Please sign if you have not done so earlier! And you do not need to be European to support this initiative…
The discussions at the next summit of the European Union heads of state or government, which is scheduled for 22 and 23 November, will be decisive in determining the EU research budget for the next seven years. Several Member States are demanding severe cuts on the total EU budget and research will have to compete with other policy priorities.
This is a time when we, the scientific community, should act together and make our case to protect research funding, including that of the European Research Council (ERC), from cuts. Decisions will be prepared in discussions among politicians at the national level. All of us must look for opportunities to affect these decisions and send a strong signal to the heads of state or government.
An open letter signed by European Nobel laureates has been published in top European newspapers this week. The impact of this letter will be increased if it is followed by a mobilization of the national scientific communities. To keep the momentum going, an online petition has been launched: http://www.no-cuts-on-research.eu
I would like to ask you to sign it and to encourage all your colleagues to do likewise. Note that in the past, less than 30 000 scientists signed the largest petition for a European scientific cause compared to the hundreds of thousands of signatures on petitions from other groups of society. We must do better than that.
This action is coordinated by the Initiative for Science in Europe (email@example.com; www.initiative-science-europe.org), of which EMBO is a member. Please contact Wolfgang Eppenschwandtner, Executive Coordinator of the ISE if you have any questions or suggestions.