Open Letter, launched in October 2014, has since received considerable support from more than 18 000 individual followers and over 40 research organizations (with more than 100 000 affiliated members). This is the right moment to spread the petition to your colleagues who may not yet have had the opportunity to sign it, thereby increasing the number of signatures before it is presented in mid-May. Nevertheless, this will by no means be the endpoint of the petition, just a milestone on the road of European scientific workers who are acting collectively for the future of science in Europe.

Sciences en Marche – proposed Europe-wide campaign

In October 2014 a visible one-month march by scientists from across France converged on Paris. Organised by Sciences en Marche, it included all categories of colleagues from French universities and research centres who criss-crossed the French roads on their bikes, stopping in many towns to talk to the citizens about the non-measurable values of Higher Education and Research (HER), values that are essential for sustaining a democratic and flourishing society.

The French initiative was synchronized with the publication of the European Open Letter and both actions synergized. Because HER, a prerogative of individual member states, is also impacted by EU policies, we, at Sciences en Marche, advocate for a combination of synchronous national and European initiatives. In this context, we would like to propose a restaging of the French march on a Europe-wide scale. We invite groups and movements from all European countries to join us in organising concerted parallel events in Autumn 2015.

Such marches would defend the principles of an alternative Public University and of the diversity of basic research programs in the humanities and sciences. It could be seen as one of the answers to the call by the European Trade Union Committee for Education (ETUCE) for actions on HER 2015 and address some of the key points of theAcademic Manifesto.

To the European Union institutions, it could ask for:

  • The exclusion of national investments in HER from the calculation of the 3% national budget deficit ceiling.
  • A preservation of the Horizon 2020 budget in the context of the Juncker investment plan.

To individual European countries, it could ask for:

  • An ambitious, multi-year recruitment plan for HER staff based on secure employment.
  • A significant increase in core state funding for basic Research Institutions/Bodies and Higher Education Institutions.
  • A policy for the development of all areas of research, guaranteeing diversity in subjects and in approaches to research instead of the restricted areas prioritized in the Horizon 2020 program, the respect of research methods, together with appropriate time frames and academic freedom for individuals and higher education and research institutions.
  • The restoration and development of a democratic and collegial spirit within Higher Education Institutions and Research Institutions/Bodies.

In summary, please could you bring the petition “They have chosen Ignorance” to the attention of those around you. This is the right moment.

And if you like the idea of synchronised European-wide marches next autumn, and have further suggestions on this matter, please write to the organizing committee of Sciences en Marche at contact@sciencesenmarche.org.

Thank you – The Sciences en Marche organising committee, who thanks the Euroscientist team for its help in the diffusion of this initiative.



by  (Pubblicato su Euroscientist)

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2 Commenti

  1. E’ uscito l’European Innovation Scoreboard 2015, che classifica l’Italia come “moderate innovator”, dietro Svezia, Danimarca, Finlandia e Germania (“innovation leader”), e UK, Irlanda, Francia, Paesi Bassi, Austria e Slovenia (“strong innovators”).
    Qui tutti i report più le statistiche:
    Dando un’occhiata agli indicatori (Annex H), si scoprono molte cose già note.
    Per quanto riguarda le risorse umane, siamo sotto le medie europee per nuovi addottorati ogni 1000 abitanti (e da quest’anno senza fondo giovani andremo ancora più a picco) e per numero di laureati nella fascia 20-24, mentre siamo quasi NC (penultimi) per numero di laureati nella fascia 30-34. Siamo sopra la media per le pubblicazioni scientifiche con co-autori internazionali (cresciute rapidamente nell’ultimo periodo, +7.2%), nella media per numero di pubblicazioni più citate (nel top 10%) rispetto alla produzione del paese stesso, sotto la media per “non-EU doctorate”, che però sono aumentati del 19% nell’ultimo periodo considerato. Restiamo ben al di sotto della media per spesa in R&D nel settore pubblico come percentuale di GDP (<0.6).
    Siamo scarsissimi per quanto riguarda gli investimenti Venture Capital, sotto la media per la spesa in R&D nel settore privato come % di GDP e per investimenti non R&D in innovazione.
    Andiamo invece molto bene, e questo va detto, come % di SME innovative sul numero totale di SME. Questo è un risultato emerso anche nelle call H2020 per le SME, dove l'Italia figura tra i primi paesi vincitori di finanziamenti. Si vede però che c'è scarsa collaborazione tra enti di diversa natura.
    Siamo di nuovo decisamente sotto la media per richieste di brevetto, mentre siamo sopra per protezione di design. Siamo sotto la media anche per la velocità di assunzione presso le aziende nei settori più innovativi. Siamo nella media per il rapporto fra l'impiego in aziende "knowledge-intensive" (almeno 33% laureati) e l'impiego totale.
    L'Europa è però superata da US (+22%), Sud Corea (+24%) e Giappone (+14%), paesi dove spiccano in particolare gli indicatori sulla spesa in R&D nel settore privato, sui brevetti, sulla collaborazione pubblico-privato (pubblicazioni ad es) e sulla percentuale di popolazione in possesso di istruzione superiore.

  2. Call for Action – Your Signature requested for Open Letter in support of Professor Nikos Logothetis

    Last week Prof Nikos Logothetis, a neuroscientist at the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics in Tübingen, announced that he is planning to cease research involving non-human primates, following months of harassment by animal rights activists.
    This decision follows from an infiltration of his institute by the German animal rights group Soko Tierschutz, in collaboration with the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV), which led to a series of false allegations against Prof. Logothetis being aired in German TV in September 2014

    Members of the Werner Reichardt Centre for Neuroscience at the University of Tubingen published an open letter in support of Prof. Logothetis, which has already gathered more than 1,500 signatures. You can sign the letter here.

    For Information – 11 May Agenda for Public Hearing on the European Citizens’ Initiative “Stop Vivisection

    On Monday 11 May the Public Hearing on the European Citizens’ Initiative “Stop Vivisection” is taking place in Brussels. You can watch the hearing live from 15.00 – 18.30 (CEST: UTC +2:00).

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