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Sep 27, 2019

Nobel laureates join call for European Commission to reinstate top science post

Posted by in categories: economics, education, physics, science

More than 9000 scientists, including Andre Geim, Carlo Rubbia and eight other Nobel-prize-winning physicists, have signed a letter calling on the European Commission (EC) to reinstate a dedicated commissioner for education and research. The letter claims that that an out-and-out role for education and research is necessary to create a sound basis for innovation in Europe.

News of the apparent sidelining of science emerged when Ursula von der Leyen, the EC’s president-elect, presented her team and the new structure of the next European Commission on 10 September. It included her candidates for the new set of 18 commissioners, but the plan no longer included a commissioner that explicitly represents education and research.

These areas are instead expected to be covered by the commissioner for innovation and youth – the nominee for which is Mariya Gabriel, who is the current commissioner for digital economy and society. In the new set-up, the innovation and youth role appears to be a merger between the current directorate for research, science and innovation with that for education, culture, youth and sport.

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