An online '
cri de coeur' of two French neurobiologists, Joël Bockaert and
Yehezkel Ben-Ari, has started a wave trough French academic
circles. In a mere couple of days the petition under the title
'Halt to academic destruction' gathered already more than
4.400 signatories. In their petition the two neurobiologists point
to the fact that France has dropped on the latest OECD-rankings
comparing R&D expenses.
No issue in election debate
Joël Bockaert is the founder of the l'Institut de génomique
fonctionnelle, IGF, in Montpellier and member of the l'Académie des
Sciences. He criticizes the fact that scientific research is
no topic whatsoever in the electoral campaign between Nicolas
Sarkozy and François Hollande.
Bockaert uses strong words to argue that the current system of
evaluation scientific work is counterproductive to the creation of
excellence. To start with a lab like the IGF in Montpellier,
scientists have to endure two years of bureaucratic procedures.
According to Yehezkel Ben-Ari (founder of the Institut de
neurobiologie de la Méditerranée in Marseille) his lab had to
increase the secretary staff, because of the amount of paperwork
that has to be processed for every step a scientist