France: academic cri de coeur

Nieuws | de redactie
15 februari 2012 | A French academic petition denounces the top-heavy evaluation system that causes massive bureaucracy and nevertheless leads to haphazard distribution of funding.

An online ‘ cri de coeur‘ of two French neurobiologists, Joël Bockaert andYehezkel Ben-Ari, has started a wave trough French academiccircles. In a mere couple of days the petition under the title’Halt to academic destruction‘ gathered already more than4.400 signatories. In their petition the two neurobiologists pointto the fact that France has dropped on the latest OECD-rankingscomparing R&D expenses.

No issue in election debate

Joël Bockaert is the founder of the l’Institut de génomiquefonctionnelle, IGF, in Montpellier and member of the l’Académie desSciences. He criticizes the fact that scientific research isno topic whatsoever in the electoral campaign between NicolasSarkozy and François Hollande.

Bockaert uses strong words to argue that the current system ofevaluation scientific work is counterproductive to the creation ofexcellence. 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 deneurobiologie de la Méditerranée in Marseille) his lab had toincrease the secretary staff, because of the amount of paperworkthat has to be processed for every step a scientisttakes.

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