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“In presidential thinking, it is inconceivable to evaluate the results of the scientific research reforms that preceded them.”

“In presidential thinking, it is inconceivable to evaluate the results of the scientific research reforms that preceded them.”

toThe President of the Republic wants to leave his mark on science – an activity that, although it certainly requires public resources, needs above all the independence for research, discovery and innovation. A scientific world thrust for twenty years into a maelstrom of “reforms” that has disrupted the landscape, by creating a system of science government that is at once highly centralized, competitive and deliberate. “differentiated”. Competition of all against all has become necessary, with funding for project research and management evaluation. Resources have been concentrated on a small number while the rest are sinking little by little, without waste, into poverty.

This is when Emmanuel Macron speaks [dans un discours, le 7 décembre, à Elysée]. The Martingale he thought he had found was to remain silent about all of the above, the everyday life of academics and researchers. This silence indicates the emptiness of his words. What we need to do is continue reform. But at no point in presidential thought is there any consideration for evaluating the results of the reforms that preceded and continue the Macron governments. Have we ever evaluated the impacts on the quality of science and the vulnerability of young researchers due to the explosion of research contracts at the expense of stable and permanent funding? There is no doubt about that.

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France’s failure to produce the vaccine we need, as the President stated, is first and foremost a failure of Sanofi, one of the companies that has benefited most from the research tax credit (CIR), an item of public spending that has more than doubled. CNRS which has now been proven to require no additional effort on the part of its beneficiaries. However, there is no doubt about reforming the Council on International Relations.

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Chronic underinvestment in our research? This is the leitmotif adopted by all successive governments for decades, especially since the European Council convened in Lisbon. [en mars 2000] It adopted the goal of countries allocating 3% of their gross domestic product to research. We’re told it’s the private sector’s fault: so what’s the point of a comprehensive BOI? But it is also the responsibility of the state that does not put into the pot the 1% that would be its responsibility. Today’s statements repeat yesterday’s statements and the day before yesterday. How can they be convinced? The recent promises related to the budget in the Research Programming Law require only those who want to believe them, far from the reality of the budget, which is decreasing in fixed euros in the upcoming Finance Law.

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